As with any racing event autumn racing is about keeping things sleek and simple. Women’s suiting is still a front runner, yet this season we are seeing a more structured style with waist belts and cinched in blazers, or cropped style blazers to add a more feminine touch. Separates are also a great option allowing racegoers to mix it up and re-wear items after race day – it’s a great way to keep the budget intact. In terms of dresses, this season it’s all about volume, a dress with a statement sleeve or skirt adding that extra wow factor. Colour-wise we are seeing lots of shades of orange, yellow, burgundy, pink as well as strong neutrals. Opt for elegant pieces and experiment with autumnal shades and textures. On cooler days, embrace layering by pairing a beautiful dress with a blazer or coat, and be sure to keep headwear top of mind. This season we are seeing a lot of simple hair clips, velvet and metallic headbands, however traditional felt hats and crowns are still very popular so there are plenty of options.
If you’re heading to an autumn racing event consider some of these pieces to style the ideal look.
Autumn racing is upon us and it’s definitely a great one to dress for. Whilst spring racing generally takes centre stage, I do love being able to play with lots of textures and layers during this time of year on the racing calendar. I’ve received a few questions from readers asking what to wear to autumn racing events so to help guide you, these are some of my golden rules for nailing your look.
Keep it simple
This rule applies no matter the time of year—always remember that any event at the races isn’t an evening event so it’s best to go for looks that err on the side of conservative. If you were meeting your grandmother for lunch, what would you wear? It’s best to keep things like minis, sequins and other clothes you’d wear to a nightclub at home.
Remember your headwear
Headwear is always a must for any racing event but for autumn it’s important to leave any straw hats at home and instead opt for a felt number. If you’re not a hat person there are so many other options available now that you’re definitely going to be spoilt for choice. Think headbands to headpieces with artistic shapes and textures and metallic works of art.
Dress for the weather
It’s time for your open toed stilettos to go into hibernation and replace them with a pair of elegant pumps. If the weather is looking to be cool or wet, then it’s important to bring a jacket with you to stay warm, just be sure to bring the right style. Leave anything bulky at home and instead go for a blazer, a cape or an elegant trench.
Go for less is more beauty
Beauty looks at the races should be elegant and simple. The key is not to look overdone. Keep your base fresh, and add a simple slick of black eyeliner or bold lip. Also when it comes to hair you don’t need to look like you spent hours at the hairdresser. A great blow dry, natural waves or a sleek bun will do the trick and save you hours of getting ready time.
And just like that spring racing is upon us once again. This is always a hectic time of year for me as I have multiple events to juggle which means a number of outfits that I have to co-ordinate. And even though I’ve done it for years, styling just the right outfit can still be a little tricky at times as I have to take into account the dress codes, current trends and staying comfortable throughout the day.
One thing I do try and do every spring carnival is take a few style risks, experiment with different trends and elevate my look in various ways. It’s the perfect time to get dressed up and have a little fun with fashion. If you’re off to a few events, here are a few ways you can take your look next level, whether you’re opting for a bold, colourful ensemble, or a classic look of muted tones such as black and white. Here’s how to stand out in a crowd and pull together a winning outfit.
If you’re doing colour…
A colourful look makes an impactful statement so if you’re doing it, don’t be afraid to go bright and bold. Wearing a striking hue that packs a punch whether it’s shades such as fuchsia, a bright sunshine yellow or a rich green makes for a strong look. Now is the time to get in touch with your inner rainbow and try a few fun colours. I guarantee you’ll turn heads.
With coloured pieces it’s a great idea to also work with different silhouettes to give the look some further depth. A dramatic neckline, an elegant split or statement sleeves are all elements that can take your look to another level. The dress I’m wearing below works a vibrant pink with a Victorian neckline and an understated balloon sleeve and gives it a modern, yet classic feel.
It’s important to let your outfit take centre stage but that doesn’t mean you can afford to neglect your accessories. Quite the contrary. The right complementary pieces will enhance your look not detract from it. Headwear is a must at all racing events, so it’s a crucial component of your look. When wearing colour try having fun with your headpiece, incorporating texture and subtle embellishments.. My go-to is a great headband which is understated yet still hold its own, such as the star one I am wearing below. Other options I like include a straw hat or a beautiful turban, both of which I’ve worn in the past. Accoutrements should be the final finishing touch that completes your look.
When you’re doing slightly more muted tones such as black and white, it’s important to try and be a little more daring with the style and finishing touches to help elevate it. The black dress I’m wearing below features an on trend off the shoulder neckline, a textured finish along with a dramatic ruffled effect, all elements that that make it look far from an ordinary LBD. It’s a fun spring racing ensemble but with contemporary touches that make it stand out.
With black you can incorporate the colour head to toe, by wearing black accessories too, but choose pieces that have a little more edge to them to give the look some added depth. In the looks below I’m wearing two different headpieces, both of which are strong pieces in their own way. One is a beret which I feel gives the look a bit of a stylish edge, and adds an unexpected element to my ensemble, the other is an oversized bow headband which has a more playful feminine feel. Both are a great example of experimenting with headpieces—when you’re wearing black you have to ensure that your headwear is a knockout so the look doesn’t present flat.
Muted shades that are guaranteed to work—they’re classic, strong and have presence but it’s important to elevate them with the right finishes and accoutrements. By adding these touches, you are able to turn them into something that’s striking and different, whilst maintaining their general classic feel.
In keeping with post this week on wearing the same colour from head to toe, I worked with a similar concept for my look at The Everest 2017. However instead of playing with graduating tones I opted to work with the same ice blue when it came to my dress and headpiece. Dion Lee can always be relied upon for a dress that’s thoroughly modern yet remains classically understated. I couldn’t go past this dress with its pleated skirt and asymmetric bodice as it married both those design elements beautifully, whilst the colour made it look fresh and contemporary. A Nerida Winter piece is often my go-to when it comes to headwear at the races and for this particular look I opted for a floral garland in the same colour of the dress for cohesion, but chose a whimsical style to offset the angular lines of the dress. I needed a bold colour to accessorise this particular look and thought my Bulgari shoulder bag was the ideal complementary piece.
Credits: Dress, Dion Lee; Headpiece, Nerida Winter, Bag, Bulgari
Derby Day is all about monochrome and last year having worn all white I decided to go for something completely different and opt for an all black look from head to toe.
I wanted to wear something that was sophisticated and sleek and the Balmain dress I wore perfectly fit the bill, with its high neck silhouette and intricate metal detailing. The midi length is a favourite of mine at the moment so the cut of the dress really caught my eye. One of my favourite Alaia heels perfectly complemented the look and headband by Hatmaker was just the piece to give the look a touch of drama.
Haven’t sorted our your Cup outfit yet? Check out my other favourite looks for Spring Racing here
As far as fashion goes, you can always count on the ladies who attend Melbourne Cup to up the style stakes. Here are some of my fave looks from the day… starting with Alexandra Agoston and Bambi Northwood-Blyth who were both a picture of quirky cool.
Nikki Phillips in bold and bright colours stood out from the fashion pack.
Rebecca Judd always looks picture perfect.
Rachael Finch looked amazing in this fire engine red dress and matching veiled head piece.
Another big day in the spring racing calendar is Oaks Day. As it’s ladies day I went with a softer, more feminine approach to my outfit. Here’s what I got up to this morning as I was getting ready for today’s event.
A peek at the shoe options for today. A girl can never have too many shoes, right?
A beauty addict’s dream come true! A little mother daughter time today. Love getting ready with mum.
Adore the beautiful floral print on this dress. What do you think?
Make up all done and almost ready to go… See you there!
You may have seen Nerida Winter’s gorgeous creations on a recent episode of Fashion Bloggers and been in awe of how amazing they are. I can attest to the fact that she is one very talented lady! Nerida’s creations have been seen on everyone from Princess Mary to Jesinta Campbell and her work has featured in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle. Here I talk to Australia’s milliner extraordinaire…
Getting started in millinery…
“I studied fashion at college and fell in love with millinery straight away. I loved that you could make something really different every day.”
My first client was Barbie…
“The first hat I made was a miniature one for my Barbie as a little girl. I would always enlist the pros (my mum and grandmother) to make her look as I saw fit! Many years later I had the pleasure of making some more miniature ones for Barbie in Grazia magazine. I absolutely loved this so much – I felt like I was 5 all over again.”
My design process…
“Some hats take around 5-8 hours and some take weeks and weeks; it depends on the complexity of design and construction. It all starts with a thought and endless possibilities then the hard labour comes in.
We start with a malleable fibre and manipulate it into a shape with industrial strength steam. From there it gets treated to keep its shape and waits to dry. After that is when the fun begins – trimming can be elegant, pretty, edgy and fun and very time consuming. If we are making to order for a client, it involves fittings to achieve what the wearer has imagined.”
My inspiration comes from…
“My head is a giant melting pot of music, art, fashion and history so whatever I am loving at the time will come out in the form of headwear.”
I’d love to create a hat for…
“I would have loved to play with Anna Piaggi – her spirit and love of fashion was so inspiring, so when I think of the ultimate, it would have been her.”
My rules for race day headwear…
“Putting on a hat should make you feel fabulous. There’s a fine line between fashion and race etiquette, so finding the balance is all up to you but being respectful is a must.”
My rules for dressing for the races…
“Making daywear glamorous is a good place to start – so no miniskirts and crop tops and the all important rule: keep your shoes on no matter how much they hurt.”
How I feel when I see my ideas become a reality…
“I still get such a great buzz from seeing my pieces come alive. As they are all new creations each time, the joy is always the same. I am very fortunate to have so many incredible people to work with so I never take that for granted.”
Melbourne Cup – it’s the biggest event of the racing calendar and undoubtedly so much fun to get dressed up for. Here’s a sneak peek of what I got up to this morning as I got ready to head to the races. Looking forward to a great day. And good luck with all your race picks – hopefully you’ve picked a winner!
Sophia hanging out with mum and joining in the fun. You can never start too early, right?
Today’s nail polish of choice – Sally Hansen peach of cake
And we’re off! Luke and I on our way…
Loving this cat eye look… What do you think? Would love to hear about your Melbourne Cup looks. What are you wearing today?