Let’s face it, the best part about spring racing season is having another excuse to dress up and enjoy the sunshine with friends!
Gorman Harlequin Cotton Dress $199.00 | Gorman Bonita Sunglasses $169.00 | Alannah Hill Sweet Nothings Bow $29.00 | Olga Berg London Patent Hex Pod $89.95 and Samantha Wills Spanish Moss Grand Cuff $199.00 both from Accessorise Now | Shoes bloggers own
Seed Lace Printed Cami $149.95 | Seed Saffron Wide Pant $119.95 | Seed Throne Headband $29.95 | Seed Aries Tassel Clutch $59.95 | Seed Sunglasses | Samantha Wills Ring from Accessorise Now | Shoes bloggers own
Photos: Ryan Ammon
It is that time of the year again – Spring racing season! Best to iron those frocks and dust off your headwear… or just use it as an excuse to go shopping for a new, fun, race day outfit! Together with Claremont Quarter, I have put together some of my favourite colourful race wear picks, and a few tips to help you get yourself race day ready…
The first thing I think of when I think ‘spring racing’ is florals and lace. Naturally, they are then what I choose to steer far clear of.
There will be plenty of floral and lace outfits on show, so why not go for something a bit different? Fun, colourful prints just scream ‘spring’, without being as literal as a floral tea dress, or a white off-shoulder dress. If a bold print is considered quite a big step for you, paring your print back with neutral or basic accessories can help to soften the impact. Still a bit too risky? Throwing in a block colour with your neutrals – like a rich mustard, red, bright blue or even pink – or adding a print in to an outfit in a smaller quantity, still brightens up and adds a spring-time feel to your look, without it being overly busy.
If predictability is not your thing, shake ‘race wear’ up even more by ditching the dress and embracing pants, shorts or jumpsuits for race day. Far from what could be considered as traditional race wear, separates are a fantastic way to modernise a race day look. Silk culottes, lace shorts, matching twin sets and silk camisoles are great pieces to play around with when dressing up for the races. If you are on a bit of a budget, purchasing one new separate to go with something you already own, can be a lot more dollar friendly.
Flats, wedges, heels, stilettos… what does one choose to wear to a race day event?! Honestly, the choice is all yours!
A lot of women prefer to wear wedges or medium height block heels to garden events, but if you can’t go past a pair of stilettos, grab yourself a pair of heel savers (plastic stiletto attachments with a wider surface area on the bottom) to stop yourself from sinking in and aerating the grass! If you are known to not last very long in your heels, give yourself the best shot at lasting the full event by prepping yourself with some gel footpads from Tony Bianco or Wittner. They have a great range of waterproofing and suede protectors too – just in case there are any spillages or (God forbid) a little rain.
If you are the type of person to pack the kitchen sink into your hand bag, then perhaps a clutch is not for you. However, adding a pretty clutch instantly dresses up any outfit, so if you can, leave all of the unnecessary bits and bobs at home. In the event you do decide to wear something a little less traditional (i.e. silk culottes), a clutch pulls the look together to make it 100% race ready. Not good with remembering where you popped your clutch down? Opt for a small side bag with a chain or thin leather strap – there is no misplacing something hanging off your shoulder!
Don’t forget to make sure you can fit your sunglasses in your bag (or at the very least, make sure you can comfortably hang them from the front of your dress/top) because any outdoor event sans sunglasses is not fun on the eyes!
Spring racing and headwear go hand in hand. Forgoing a hair accessory at a spring racing event is akin to being that one kid who forgot to bring their bathers to the pool party…
The idea of wearing a traditional fascinator isn’t quite everybody’s cup of tea, and nor is it mine. I am no stranger to wearing oversized things on my head (hello head scarves!), but the idea of a hugely feminine fascinator comb with netting and feathers scares me as much as a lace tea dress. Luckily for us punters, nobody has made traditional fascinators a hard and fast racing rule, and there are plenty of other head wear options to choose from. You don’t even have to spend up big with a milliner for a statement bespoke piece either (as lovely as it would be to have something incredibly unique!)…
Most high street stores have a great range of head wear coming into stock at this time of the year, and you can have a bit of fun styling them in interesting ways. Gorman have a really fun range of printed fabric headbands and foil polka dot hats to liven up a more simple dress; and stores like Seed, French Connection and Mimco carry a fantastic, understated, range of headbands, silk scarves and wide brim hats. If you are going to be really smart about your choice of head wear, a hat ticks both the race wear and sun smart boxes. For those who are more keen on the traditional style fascinators (and some super sweet hair bows), Alannah Hill and Myer have you covered.
Whatever piece you choose to adorn yourself with, make sure it is purposeful and adds to the overall look of your outfit – throwing something on as an afterthought never really looks as good as something with purpose.
So there you have it – my fun and colourful take on spring race wear!
While my colourful, bold choices might not necessarily be for everyone, there are lots of different ways you can incorporate some colour and/or print into your race day outfits. You can start out small with accessories, headpieces or even just a less scary colour, or go all out with a head to toe colourful print. Either way, a little bit of colour and fun for spring racing doesn’t go astray.