I adore spying ladies out on the lawns who dress creatively within the traditional rules of race-wear. This means if you have a strapless or spaghetti strapped dress you should remember to throw a great jacket or pretty bolero over your shoulders. If your hemline is creeping above the knee seriously consider stockings. And if you haven’t scored a coveted invitation into a marquee stick to wedges, chunky heels or almost flats, lest your spiky stilettos come unstuck in the turf.
Still even within these guidelines there is a lot of room to play and much consternation over the question of “what to wear to the races?” I’ve selected an A-Z (almost) list of my favourite dresses to wear the the Spring Racing Carnival from Melbourne labels and designers. There is a style below for you, whether you like to dress traditionally, bend the rules or want to be on trend in lace, tribal or nautical looks, like to be comfortable, casual or glammed-up. Don’t forget your hat!
Amber & Thomas, Bettina Liano & Country Road
Dress Up, Ebony Eve & Friend of Mine
Gorman, Krista Hochwallner & Indiana By Freda
Jolet, Kookai & Lady Petrova
Mahalia, nicolangela & Obus
Preap & Coutts, Eva Q & Rebecca Thompson
State of Georgia, Tali Roth & Pamela Usanto
Very Very, Willow & AleXi Freeman
Yeojin Bae & Z
Now, armed with the inspiration from this handy dandy guide, I’m off to find a typically last-minute outfit and something smashing to wear on my head for the races! I’ll be judging a few heats and the grand final of the Fashion Stakes at Caulfield this Saturday (and generally swanning around in the Pegasus marquee; yeah, I despise my job sometimes too) as well as covering fashions on the field at Oaks Day and I’d love to see plenty of StyleMelbourne readers in the running!
*Pssst… Eva Q has a Spring Racing promotion on at the moment. With every dress purchase you will receive a perfectly lovely rose headpiece absolutely free.*