As many know, racewear is one of my passions and I’m excited for this year’s Brisbane winter racing carnival, and all the fashions on the field inspiration it brings.

New fashion sponsor Indooroopilly Shopping Centre has upped the ante this year, with major prize hauls up to $5000 to spend on fashion for the overall winner on Stradbroke Day – incentive to dress up? Absolutely.

Each year I’m asked my tips for how to win fashions on the field. A list of tips are below but in addition, my best advice is to make an effort to stand out in something eye-catching, something unique, and above all, something aspirational.

Brisbane racegoers have lifted their game hugely in the past few years I’ve been judging fashions on the field. Thankfully, many more are getting the memo that elegant wins far more favours than cheap, winter style means dressing for the climate, meaning even mild cold requires sleeves, a knee-length skirt and stockings of some variety, and even the men are seaming to enjoy suiting up for their race day out.

The most successful fashions on the field outfits I’ve seen have said something about the wearer – they love vintage, they’re quirky or androgynous (a tuxedo-style look is one of my favourites for the races), or they love colour.

Individual touches and hand-made millinery and accessories always win favour, and coordinating your look head-to-toe is one of the biggest stand-out aspects of a winning look. This means picking up on details like a graphic print in a dress or jacket and repeating the motif in your headwear, handbag, even lace stockings that tie the look together.

For a full list of race dates and fashions on the field information visit Brisbane Racing Club’s website.

Fashions on the field winner Amy Robson

Fashions on the field winner Amy Robson

Fashions on the field winner Rebekah Wall

Fashions on the field winner Rebekah Wall

 Dos 

  • Style and originality are a major component of Fashions on the Field judges’ criteria on any race day, so wear something that suits and flatters you and aim to make your look your own
  • Match your handbag, shoes and millinery to your outfit. It’s one area of fashion where matchy-matchy still looks best
  • Wear a headpiece in wool, felt, florals or feather, not straw or sinnamay
  • Wear hosiery with a skirt or dress. It’s expected in Fashions on the Field and advised for general entry
  • Pay attention to the little details. For ladies, that means faultless hair and hosiery, manicure and makeup. For the men, a pocket square, lapel flower and even coloured socks can go a long way to helping you stand out in the crowd
  • Be aware of dress regulations. For men at Brisbane Racing Club functions, a long-sleeved shirt, tailored trousers, a tie and/or a jacket or blazer apply in member’s facilities
  • Keep warm. You may look amazing in your dress, but if you have bare shoulders or legs you’ll likely freeze in June
  • Have fun! It’s a great excuse to dress up and have a great day out 

Don’ts 

  • Dress as though you’re headed to a nightclub. Elegant and sophisticated turns heads for the right reasons – let that be your guide
  • Wear brand new, uncomfortable shoes. Ensure you will be comfortable for hours on your feet if necessary and if you really want to be prepared, pack fold-up flats in your handbag for instant relief in case of emergency
  • Wear anything too short or tight