It’s Oaks Day tomorrow, the second-last major event of the Channel 7 Brisbane Racing Carnival.
Oaks Day is one of my favourites to watch the fashion turn-out as the dress code is very ladylike and inspires the epitome of racing fashion – elegant, colourful and detailed.
I have worked with Brisbane Racing Club a lot over the years and styled more racewear shoots, parades and ambassadors than I can count. I love doing it and creating beautiful, head-to-toe looks.
I’ve picked up a trick or two along the way and can share these tips for a winning racewear look.
- Consider the head-to-toe. Your outfit can be inspired by the dress, your headpiece, even the style of accessories you’d like to wear, but remember to consider how everything will work together – it’s the most put-together looks that are always the best.
- Keep tradition in mind, but remember we’re in Queensland. It’s finally gotten cooler, which is great news for winter fashion, but you might still find wearing stockings and a jacket all day outdoors tomorrow to be too warm. Don’t be afraid to buck tradition a little and dress to the climate.
- Think of your look as an outfit you’ll wear to the races but wear again, not that it’s just a racewear outfit. This sounds basic but too often I’ll take clients shopping and they’re single-minded about finding something for a specific occasion. It’s much wiser to find something you love and tweak it to work for the occasion, keeping in mind you can change the accessories later and wear it for another event.
- Don’t necessarily go matchy-matchy. Anyone who knows me knows I love a print clash and can get a bit wild with the combinations, but you can find a nice middle ground between thinking you must wear the tan shoes with tan bag and looking like a fruit salad. Think of your look as having an over-all theme, such as neutral and berry tones, and be open to pairing the red bag with the tan shoe, but perhaps bringing in the red again in your headpiece or a print.
- Embrace the opportunity to dress up. If you are questioning whether you’re a little overdressed, the hat is a little too big, or you’re a bit ‘extra’ in some kind of way, trust me you won’t feel like it when you get out and amongst it at the track. There’s no other opportunity quite like a race day to get dressed up and have a beautiful day so pull out all the stops.
Main image: Cue
Words: Laura Churchill.
Laura Churchill is a Brisbane stylist and fashion event director. Her work is regularly seen across Toowong Village through our personal styling program, social media and events.