10 Spring Racing Fashion Secrets

10 Spring Racing Fashion Secrets

Dress: Keepsake The Label

Dress: Keepsake The Label

After years of styling women for the spring racing carnival, I found clients who naturally knew what to do, but some who struggled and didn’t know where to turn, what to wear, or thought they had to spend thousands on their outfit.

There is a saying: “I can give you a fish and feed you for a day, or I can teach you to fish and feed you for a lifetime.”

In this article, I could say to wear certain pieces to feed you for a day or give you everything you need to know about how to dress for spring racing.  

I chatted with Julie from Intrigue On Rose.  Julie has been the owner of this Essendon Boutique for 16 years, and one of her busiest times of the year is spring racing, as she is so close to the action.

We both agreed that having a great style is the place to start, so read “The 13 Style Secrets Of French Women” here.  And spring racing is a day event, so please remember you are not dressing for a nightclub.

Here are the ten secrets to have you looking and feeling a winner.

1.    Old School Classics Work

The classic styles always work.  We all know Twiggy shocked the world in the 60’s by not having sleeves, but her traditional dress worked back then and will still work today.

The secret is classic and classy.  Either bust or bum.

Dress: Tallulah 

Dress: Tallulah 

If you have a low-cut top, then add some extra length, or if you want a short length, cover up top.  The same goes for sleeves.  If you don’t have a sleeve like Twiggy's, then add some length.

Bare in mind; sleeves are in vogue for Spring.  Bell, trumpet, sunray pleated and flared sleeves.

Vintage style always works.  The brand Tallulah have some fabulous dresses with a Vintage twist.  They find it hard to get editorials if they don’t stick to old-school rules, so they do.

2.    Buy Key Pieces

We recommend purchasing key pieces, especially if you are going to more than one meet.  Julie has Jockey and Trainers wives come into the boutique to buy key pieces.

This season we see culottes, trench coats, and capes.  All three are huge for spring.  By purchasing these items, you can mix and match with items from your wardrobe, or wear to more than one race day.

Jumpsuit: Belle Gonsalves

Jumpsuit: Belle Gonsalves

3.    Think Other Avenues

We are fortunate enough now that you can remain stylish by thinking outside of the square.  Pantsuits/Jumpsuits, skirt and a blazer, or a skirt and a wrap top can be stunning.

A few years ago, one of Julie’s clients as approached by Eva Longoria from Desperate Housewives fame.  Eva walked up to her to ask about her outfit and where she purchased it.  The outfit was a simple gingham flared culotte pantsuit, with a matching puff sleeve, piped blazer in black.  $129.00 per piece and stopped by an American actress!

4.    Keep The Sandwich Look At Bay

The sandwich look is overmatching.  Where the shoes match the bag, which matches the fascinator/hat.  Be brave and mix it up.  Maybe nude shoes and bag, and a color from your outfit to match your headwear?  Break up the sandwich and boldly own your style.

Breaking the sandwich look is Julie’s expertise, her specialty, and why clients shop with her year after year.

5.    One Statement Piece Only

Coco Chanel always comes to mind here.  I know I use this statement often, but it always works.  “Look in the mirror and take something off.”

Dress: Hermosa Midi  Photo Credit: Bloomingdales

Dress: Hermosa Midi
Photo Credit: Bloomingdales

When men wear suits, the rule of thumb is not to wear too many prints.  Out of the tie, shirt, and blazer, they should never have prints for all three.  One print and two plain, or two prints maximum and one plain.  The same rule goes for your outfit.

If you have an over the top hat, dress, bag, and shoes, it looks like you are trying too hard.  Don’t let your pieces’ fight each other.  The secret is to make a statement elegantly.


-    Wear an amazing hat with a simple dress and fabulous shoes. 
-    Out there dress with simple headwear.
-    Gorgeous shoes, outstanding headwear and a dress with clean lines.
-    Animal print with the #SS17 color, red.
-    Pastel colors, with one prominent color.
-    Fantastic hat with a simple, clean-lined navy pantsuit

6.    Respect Protocol

We have both heard from clients that it is old fashioned to follow protocol, but this is racing, a tradition.

Respect is easy.  On Derby day, the protocol is to wear black and white.  Keep your colors for Cup day.  We can bend the rules with other avenues, but protocol is to be respected.

For the members, Flemington Racing recommends: Ladies are expected to maintain a suitable standard in keeping with the dignity of the Members’ Enclosure. Overseas visitors are welcome to wear the formal national dress of their country.  But remember, it doesn’t matter if you are in the members or not, keeping with the dignity of the racing carnival is stylish.

7.    No Midriffs

No matter where, regardless if you are in the members, keep midriffs to the nightclubs, not for racing.  Enough said.

Photo:  Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

8.    Heels

If you can’t walk in your heels, leave them at home.

As racing has a lot of uneven surfaces and grass, stack or block heels and wedges are better suited.

Kate Middleton is a perfect example as she wears a lot of Stuart Weitzman heels to the races and the polo.


Head Piece: Heather McDowell Dress: Elliatt

Head Piece: Heather McDowell
Dress: Elliatt


9.    Be Adventurous With Head Wear

Head Wear is an area you can play around with these days.  If you don’t like headpieces, go and have a funky hairstyle that looks like a fascinator.  If you don’t like a hat or fascinator, a metal headband, feathers, or have fresh flowers put in your hair.


Shoes: Billini

Shoes: Billini


10.    Metallics

Metallics are strong this season, especially rose gold, which I saw everywhere in Italy.  Usually, we would say to leave the metallic for after 5, but not this season.  We are spoilt for choice, and they go well with day wear.

The style secret to metallics is similar to item 4.  Keep the sandwich at bay with metallics.

A huge thank you to beautiful Julie for her input to this article. 

All images are from Intrigue On Rose Instagram and available from the boutique, or online here.

Intrigue on Rose has something for everyone.  I love their price point, which is $100 - $300 and they have labels to suit women of all ages, including us over 50’s.

Their sizes are from 6 – 16.

With size 16, they keep in mind to have:

-    Sleeves
-    Longer tops
-    Shift styles
-    No waists
-    And most importantly – bra options.

We hope you now can enjoy shopping for the races, and of course, looking towards your wardrobes now you know how to dress for them.

And no matter whether your horse crosses the line first, you will be a winner in the fashion stakes.

To know how to shop for your body shape, colors, styles, jeans, and so much more, purchase our 200 page “Your Ultimate Style” eBook here.  Only $19.95. 
The book includes everything Caz taught clients as a stylist.  Over 500 sold. 

I Was Homophobic Until My Twin Brother Came Out.

I Was Homophobic Until My Twin Brother Came Out.

How To Paint The Town Red This Spring

How To Paint The Town Red This Spring