Spring Racing Survival Guide
If there's one season that Melbourne is known for and does extremely well: it's spring, and the cherry on top has to be the Spring Racing Carnival. With a calendar of race days spread across the three metropolitan tracks of Flemington, Caulfield and Moonee Valley, as well as regional racecourses, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
For fashionistas however, the Spring Racing Carnival takes on a whole new meaning - call it our Grand Final, our Super Bowl, our Championship Playoffs, if you will...and it's seriously hard work! It gives a terrific boost to the economy at this time of year, with racegoers splashing out some $50 million across the Spring Racing Carnival; that equates to roughly 295,397 fashion items, including 49,067 pairs of shoes, 46,448 dresses, 11,659 suits and 59,665 hats and fascinators!
So, if you're heading trackside this spring, read on to back a winner with our Spring Racing Survival Guide:
Let's get down to basics. The Spring Racing Carnival is the main (or mane) attraction in the yearly racing calendar; a time when you can go all out in your outfit selection. Be mindful, however, of showing too much skin - it is a racecourse after all and not a nightclub. Steer clear of plunging necklines or bare mid-drifts and leave those denim jeans, shorts and mini-dresses at home.
A midi-dress finishing just above or at the knee will be your best friend come carnival time, so feel free to frock up in your fanciest, frilliest, most favourite floral frock; the brighter and bolder, the better!
If The Shoe Fits?
If the shoe fits - and is comfortable and stylish - then wear it! When it comes to raceday shoe selection, no one wants to end up being one of *those girls*. You know the ones: walking barefoot and carrying their high heels in hand at the end of a long race day - it's seriously not a good look! But in all fairness, racecourses are the least high heel friendly places to have ever existed and a day at the races can see the average girl getting over more distance than a Melbourne Cup contender...in heels, whilst still attempting to look fabulous. I mean, where's a farrier for us fillies when we need one?
Stilettos aren't going to cut it for 8+ hours on your feet, traipsing over turf, dirt, concrete, pavers and navigating public transport. Instead opt for a thicker block heel or wedge to best support your weight and stop you sinking into the turf and most importantly, to keep your image in tact on the journey home. Always try to wear in your shoes prior to raceday and keep a stash of Band-Aids in your bag for any blister emergencies!
Millinery is a must for the big race days! Whether you opt for a fascinator, a hatinator (a mix between a fascinator and a hat), a wide-brimmed hat, boater hat, or a simple headband, make the most of the opportunity to wear something that we don't usually get the chance or occasion to wear. Metallics are still huge this year, but you really can't go wrong with a black and white fascinator that can get multiple wears throughout the season or a pop of colour to switch things up.
It's In The Bag
A gorgeous clutch is your best bet for raceday fashion; something that complements your outfit but also allows enough room for all of your essentials. Bonus points if your clutch also has a detachable strap so you can free up your hands if you need to juggle drinks, food and a racebook! At a bare minimum, here's what will be in our bags this Spring Racing Carnival:
- Money - cash and cards
- Makeup - lipstick and powder for touchups during the day
- Band-Aids, bobby pins,
- Raceday tickets
- Betting slips!
Giddy up and enjoy your Spring Racing Carnival!
* This post also features on David Lawrence.