It’s that time of year again ladies, when we frock up, wear an OTT hat, and match our manis to our clutch bags. Yup, it’s spring racing season. And let’s face it, most of us care more about the fashions on the field than the antics on the track. To make sure you back a winner in the style stakes, here’s what’s hot in fashion and beauty this racing season.
Here are the key trends to look out for if you want to be the best dressed filly in town.
Lace: Lace is just about the most feminine, flattering fabric around, and it’s a key look for spring racing, in both dresses and headwear. Choose from white, cream and shades of blush, or go bright. Black lace is always a good look, but save it for Derby Day.
Off-the-shoulder: Dare to bare in an of-the-minute off-the-shoulder dress. But remember this is not the beach – think more chic and tailored than ruffled and peasant-style. One shouldered styles are also on point. Better get exfoliating!
Sheer: Think peekaboo inserts, panels and overlays. Whatever you do, keep it classy with mere flashes of flesh, and make sure you pop on a slip underneath! And one that falls several inches below your bottom, please.
Headpieces/ crowns: Headbands, hair jewellery and crown styles are a chic alternative to hats and boring fascinators. Favourite of the fash pack, Victoria Novak is our go-to for gorgeous gilded headwear and super cute veiled headbands with animal ears.
White: We are predicting a white out this Melbourne Cup Carnival. Gorgeous on any skin tone, especially in lace and floaty, romantic fabrics.
70s style: The 70s are having a moment. Rich, opulent fabrics, voluminous sleeves and sweeping hemlines will have you standing out from the crowd. Top it all off with a wide-brimmed Fedora from Lack of Color for extra style cred.
Dress accordingly: “Remember, you are dressing for a race meet, not a nightclub,” advises Perth-based stylist and founder of Fashion Film Festival, Elizabeth Clarke. “Sexy cuts, plunging necklines and thigh-high hemlines should be avoided at all cost. Channel your inner Grace Kelly and you can’t go wrong.”
Frock up: “For sheer elegance and simplicity, always wear a dress to the races,” adds Elizabeth. “Your neckline should not plunge to your navel, and your hemline must not creep above your knees. I adore a simple lace sheath, or a beautifully structured dress with a sharp, modern silhouette. LOVER and Manning Cartell are my go-tos.”
Take a jacket: If you’re heading to Flemington, chances are the weather might not be in your favour. “For perfect race day polish, add a touch of tailoring to your look. For example, a soft whimsical dress takes on a contemporary edge when teamed with a beautifully cut jacket, and gives great silhouette,” says Elizabeth. Plus, it will keep you warm if things turn cool.
Consider a hat: “Fascinators give me hives, so a beautiful hat is my first choice for race day. Something vastly brimmed, or chic and neat like a straw boater is best. I love the selection at Nerida Winter, Sarah J Curtis and Lack of Color.”
Forget about comfort: “A comfortable but elegant shoe is mandatory. Ditch chunky, ugly platform soles and nightclub stilettos for something gloriously dainty. Ensure it is a height you are comfortable in and can wear on the grass without sinking. A wedge or stacked heel is ideal.”
Cart around your oversized tote: “Leave your excess baggage at home; race day demands a small, chic but functional handbag. Pack it with sunglasses (not sporty specs please!), a good pen, race book, small wallet and mints,” Elizabeth advises.
Headwear generally calls for sleek, glossy locks, or gentle waves. A chic option is the classic ponytail or half pony, styled poker-straight for a sophisticated twist. Make sure you consider how your headwear will sit on your ‘do.
Remember to slip, slop, slap! You never know what cover will be available, so sun protection is essential. You’ve already got your hat sorted, just add a lightweight, non-greasy sunscreen, tinted SPF moisturiser or BB cream, or foundation with sun protection. We love the new Cetaphil Suntivity SPF 50+ Tinted Lotion, an oil-free, lighter-than-light, tinted facial moisturiser that will go the distance.
Think about your lips too. Opt for a nourishing lipstick or lip gloss with UV filters, like Red Earth Lip Nectar. Packed with antioxidants, it will keep your lips soft, hydrated and glossy throughout the day.
Don’t overdo it! Daytime calls for a softer look. To keep your face in place all day, pressed powder is your best friend. We love Nude by Nature Pressed Mineral Colour, a pressed mineral foundation that will even out your skin tone and eliminate shine. Opt for products with staying power, like a slick of Anastasia Lash Genius Waterproof Topcoat.
Whatever you do, remember less is more when it comes to faking a golden glow. Pale and interesting is a much better look than oompa loompa orange. Instead, add a little extra glow factor with a good quality bronzer, like the Sleek Bronze Block, or fake a healthy, dewy complexion by drawing the light to your cheekbones, brow and nose with Alluring Minerals Illuminate Powder.
5 RACE DAY HANDBAG ESSENTIALS
Byredo Parfums Roll On Oil Gypsy Water – a gorgeous handbag-friendly perfume oil to refresh your scent on the go.