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The Daily Edit: A lesson in Autumn Racing

This Saturday will mark the last day of the Annual Autumn Racing carnival. So in honor of this prestigious event I thought it only fitting to dedicate an entire post to Autumn Racing Fashion.

This year I attended the Championships Day two at Randwick Racecourse. This was my first foray into Racing territory so I wanted to make sure I dressed for the ocassion, ensuring I abided by all the Autumn racing fashion rules. I was completley shocked when I arrived to see a sea of young women drunk, stumbling and dressed to go nightclubbing. Did I take a wrong turn and end up in Kings Cross on a saturday night? fortunately not but it definitley felt like it. In comparison to the majority of young women around me I was possibly the most conservatively dressed and definitley the most covered up.

Even though I may have stood out like a sore thumb it was definitely for all the right reasons. I Loved my races outfit. It was classy, sexy and stylish. I abided by all the Autumn racing fashion rules such as longher hemlines, woolen fabrics and no straw hats and managed to pull it all together rather perfectly I thought. However it isnt always as easy as it looks and a lot of work goes in to finding the perfect Race day get up.

Dressing for the races can be an extremely daunting task, especially if it is your first time, so to make the process a little easier I have recruited the help of a lovely friend and colleague of mine who is a racing ensemble expert. The gorgeous Emma Freedman, Racewear Ambassador for David Jones spills some of her secrets and tips for dressing for the Races.

What trends have been popular this Autumn Racing season? Neutrals, greys and black and white seem to be the standout shades. They suit everyone and are very versatile in terms of wearability. Tailored suits or frocks, and minimalist looks are popular too. It’s all very clean, chic and sophisticated. If people are looking for colour though – there are also some wonderful graphic prints about that I have been loving this season, and they have been popular to add bright accents to outfits.

There are noticeably different dress codes for each different Race day. Which day do you find is the most fun to dress for? I have always been a high fan of Derby Day for fashion – both in Melbourne and Sydney. The traditional code is black and white which I love. It’s actually quite a versatile colour scheme because you can play with many a different style – sharp suiting, lace and texture, separates. In regards to millinery I think it is also a day which allows you really to express your personality and love of race wear. It’s sophisticated, clean but a very versatile palette.

Do you have a go to designer for Racewear and millinery? Naturally, I have the world of David Jones to explore for all my race wear needs. Favourite designers though – Camilla and Marc, Carla Zampatti, Ginger and Smart, Dion Lee, Scanlan and Theodore, Lover. International brands I have worn to raceways include Erdem, Victoria Beckham, Joseph. Suzy O’Rourke is my favourite milliner of the moment.

What should we look for when on the hunt for the perfect hat or fascinator?Let’s call them headpieces! I think the industry has definitely moved away from the term fascinator which was oddly coined in the nineties! Choose something that suits your face, height and personality. You need to feel comfortable wearing the piece, but it also needs to compliment your outfit. I don’t like to be too ‘matchy matchy’ with millinery, but instead complimentary and tonal. It’s also something you are likely to wear again, so again versatility is key.

Are there any specific rules that apply to Autumn racing attire?The only real rule is about the texture of millinery – traditionally felt is most appropriate for hats through the cooler months, but nowadays there are so many pieces being created with other textures including leather which is very Autumn appropriate. Main message there is avoid straw and lighter weight fabrics. With dressing for the track take into account the weather – it is cooler so maybe incorporate a jacket, blazer, trench into your outfit. Sleeves of your dress should be longer than capped sleeve length for Autumn too.

What should women steer clear of when shopping for their race day outfits? Anything too short or revealing, anything too shiny or glitzy. It’s about ladylike sophisticated glamour. You can of course have fun with fashion but keep it classy in terms of cut, style and textures.

If you could offer one piece of advice to someone attending their first races what would it be? If you feel good, you look good so ensure you feel fantastic leaving the house the morning of! It can be daunting wearing a hat if you don’t do it often, but embrace it! And make sure you go and take a look at the horses parading prior to a race. It’s all about the sport and the amazing animal that is the thoroughbred after all.

So there it is, Autumn racing Fashion tips straight from the horses mouth…see what I did there!!











Vest: Morrison
Belt: Vintage
Skirt: Casey Tanswell
Headpiece: Viktoria Novak
Bag: Mimco
Shoes: Windsor Smith
Photography: Tim Frawley www.takenbytim.com.au
KW x

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