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Dressing up for the World Cup can be a challenge. I remember my first time. It took me weeks to prepare and find the perfect dress, the perfect pair of shoes and the most gorgeous hat — a look that I felt as a first timer was required so I could fit in. I was absolutely wrong.

Because not only did I end up not liking what I was wearing, I was also so uncomfortable by the end of the day that I was walking around barefoot. Not exactly pretty. Plus, it was also heartbreaking that I actually spent so much money on an entire outfit that I never wore again.

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After years of attending events and style blogging, I have learnt one very important lesson: Never ever compromise your comfort no matter what event you are going to. You don’t necessarily need to compromise style, but sticking to what you know, what you love and what makes you feel good and comfortable will always work best. Especially for an event like this that pretty much runs the whole day.

Never ever compromise your comfort no matter what event you are going to. You don’t necessarily need to compromise style, but sticking to what you know, what you love and what makes you feel good and comfortable will always work best.

- Mariyah Gaspacho

I was asked to come up with a look for the Dubai World Cup and although I had access to brands and agencies to dress me up for the day, I figured it would be more fun to dip in my closet and find something that anyone could pull together, without having to break the bank.

Slip dresses are a staple in a woman’s wardrobe and if you don’t have one, you definitely should invest in one. There are a variety to choose from, and I found this gorgeous satin slip dress from Topshop (via Namshi for only Dh180) and it comes in a variety of colours. Plus, it is super comfortable. The length is just right and the side slits creates a gorgeous dramatic flow when you walk.

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I paired it with an oversized structured blazer from Mango that I got a couple of seasons ago, but I am pretty sure almost every woman out there has a blazer to work with. If not, then you can definitely find similar ones at any high street brand. Or better yet, just open up your hubby’s closet (or your brother’s or dad’s) and simply use their blazer, which I am pretty sure will be a perfect match for that oversized androgynous look.

Heels are huge during the World Cup but I learned my lesson from my first time. I am now opting to wear a decent pair of sandals with block heels. This style of sandal is currently trending at the moment — the thin straps make you look dainty and sexy but the mid-block heels keep things comfortable. Definitely a great match in my books. I got mine from back home in the Philippines but you can surely find similar ones online via asos.com or check out the latest collection from your favourite high-street brands.

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I am a woman who hates carrying bags at events, especially when you spend most of the day walking around. The fact that bum bags or fanny packs are still trending means I can still get away with it. I found this cute jute fanny pack at namshi.com and I absolutely love it. It isn’t big but what else do you really need to carry with you? It can house a few cards, my phone and a lipstick.

A good pair of sunglasses is always an essential for me and these gorgeous Gucci sunglasses are always with me. The clear brown tint is perfect for a beautiful sunny day.

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I finished off the look with the most gorgeous bergere (a flat-brimmed straw hat with a shallow crown) which was first reintroduced by designer Jacquemus. I still get questions about mine whenever I wear it and I got mine in France a few seasons ago at a flea market. You can find similar ones online now but I think any straw hat will work with this kind of look, as long as it is simple and sleek.

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— Mariyah Gaspacho is a photographer and fashion blogger. Follow her on Instagram at @mahryska.

Don’t miss it!

Tickets for Apron Views where the Meydan Style Stakes takes place are priced at Dh350, inclusive of access to the after-race concert featuring Gwen Stefani. More details are yet to be announced. Go to dubaiworldcup.com.