Modern fashion designers always have the mindset of thinking different, finding something innovative, artistic or sometimes just plain clothes that still speak volumes about the wearer’s tastes.
Very few designers in the world like to incorporate the past in their pieces. Maybe they include some aspects of the 40s or the 90s, but there are almost none that go all the way back to the victorian era.
Those who actually look way back in the past for their fashion inspirations, tend to be designers that create clothing for racing enthusiast women. By racing, I don’t mean things like Nascar or F1, but racing with horses, which is a very popular sport in countries like the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia. It can even be said that it’s popular in all of the commonwealth countries but to varying degrees.
One thing we can say for sure is that the dress code on these events just demands you to be absolutely dashing. And sometimes, that “dashiness” is represented with large hats, bright colored or oversized dresses.
Let’s break down some of the essentials of the racing day dress code for women.
The hat is the star of the outfit
One thing you definitely can’t skimp out on is the hat. It pretty much completes the outfit and is the first thing that people notice about you during these events.
Ladies tend to go overboard with their hats, some making them either extremely large or extremely small.
In fact, the racing hat is so essential, that the punters that usually place bets during the horse race, base their assumptions and guesses on the guess of the lady with the best hat. It sounds very weird, but getting that much attention and “authority” over the punters because of the hat is what usually inspires girls to make theirs as flamboyant as possible.
In fact, this practice has become so widely accepted that even the best horse racing betting sites in Australia started to base their odds on the guesses of ladies in attendance.
There are two common trends with the hats nowadays, which then branch out themselves.
The small hat – this can be shaped like a rose or any kind of flower, or something to resemble the hats we see on flight attendants. Naturally, they need to be in flashy colors like crimson red, jungle green or dirty pink. Colors like black and white are very unlikely to attract additional attention to small hats.
The big hat – the big hats are pretty much-overblown sun hats. The more ridiculously large it is, the more it will stand out from the crowd. These kinds of hats demand to be a more neutral color. Colors such as silver grey, snowy white, light beige and dirty yellow tend to stand out the most.
Don’t forget to match the hat with the perfect dress
As already mentioned, the hat is the star of the outfit, which means that it will be the one determining the color pallete.
If your hat consists of light beige and silver-gray, it would be a terrible decision to go with a flashy colored dress.
What ladies like to do in this case is have the dress in only one color of the original palette. In the case I brought as an example, it would be the perfect decision to go with either a silver-gray dress and light beige shoes, or light beige shoes and dress as well.
It’s all about matching the colors.
As for the fabric you should use, go with something like cotton as silk tends to reflect the light too much, thus driving away from the original color of the dress. Consider that you will be seated in a sunny location, and the color pallete of your outfit could be distorted with sunlight.
A fabric that doesn’t reflect the light at all is the go-to, but just a little bit of reflection is acceptable as well.
No high-heels allowed
The shoes are a bit of a controversy with horse racing events. High-heeled shoes may look absolutely dashing with your overall outfit, but the tradition cannot be broken. Consider that you could be walking in a slightly muddy or grassy area, having issues to walk with the heels is most definitely something you’d want to avoid.
The most common type of shoes is Pointe shoes. Yes, they may be something exclusive for ballerinas, but a few tweaks here and there make them an amazing addition to the flamboyant hat.
It’s all about contrast. You go all out with the dress and hat, but your shoes remain humble.
Furthermore, the Pointe shoes look simply amazing with colors like dirty pink and light beige.
Accessory dos and don’ts
There are only three accessories that could ever be required for these types of events. These are your purse, umbrella, and a fan.
The purse absolutely needs to be a hand-held version and matching the color of the less dominant color in the palette. For example, if you go with silver-grey and light beige, it’s likely that light beige will be your dominant color. Going for the silver-grey purse is the only option here.
As for the umbrella, it’s quite common to see it in more neutral colors such as black and grey.
As for the fans, however, it’s important that you match it with your dominant color.
That’s pretty much all you need to know ladies, choosing your color pallete which would consist of at most two colors is arguably the hardest decision to make. Most of your attention after this should fall on the design of the hat rather than the dress.