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When it comes to racewear gone are the days of erring on the side of super conservative as opposed to looking fashion forward. These days you can easily get away with following the trends on the runway and applying a few race day rules to your look to keep it both occasion-appropriate and modern.
When it comes to being trackside, whether it’s Melbourne Cup or Derby Day I always tell people to think of racewear as being similar to an outfit you’d wear to a wedding or a really nice lunch with your family. It can be dressy but also keep in mind it’s a daytime event. This means nothing too short or with a plunging neckline, nothing too flashy like sequins or showing lots of skin. You can still go for a showstopper of a look but just remember to keep it tasteful.
Upping the cool factor on your look is easy, it’s just about knowing the right finishing touches to apply so you stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons.
There are so many great options to choose from when it comes to headwear. Gone are the days where everything had to be matchy-matchy and your hat had to perfectly coordinate with your outfit.
If you don’t go to the races very often there are so many great pieces that can easily work for a party or a wedding so you can wear it afterwards and don’t end up spending a lot of money on just one amazing hat that you’ll rarely wear. Headbands are one easy and simple way to accessorise without going too over the top, and fascinators have always been a failsafe option. And if you do go down the hat route just remember when it comes to fabrication straw is for spring/summer and felt is for autumn/winter.
Prints, patterns, metallics and even a quirky cat face are all fair game when it comes to your arm candy for the day. When it comes to your clutch don’t be afraid to have a little fun and be slightly more daring with your look. If you’d rather keep your hands free to carry a glass of champagne or nibble on a canapé, just find a bag with a strap instead.
I love wearing colour to the races as it’s so perfect for spring carnival. You can never go wrong with a bright hue or colourful florals, and it’s particularly appropriate for Oaks Day which has a more feminine dress code. Even with a more traditional print such as florals, you can always give it a more modern edge by going for an of the moment silhouette such as an off the shoulder look. Keep in mind too that when accessorising, headbands made from metal and jewels work particularly well with bright colours.
Sleek and chic
Wearing monochrome is a requirement on Derby Day but black and white is a failsafe option when it comes to achieving a contemporary look on any other day of the racing calendar. You could even go for an all black or all white look to give your look an eye-catching point of difference. This year I am loving dresses with a midi hemline and that particular length works well on a little black dress.
Jumpsuits and Suits
Last year I wore white Stella McCartney pants and a matching top to Derby Day so do think outside the box when it comes to your outfit. I particularly love jumpsuits which can look both on trend and classic and are a point of difference to the sea of dresses that will inevitably be there on race day. Even a beautiful tuxedo suit would make a great alternative.
Vibrant colours, a heel with an interesting finish or strap detail are all great options for footwear. Just keep in mind that comfort is key as it’s a really long day and you’ll be on your feet most of the time. If you think that you may face a long trek to the car or to catch public transport be sure to pop a pair of flats into your clutch to change into later. Taking off your shoes is a big no-no.
Consider your entire look before adding jewellery. If you wear jewellery to the races you have to keep your headwear really simple. For example if you were wearing a sleek black hat, accessorising with jewellery can work really well but if you have a bejewelled headband I would keep accessories to a minimum. Statement earrings are having a moment and are a great way to dress up an outfit, alternatively a beautiful cuff or choker is also one way to inject the cool factor into your look.
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