According to The Olsen Hotel the key to a preparative race-day breakfast is French pastries, fruit and sparkling wine. In a penthouse setting. I’m not inclined to disagree (perhaps jockeys should steer clear). This weekend’s Caulfield Cup preview day saw us set out from the boutique hotel to the track – me newly adorned in a gold Jack & Jill Millinery feather headpiece for the day – for a teaser of what the carnival may bring in 2013. It seems as if the competition for the Fashion Stakes is getting stronger each season; I don’t envy the judges their tricky task.
Here’s a few hints I’ve gathered over the years on surviving the races in style, whether you’re brave enough to step onto the fashion stage or just want to luxuriate in a fuss free day on the green;
– You should wear your hat or head-piece tilted to the right.
– Hire two strapping young gents to carry you to your chosen mode of transport at the end of the day. Anything to keep your shoes on.
– If you are a strapping young gent, don’t wear the same suit to the racecourse as you wear to the office. A tux is way too much also.
– Alternate champagne with water. Or at least have good intentions to do so (note to self). Thank me later.
– Give yourself plenty of time to find an outfit. Devote at least a full day of searching at least one week beforehand, if not two. You really won’t find anything decent the night before.
– Think fashion first. Then ask yourself “is it race-wear appropriate?” You want shoulder straps at least an inch thick, a hemline to the knee and in a fabric suitable for daytime. Can you sit on the lawn in it? Will it flash your knickers to all and sundry with the slightest hint of a breeze?
– Get in early and nab a good spot.
– Do wear a hat (this applies to gents too). I subscribe to the theory that everyone looks better in sunglasses. And everyone look more finished in a hat.
– Avoid stiletto heels if you can bear it.
– An up-do will survive the day far better than leaving hair down.
– Don’t buy an entirely new outfit. Can you mix something already existing in your wardrobe with something thrifted or DIY? This also helps to add your personality into you look.
– Do buy a charity pin early. Not only will it stop you being asked a thousand times; it’s a really nice thing to do.
– Promise to put away your smartphone and take in the scenery (smell the literal roses you might say). You might overhear a good tip.
– Trust the weather report. And take necessary precautions.
– Do watch/have a bet on the main race of the day at the very least.
– Don’t take it all too seriously. Last year I wore a giant origami crane on my head and had a ball.