So you are off to the races!  What does that all mean with regards to what to wear?

Well, going to the races in Melbourne at Spring time wasn’t always about fashion.

Fashions on the Field were initiated in 1962 with the objective to attract more women to the races. The idea was to find the smartest dressed women at the carnival within economic restraints. Women who entered were enticed with a prize pool of goods and cash to the value of 7000 pounds, which back then was a lot of money.

Outfits were divided into those costing 30 pounds and under, 50 pounds and over and then there was a category for the most elegant hat.

The whole magic of the occasion soon took hold and this year Myer celebrates 50 years of Fashions on the Field. It is the largest and most prestigious outdoor fashion event, mostly now for fashion houses to display their latest designs, and for men and women to express their passion for flair and fashion.

Having dressed many women to attend the carnival, either as a member, or guest, the question is always how to dress for the occasion. There are traditions that need to be followed, for example, Derby day is strictly black and white, and Cup day is anything goes with style and colour,  and Oaks day is ladies day, more colourful and playful for the ladies.

How you dress needs careful attention, remaining elegant and comfortable all day so that you still look classy at the end is an objective every woman should strive for, there’s nothing more ugly than a disheveled woman carrying her shoes and fascinator out through the gate after the last race. So, here’s a few tips to keep you looking on the right side of racing fashion elegance:

Dress for your shape and colourings

Your outfit isn’t about how expensive it is or what label it has on it. What’s important is that it fits you well, compliments your body shape and personal colourings, and meets with the type of occasion/area you are attending. This means no skimpy cocktail dresses, racewear is distinctly stylish and not the same as what you might wear to a nightclub.

Accessorize-What you need also in your handbag!

Accessorize well, choose comfortable shoes that will carry you over uneven surfaces with ease, employ a good size bag that will carry everything you need, including spare pair of hosiery, lipstick, powder, bandaids, small hairspray, coin purse, alcohol wipes for stain spotting, and panadol. You might even need a stylish umbrella, and gloves, and don’t forget that Melbourne can bring on 4 seasons in a day, so be prepared for weather extremes.

Hat choice

Choose your hat to compliment your face shape and also body shape. Not everyone can wear hats with height or width, and how much colour and detail depends on what is going on with your outfit too. Make sure that it will sit well, and wont move throughout the day.

Demonstrate your style personality

Dare to be different. Spring Racing is the time to have fun, and there is so much colour and style to choose from this year. Try colour blocking, some lace trim, a bit of vintage, bold patterns, if it meets with your personality outside of the norm, then as long as it suits you, run with it.

Grooming is everything

Consider grooming a must. Nails, feet, hair groomed to fit with the style of hat you are wearing, makeup, and if you are considering a spray tan, then make sure it is not going to send your skin a lovely shade of orange.

Mind your reputation.

Eat and drink to keep your energy levels up and I don’t mean continuous glasses of bubbles. Water, and lots of it will keep you ‘nice’ for the whole day and in check of your reputation and glamorous self.

If you need some personal tips for your Spring Racing outfit, contact me at julie@juliehyneimagstylist.com.au

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  • No fashion fuss here! No spring racing hoo ha either. Gee I’m sounding really boring aren’t i


  • A really interesting article! Thank for this read!


  • Bring on Spring and the race season


  • I love seeing the ‘fashion on the field’ on telly and the net, although never get there myself. Wow, 7000 pounds for looking good is a lot of money now too!


  • I love your comment at the end about drinking bubbles!


  • Wow! So much to take in its making my head spin!


  • Some may make a fuss about it all, personally love all the glam and fashion during this time :)


  • I love to watch the paraphernalia(sp) I do so love hats, but some of the get ups do make you laugh……..


  • Great read thanks for sharing


  • Comfortable clothes that you like wearing, that suit you, and are more “mix & match” will get a lot more wear than something expensive that you don’t feel comfy in, that can only be worn at certain events. If you’ve got money to burn, then buy what you like, regardless of how much wear you’ll get out of it. But how many of us have money to burn?


  • A colleague was telling me she has a group of friends and they go to lots of racing events and swap outfits and accessories to save money. Makes sense to me.


  • Sorry I just dont get it (the point of the fuss), even after reading this


  • never liked to take part in this


  • exactly… fuss . :P not a fan


  • Interesting read -thanks for sharing


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