Fashion on the field - DOs and DON'Ts
Fashion on the field - DOs and DON'Ts

Your guide to Spring Racing fashion

The annual Spring Carnival is an exciting time of the year that brings together the excitement of sport and, of course, fashion. It’s a time when ladies and gents alike can show off their unique sartorial perspective and enjoy fine food and wine to the thrilling backdrop of the racing carnival. This year, the trends include florals for women and brighter colours for men.

 

Ladies

 

Ladies will be spoilt for choice in picking out their spring racing outfits this year, with a variety of options ranging from masculine tailoring and jumpsuits to florals and pastel tweeds trending.

 

Dress trends

 

In addition to florals and pastel tweeds, ladies can look forward to textured materials such as crochet lace, according to fashion experts. Others suggest that the 70s are back, so look for dresses and outfits features fluted, flared, and belled sleeves, along with lace, pastels, and sheer materials.

 

Sugary pastels such as pinks, lilacs, mint greens, and baby blues are popular this year, say other experts. If you’re looking for bolder colours, try clashing different prints for an edgier look.

 

Approach your outfit with just one or two focal points in mind. For example, match a simple dress with statement shoes or hat, or complement a vibrant dress with nude or black shoes and simple millinery. A great way for ladies to shop is to start with the dress and work backwards to your hat, bag, and then shoes.

 

Another way to put together a great outfit is to combine subtle colours, which are easy to complement. Beiges, greys, whites, and metallic tones are all easy to match. Alternatively, if you’re wearing a single statement colour, you can add contrast and interest with your shoes, bag, and hat.

 

Always pick an outfit that reflects your style and your body shape, and one that you feel comfortable in. Generally, showing your midriff is to be avoided at the races, along with denim and thongs.

 

Millinery

 

One of the traditions of the Spring Carnival is that ladies should always have some sort of headgear, and this year, it’s about individuality and interesting textures, suggest fashion gurus. For those feeling adventurous, everything from animal prints and leather to metallic and polka dots could be on the table.

 

Others say that granny jewels and kitsch brooches, and delicate head chains are trending this year. Some suggest that spring 2016 is about structured statement headgear, along with boater-style and jewelled crowns.

 

Keep in mind your headgear isn’t confined to hats. Explore different options such as fascinators, crowns, headbands, bun holders, jewelled hairclips, and 3D flower corsages. Ultimately, you should find a hat or headgear that fits your face and hairstyle well and in which you feel comfortable and confident. Fashion experts recommend to pay attention to your silhouette when matching your hat to your dress.
 

Jewellery and accessories

 

Style watchers suggest that a Spanish influence could be big this year, with a trend towards large, feature pieces of jewellery and neck detailing such as chokers. Add extra detail to your outfit with gloves, nail polish, handbags, belts, earrings, and necklaces.

 

Shoes

 

Whether you’re wearing statement shoes or a muted pair of heels to complement a statement outfit, always try to wear in your shoes before wearing them to the races. This will help you stay comfortable throughout the day and avoid the dreaded blisters. Alternatively, opt for low heels or block heels for extra comfort.

 

Gentlemen

 

For the gents, the Spring Carnival is one of the few times of the year to go all out on suits, shirts, accessories, and accessories.

 

Suits

 

The latest spring 2016 trends from Europe suggest that lighter, more breathable wool/cotton blends are probably the best way to go as the weather heats up. If you prefer a block coloured suit, blues (including cobalt, sapphire, and navy), reds, and neutral such as taupe, beige, cream, and grey are the colours of the season, according to experts, with beige cotton and earth tones being touted as excellent looks for this year.

 

Subtle checks and stripes, whether single-breasted or double-breasted, are also great in darker shades such as blues, softer blacks, and greys. If you’re in the mood for something bold, experts recommend going for a statement suit in jewel tone colours such as emerald, ruby, sapphire, and amethyst, but in a slim fit and with light fabrics such as cotton or linen. Avoid too much colour by using just one or two complementary colours.

 

For a more casual look, combine a fashionable sports jacket with a pair of bottoms in a contrasting colour. For example, try a double-breasted sports jacket with a pair of white pants for a casual and relaxed yet contemporary look. An alternative is a race-day take on the nautical flavour: top whites, creams, and beige bottoms with a blue jacket. Keep it dark on top and light on the bottom as a general rule.

 

Shirts

 

While white will complement any other shade, you can get in the spirit of the carnival by adding patterns, textures, and tonality with your shirt. Examples include baby-blue shirts with navy jackets or suits, muted-floral shirts with coloured jackets in a matching shade, and check shirts with boldly coloured jackets. Windowpane checks are popular this year. Pay attention to shirt collars for extra styling detail. Your options range from cutaway collars, to straight point cuts.

 

Shoes

 

Avoid patent shoes this year, never wear sneakers with suits, always wear socks and never show your mankles, and stick to classic leather, propose the experts. Recommended styles for race days include black derby, tan monk, and leather loafers. Adding a little colour with pastel suedes or burnished leather is also a great idea.

 

Accessories

 

Lapel pins are essential for race day outfits, say some experts. Other on-trend accessories for men include silk and real boutonnieres pinned to lapels, ties, handkerchiefs, and pocket squares. For a statement look, wear jewellery pieces such as bead bracelets and rings to go with your suit, but keep jewellery subtle and metallic where possible.  



Spring Carnival trends can change from year to year and it’s great if you’re inspired by the latest fashion trends. What’s most important, however, is feeling comfortable and confident in your outfit so you can make the most of the excitement and fun of the races.