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March 10, 2020


While you may be weeping at the fact that summer is over, there is one big reason to be excited about the season change. Autumn racing season is here and that means six weeks of fun and fashion. As with all racing events, the eyes aren’t just on the horses and the racetrack. There is just as much action going on off the track style-wise. The Sydney Autumn Carnival especially is one of the most prestigious Australian racing events so it can be intimidating to find a great outfit that looks good and adheres to the dress code. Here’s how to find the perfect autumn racing outfit.

Get Inspired

Before you set out to find an outfit the races, it’s good to have an idea in mind of what you want to wear or how you want to look. The best way to get a clear picture of the look you’re going to go for is to search for some inspiration beforehand. You can go through your favourite fashion magazines and keep your eyes on the runways. Make the most of modern technology and use social media platforms to help you find some modern-day style icons. Pinterest is great for keeping track of outfits you’ve seen and loved or runway trends you want to try out. Instagram is also the best way to follow your favourite celebrities, bloggers and influencers for daily fashion inspo. One of the best things about Instagram is that often social media stars tag the brands of their outfit so you can easily find out what they’re wearing and come up with a similar look yourself. This doesn’t mean you have to copy a celeb’s look but it can help you feel inspired when creating an outfit of your own.

Dress For You

Once you’ve got all the inspiration that you need, the most important thing to think about is that you are dressing for you and you only (dress codes aside). The perfect racing outfit is the outfit that makes you feel good about yourself. You should be seeking to find an outfit that makes you feel comfortable in your body shape and reflects your personal style. Try not to focus too much on finding the trendiest outfit that’s fresh off the runway. Don’t wear a slim-leg pantsuit if it’s not your style. Hate gingham even though it’s all the rage? Go for another pattern instead! Use your racing outfit as a way to express yourself and wear something that shows off your best assets.

Go For An Autumnal Colour Palette

It’s time to say goodbye to the heat and humidity of the summer months and hello to falling leaves and cooler weather. While spring racing season is all about florals, pastels and bright, summery colours, autumn racing is a time to pull out those deeper, richer shades. Think burgundies, navy, moss greens, burnt oranges and touches of gold to add an autumnal flair to your look. Another way to acknowledge the drop in temperatures is by playing around with more winter textures and materials. Incorporating wool, velvet, tweed, leather, suede and felt in your outfit, as well as more structured pieces, not only looks good but will help keep you warm trackside!

Know The Dress Code

The races are renowned for being fashion events and while it’s a great opportunity to experiment with your style and different trends, racing is also one of the world’s oldest sport and steeped in tradition. For this reason, it is also important to be aware of your surroundings and of the dress codes that come with attending a racing event. Make sure to educate yourself on these dress codes before you put together your look. Formal shoes are required and be wary of anything too tight and revealing – no exposed midriffs are allowed. If it’s a major race event or carnival, headwear of some kind is required (but that’s part of the fun!) and ensure that none of your clothing is ripped, torn or scuffed. If you’re worried, check the Australian Turf Club website before the event to make sure you’ve checked all the boxes.

Rent The Dress Of Your Dreams

One hot tip to finding the perfect race day outfit is to not buy the dress. The perfect autumn racing dress can be expensive, especially if you have a particular designer in mind. And there’s nothing worse than forking out a lot of money on a beautiful outfit and then only wearing it once. If your budget is on the smaller side or you’re just looking to save when it comes to the dress, consider renting a dress for the day rather than purchasing one. This gives you more choice in what brands you wear and gives you the chance to wear a piece you might otherwise not ever try on. You can find something truly unique without having to stress about the price tag. Just one thing – make sure not to overdo it on the champagne and ruin the dress!

Search The Sales

If you have your heart set on buying something for the occasion, make sure to search for the best deals on the dress or piece you want. Keep an eye out for outlets, warehouse sales and online discounts of your favourite brands and sign up to newsletters or Facebook pages so you can stay as up-to-date as possible as to where the best deals are.

Find The Perfect Headwear

One of the most important (if not the most important!) part of your autumn racing outfit is your headwear. Whether you go for a hat, a fascinator, a headpiece or some kind of extravagant crown, this is what really completes your outfit. Make sure to pick something unique and interesting that compliments your dress without distracting from it. Remember this is autumn racing, not spring, so no straw allowed when it comes to millinery. Instead, go for felt, feathers and bejewelled pieces. Consider how you will wear your hair as well, you want your hairstyle to go with whatever headpiece you’re wearing.

Finding a racing outfit might seem stressful but it’s almost a chance for you to explore your sense of style and have some fun coming up with different looks. Once you’ve picked out all the main elements, a dress, the shoes, a headpiece and some killer accessories, you’ll be ready to rock the races.

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