Fashion – Last minute guide to the races with The Haley Diaries

I’m not one for races fashion, I lack the motivation and organisation to pre-plan an immaculately curated outfit, I’m more of last minute thrown together type of gal and quite bluntly put, lack the precision to put together an outfit for the races.  That’s why I’ve enlisted the help of my beautiful girlfriend and style Instagrammer thehaleydiaries who is possibly the most race savvy fashionista I know.  Enjoy!!
-Happy Schnapper

Dresses and fascinators, horses and champers! To don the best outfit and really feel pampered!

Spring has sprung and with that comes the fun and excitement of the Spring Racing Carnival.  I love the whole environment that surrounds race days, in particularly, the fashion. 

For me, race day is a great opportunity to really embrace the whole tradition of dressing up for the occasion as we don’t really have much opportunity in our everyday lives – particularly when you live in Canberra!  You get to experience what it would have been like back in the day when people used to see this as a MAJOR fashion event – like My Fair Lady style! 

The trend of Spring Racing Fashion first came to fruition in Australia back in 1962, when the Myer Fashions on the Field competition was first introduced to the Melbourne Cup Carnival as a bid to attract more women to the races. 

Today the competition has established its place as Australia’s largest and most prestigious outdoor fashion event and provides an opportunity for the fashion industry to showcase its wares, and for both women and men to indulge in their passion for fashion.

With only a few days to go, the countdown is on to the race that stops the nation and so I have pulled together my best style tips on how to dress for the occasion, both on and off the track.   
Let me start with the fundamentals, these apply both on and off the track and are key to looking the part:


1.  Appropriateness of the outfit for the occasion and the individual – Ladies leave your nightclub outfits at home.  Race Day fashion is all about sophistication, elegance and class.  Dresses should be around knee length (or just above) and exposed skin should be kept to a minimum.  It’s also just as important to dress for your figure as well as your skin tone and complexion. 

2.  Attention to detail with styling – your accessories should complement your outfit and are just as important as the dress itself.  This applies to your shoes, jewellery, clutch, hat / fascinator, right down to your nail polish. 

3. Grooming and deportment – your hair & makeup should be immaculate, and you must wear your outfit with confidence and poise. Wear shoes that you are comfortable walking in.  You don’t want to be adjusting your outfit all day and there’s nothing worse than seeing a girl walk like a baby giraffe, or even worse, barefoot with heels in hand. 

4. Suitability of the outfit for the season and climate – spring means embracing bright tones and patterns.  Although, monochrome is ok too.  Try and ensure that you have a jacket suitable to wear with your outfit as a backup in case the weather is a bit off on the day.

5. Incorporate current fashion trends – this season I’m seeing a lot of pastels, 70’s florals, Japanese style prints, white on white, flares and pant suits. The power of peplum and dresses with origami style necklines and strong angles are also still very much on trend.   Keeping up with current trends doesn’t have to be expensive, e.g. trends can be incorporated through your styling and accessories rather than the dress itself. 

6. Style and originality – whilst you want to be on trend you also don’t want to look the same as everyone else either.  There’s nothing worse than rocking up to a “bitch stole my look” scenario on the day.  Whilst we’d all love to be able to afford a custom designer outfit, this is just not practical for most of us. My tips for avoiding this, when purchasing from mainstream chain stores, include sourcing your accessories from a different store to that which your dress came from and vice versa. 
Altering items to match your personal style / figure (I’m renowned for doing this, however it does require a really good seamstress) and always dressing to your own personality and individual style. 
Investing your money in purchasing a hat or fascinator from a milliner is also a great way to personalise your outfit as these are usually one of a kind pieces that will set you apart from the rest.  Although you don’t have to work with a milliner to nail your look; there are also many affordable options at Myer, David Jones, Forever New or even Target.

I hope you find these tips useful, I have also compiled my top 10 dresses of the season. 


AbstractFloral Off Shoulder Dress by Cue

FanFloral Satin Panel Dress by Cue

DesertRose Skirt by Runaway the label 
MidnightRose Skirt & Bandeau by Runaway the label
ScallopHigh Neck Midi Dress by Self Portrait

LoveStory pant by Tiger Mist
OpenBack Midi Pencil Dress in Overscale Floral Print by True Violet
Cooper St walk the edge strapless dress

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