If you're not a Spring Racing regular, dressing for each meet can be a little daunting. Actually, maybe it's the thought of taking yourself seriously while wearing a fascinator? The champagne helps. While it’s fun to stay up late double tapping racing outfits worn by our favourite celebrities and fashion bloggers, sometimes even their looks are a little too, well, races ready. And then there’s the dress codes . . .
The long-held traditions can be a minefield if you're keen to maintain your personal style — you know, the races version of you vs. Gai Waterhouse's long lost daughter. So, as we head into Melbourne Cup Week, we partnered with SHEIKE and enlisted the help of our talented fashion editor, Kate, to shoot realistic racing looks on real women. Our editors!
So, whether you're more of a risk taker, refined dresser, or prefer the classic feminine look, keep reading for Kate's advice on working your personality into your Spring Racing outfit, no matter which event you're attending.
Style ID: The Risk-Taker
"I would say my sense of style is pretty bold. I like to play with shapes, I love black, but I’m not afraid of suiting or bright colour — anything that doesn’t wash me out." — Carina Rossi, senior beauty, health and fitness editor
Kate's advice: If you like to take risks with when it comes to clothes and accessories, Spring Racing Carnival was basically invented for you. Take the opportunity to experiment even further — maybe there's an unusual accessory you've had your eye on, an unexpected colour combination or a bold silhouette (think over-sized ruffles!) you've wanted to try? A day trackside is the perfect place to play with your style.
Style ID: The Refined Dresser
"I feel most like myself when I stick to timeless basics, classic cuts and tailoring, and simple silhouettes. I like to keep things pared back, refined and (hopefully) chic with a touch of interest to keep things feeling relevant and modern. My style is pretty boyish, but I personally find a ribbed white tee, or a silk slip dress way more sexy than showing lots of skin." — Phoebe Youl, beauty and wellness writer
Kate's advice: If your aesthetic is more minimal and pared back, the race day dress codes probably freak you out. You may have even found yourself wearing a headpiece or dress in the past that is the opposite of everything in your wardrobe. This time, I challenge you to think outside the box. If fascinators make you uncomfortable, a bold pair of sunglasses, a ribbon, layered necklaces or even a bold lip are all suitable substitutes. And just because most people wear dresses, it doesn’t mean you have to. A tailored suit would make for an unforgettable look.
Style ID: The Classic, Feminine Dresser
"Classic, feminine pieces are the building blocks of my wardrobe with the occasional statement piece and splash of colour thrown in for good measure. While I'm drawn to pretty features and softer silhouettes, I still like to keep my look minimal and sophisticated." — Ashling Lee, news, entertainment and lifestyle writer
Kate's advice: When it comes to Ladies Day, you probably know what to do, but bolder, statement looks tend to be the popular choice for Melbourne Cup and Derby Day. Stay true to your feminine aesthetic by choosing fascinators and accessories in softer colours, and instead of wearing a super-structured dress that isn't very you, add your own signature punch by mixing floral prints or going tonal from top-to-toe — both options are equally as powerful.