Spring Racing 2012 Fashion Guide

RACEWEAR fashion doesn’t have to stay on the track. Carene Chong shows you how to take the trends of this year’s Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival to the streets. 

Spring Racing season: your perfect excuse to play dress-up. Image: Matthew Kenwrick via Flickr

The race that stops the nation has been run, but it’s still all to play in the fashion stakes. The Melbourne Spring Carnival is traditionally known as an event for savvy fillies and fellas of the human kind to show off their hottest looks for this summer party season.

But don’t worry about falling behind. We’ve plucked the biggest trends straight from the race track and show you how to incorporate them into your everyday wardrobe.

Paint it red

Or blue, or green or yellow. Unless there are dress codes to follow, go bold with this season’s brights whether it be neons or the pastels we saw in David Jones’ Spring Racing collection at the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week earlier this year.

A lot of celebrities were colour blocking this racing carnival and it’s a trend that will continue right through summer. So look for dresses with contrasting blocks of colour or colour contrast a peplum top with a pencil skirt. Do make sure the colours complement each other though, i.e. orange and pink, green and blue and so on.

Spring is all about the blossoming florals so keep a lookout for printed dresses with floral designs, like those in Myer’s Trackside fashion collection. Florals are really versatile and can be worn day or night or whenever you feel like looking pretty and feminine.

For the gents, don’t hesitate to add a little colour to your attire too. If bright and loud is not for you, opt for muted colour shirts in shades like soft blue or purple.

Another great way to incorporate colour into your wardrobe is to swap the boring black suit for a classy colour like a navy or charcoal outerwear with matching pants, both guarantee instant sharpness.

Happy feet

Girls, ditch those killer stilettos for comfortable wedges this party season. Trust us, your feet will thank you for it. The high stilettos were a no go on the fields at this year’s races and Melbourne fashionistas are continuing to give the feet crushing look a miss. Wedges are perfect for those days or nights when you want the height, while still being able to dance for hours without breaking an ankle.

Match the colour of your footwear with your dress or for fashionable clash, opt for earth coloured or black shoes. Both shades go with just about any outfit!

Boys, this is an easy one for you. Just put on a pair of polished, shiny shoes and  you’re good to go.

Topping it off

The headgear is arguably the most important piece of clothing for any racing event, and there are plenty of ways you can transition the accessory into your day-to-day look this summer.

A huge stylish sunhat is perfect for trips to the beach or weekend picnics, while the dainty fascinators with the lace or feather detail that adorned many a celebrity’s head these races can add a touch of chic to any formal look. Wear one an evening garden party or as the perfect accessory for a high tea.

Race wear headgear is also ridiculously cheap now that the carnival has ended, so be sure to pick up some designer duds at half the price you would have paid before the races.

As for boys, the fedora hat never goes out of style and always adds a je ne sais qua element to any formal outfit.

And a little on the side

Accessorizing is as important as choosing the right outfit. Apart from holding your dollar bills and lipstick, the clutch or purse also acts as the perfect accessory to accompany your striking attire.

During the racing season,  we saw a lot of women matching their bag to the occasion, so  nude or pearl colours for Oaks Day and bright and bold colours for Cup Day.

You can do the same outside of the races too, just pick muted tones during the day and brighter shades at night. Just remember, the most important thing is to match your purse with your outfit so it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.

Then bling up with statement-making jewellery such as plate necklaces or chandelier earrings, keeping in mind not to go overboard with accessories. Summer is the season for casual, thrown together and relaxed looks, so if you’re wearing a statement necklace, opt for simple studs on the ears.

As for the gents, it’s simple – keep it classy and neat. Make sure that your belt matches your shoes and if you’re wearing a tie or bow tie, make sure it matches well with your shirt.

Be creative with the colour combinations this summer. A lot of the Fashion on the Field winners at this year’s races mixed colours you wouldn’t normally see together, like a blue tie on pink shirt or a silver tie with a charcoal or black shirt. Add a little matching pocket handkerchief to further smarten up your look.

Clockwise from top left: Fun Colour Block Clutch $39.95,

Lovisa Enamel Green Chain Neck Plate $29.99,

Ebay Wrist Length Satin Gloves $4.33,

Farage Versailles Pocket Handkerchief $29,

Smithstreet Pinstripe Bow Tie $29

Now that you’re all set,  you can confidently strut your stuff this party season like Melbourne Cup winner filly Green Moon!

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