Two of Canberra’s racecourse fashion experts show you how to find the best pieces and use what you already have to create your perfect racewear ensemble. Consider this your guide to more sustainable, more affordable, yet super fabulous racecourse styling using apparel from Canberra designers and stores.
With Spring Carnival race season now at hand and Melbourne Cup just around the corner, many of us have been aiming to get the racecourse glamour look. We might even get brand new outfits, only to leave them collecting dust in the back of the closet after the event.
Sally Martin believes you don’t always have to buy a completely new outfit to get that race day look. Winning several sashes in ‘Fashions on the Field’ events both locally and in country New South Wales over the last couple of years, Sally says you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to create racewear outfits from your wardrobe. Sally recommends you “play around with different pieces. Know your style, and what you’re comfortable wearing. Take photos of your outfit as this helps to see the overall look”.
In an outfit sourced entirely from local op shops, Sally is wearing a pink, white, blue, and slightly silver colour palette. She wears a pink blouse with a 50’s inspired white skirt that she amended for the occasion. The look is finished off with a classic boater hat. Sally draws inspiration from Pinterest for colour palettes, styles and millinery. She goes for the classic look with a touch of her personal style.
Starting with knowledge of your body type, Sally suggests choosing what you’ll feel good wearing. “Don’t be afraid of mixing colours or prints or having a standout accessory or even go with a classic look with a modern twist. It’s fashion and it’s fun.”
“Ladies aren’t the only ones to have all the fun with fashion,” says Chris Rankin, founder of Christian James – Men’s Accessories of Distinction and winner of ‘Men’s Fashion on the Field’ at Thoroughbred Park 2015. Chris recommends men should also have fun with style and inject their personal flair into it. His style involves unique tie knots with complementing socks, paisleys, florals and bright colours.
In creating his debonair ensemble, Chris used mostly pieces from his wardrobe. As an admirer of classic styling, he went for the three-piece suit in blue with a white shirt as a base. From his own range of accessories, he selected pieces with the pop of complementing colours. He recommends keeping things simple.
Starting with a suit and a shirt, Chris says the key to race day is basically adding the accessories. Here are his steps for creating your own look:
- Start with a well-fitting suit (this rule must never be broken).
- Match your leathers – brown shoes, brown belt and watch band.
- You can match the tie and hankie or if not ensure colours complement each other.
- Ensure colours or outfit is contrasting (you don’t want dark on dark or light on light. It will get washed out).
- Utilise your accessories. Tie, pocket hankie and lapel pins and flowers should be standard.
- Always wear a hat – make sure it suits your body and head size.
Chris will be available to help you get race-ready with a range of accessories this Sunday at Three Sixty Market.
Where to find Women’s Racewear:
Where to find men’s racewear:
Suits: Ministry Menswear has a great selection of suits and blazers. For adjustments on suits, contact Katherine Lemin in Warramanga.
Accessories: Christian James
How are you styling yourself for this season’s races? Tell us in the comments below.