Much loved Queensland trainer Desleigh Forster...
The Melbourne Cup is a spectacle of colour, design and unique fashion with women’s race wear becoming as important as the race itself. Combining the classic looks of the 1950s and 60s with today’s modern designs is what makes this race wear so unique and highly regarded in the fashion industry. This season, women’s race wear is all about fresh, vibrant dresses mixed with unique and playful fascinators.
The demure look of the 1950s is an excellent base for women who are unsure where to start. This classic style with well-cut dresses just below the knee is the basis for many of today’s leading dresses available in store. Although many women tend to believe that less is more, the Melbourne Cup is the one event where covering up is preferred. Remember that you are dressing for the daytime, so anything that looks like it could be worn to a nightclub should be left at home. Low cut tops and short dresses are frowned upon.
Getting the Classic Look Right
For those worried that their race wear will be too outdated if they stick to a classic look, add modern touches to your outfit. More and more shops are recognising the increasing demand for unique and classy race wear, so finding something which fits the events should not be a problem. However, remember to wear something that suites you, not just something that is in fashion. Emma Freedman, daughter of renowned trainer Lee Freedman, is one of the best dressed women on the racecourse and this is because she sticks to designs which suit her age and her body. As a young woman, Emma looks fantastic is soft pastels with flowing chiffon dresses.
Picking for your size is the first step in putting together your outfit. Voluminous dresses tend to suit taller slim figures whereas classic black and white dresses are excellent for women with a fuller figure. Bored of the black and white look? Why not try a cream and navy dress instead! Black dresses are a fantastic option for women on a budget. They can be worn again and you can make them look fabulous by accessorising with bright shoes, bags and headpieces.
Don’t be scared to combine colours. Many people tend to stick with one other colour when wearing black but why not combine yellow shoes and fascinator with a nice bright green or orange bag? Another trend which will be huge this spring season will be reds and pinks. Combining the two colours is a risky but often very rewarding decision if you find the perfect hues. Finding cool combinations is easy if you think outside the square. Don’t purchase your entire Spring Carnival outfit from one store. Purchase a couture dress and mix it with opshop and chain-store finds which add colour and uniqueness to your outfit.
Dressing For Spring Racing
Dressing for the season is also an important aspect of women’s race wear. Winter and autumn races call for more dark and neutral tones with stockings and closed toe shoes. Spring and summer on the other hand allow bright tones and prints with heels and detailed sandals as footwear. But remember not to wear stilettos as they can sink into the grass so opt for thicker heels instead. Floral dresses are always a safe and beautiful option for spring. Prints with peonies, roses, hydrangeas and bouquets of colours look fantastic against the track lawn and will make your dress standout.
The one thing missing from this list is headwear! Whether you want a hat or a fascinator your outfit is incomplete without some sort of fancy headwear design. Straw hats are extremely popular in summer and spring and provide more coverage from the intense sun. If you are opting for a fascinator, try to combine the colours or theme of the headpiece with your dress. This gives the entire outfit more impact. For more information on headwear visit our Melbourne Cup hats and Melbourne Cup fascinators pages.
Whatever you decide to wear, make sure you prepare well in advance, play with colours and textures and try to add your own spin on things for a unique touch!
For more fashion advice for the Spring Racing Carnival, head to The Cut & Paste which is run by Lauren Brain.