Racing season seems to zoom past in a flash of fascinators and fashion, which means you should start planning your outfits now.
Here are my tips for getting your race game on fast, and without too much financial stress.
1. Don’t Ditch Decorum
A day at the races is not without its style guidelines, so always ensure that dress lengths are at least to the knee, and nothing is too tight or revealing. If you’re unsure of what is and isn’t okay, jump online as the venue may have its dress code on its website. If in doubt keep it simple.
Shop: Atmos&Here Delaney Pencil Dress, $59.95
Shop: Review Majestic Dress, $299.99
2. Grab a Half-Price Headpiece
Headpieces are not a deal breaker at the races, but they do take your outfit that extra mile. If you’re on a budget, go with a piece of fabulous tulle cut into a full band and bow it around your up-do. This look will be big this season, and it will cost you pennies. Alternatively, you can grab simple headpieces at your major department stores that won't cost an arm and a leg.
Shop: Dotti Queen Bee Lace Headband, $29.95
Shop: Target Tootsie Two Tone Plate Fascinator, $20
3. Check The Race Guide
Each Spring Racing Carnival day has a different theme, for example, Derby Day is all about black and white, while Cup Day celebrates colour. Oaks Day is known as a high-fashion event, and Stakes Day is one for the family, so feel free to be a bit more laid back.
Shop for Derby Day: Review Memphis Dress, $299.99
Shop for Cup Day: ShowPo Keep Dreaming Dress in White Floral, $69.95
4. Revive Race Day Attire
Don’t be afraid to reinvent a race outfit from years gone by. With the right accessories and an element of change, you’d never know it wasn’t new. If your dress is basic, then switch it up with a statement shoe or on-trend hair piece. This can be a truly cost-effective way to update what you already own.
Shop: Billini Reezy Black, $89.95
Shop: Showpo Abby Rose Hair Piece in Gold, $19.95
5. Take a Fashion Tip From the Fellas
The biggest trend in elegant dressing this spring is the man-style pants. Loose and languid, they can be just as sophisticated as a sleek dress. So, if comfort is key for you this spring racing, pop on some palazzo wide leg pants, heels and a fabulous hat for a change! The best bit is you can wear them again and again to work or with trainers and a tank top on the weekend!
Shop: Dissh Come Along Wide Leg Pant, $65
Shop: Friend of Audrey Side Split Palazzo Pants, The Iconic, $99.95
6. Rent for The Races
Alex Osmond, founder of Her Wardrobe explains that dress rental can reduce your spend by over 50 per cent on an event dress you may otherwise never wear again. "You can hire dresses and millinery for a fraction of the price," she explains. "So an outfit that may have otherwise cost over $1,000 you can get for under $300, which includes delivery and dry cleaning."
Shop: Something Borrowed (Pictured: Nicholas Bonded Dress)
7. Plan the One Perfect Outfit for Everything
Do you have a spring calendar heavy with weddings, engagements, parties and a bevy of other events? Be clever about your purchase and invest in one strong silhouette that can work for all occasions. The perfect all-weather apparel is the jumpsuit, which has been big news on the international catwalks and is super easy to dress up or down depending on your choice of accessories. Heels, wedges or a glittery flat all work and to make it race ready, just add a wide-brim hat and gloves.
Shop: Dotti Disco Fever Long Playsuit, $79.95
Shop: Atmos&Here Ruffle Front Culotte Jumpsuit, The Iconic, $99.95