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Spring Racing Style - the do's and the don'ts

Spring Racing Style

When I lived in the UK, the highlight of the racing season was Ladies Day at Ascot Racecourse.  Over the years, the outfits (and the dress code) have become more extreme, more like fancy dress and not at all how I would envisage dressing for such an event.

Melbourne Cup day is of course the event that everyone seems to celebrate in Australia, and somehow the Spring Racing Style over here has managed to avoid veering into OTT territory like it has in the UK.  Though I have heard stories of too-short skirts and too-dark tans - we do not want to go there!

Lots of people go out for lunch on Melbourne Cup Day to somewhere fabulous, drink champagne and live the VIP life for just a day.  Others (like me) have the school run to consider, so rather than turn up tipsy and trip over the kids, I spend the day with friends having a casual lunch at one of their houses.

If you're really lucky, you'll be going trackside for real and enjoying all that it has to offer (fingers crossed you back the right horse!).

I've got a comprehensive list of do's and don'ts to keep your Spring Racing Style fabulous rather than a failure.  I'd love to know if you can add any more to the list!


DO choose a dress that flatters your shape and is comfortable to wear.  Think outside the box and go for a jumpsuit or a trouser suit for the ultimate easy to wear style.
DON'T pick something so tight and restrictive that you have to stop eating after one canape - where's the fun in that?

Spring Racing Style
Jonte Relic Plunge Jumpsuit, $289

DO get a nice golden spray on tan to show off those toned limbs you've been working on over the winter.
DON'T go more than 3 shades darker than your natural winter tone or you'll look more tandoori than tanned.

DO pick either your dress or your headwear as the statement piece of your outfit, not both.  It's fun to dress up but you don't want to look like you're in "dress-up".
DON'T leave your fascinator to the end - you can build your outfit around an amazing hat.

DO get a decent size clutch bag to stow all your essentials for the day.  The Jessica Bratich Alana clutch is perfect for race day with it's little pockets and pen holder.
DON'T wear a shoulder bag, it'll spoil the line of your dress.
DO get a mani and pedi to show off those fabulous shoes and jewellery you'll be wearing.
DON'T get liquid paper white tips - no-one wears those anymore!  If you don't want to wear a statement colour on your nails, choose an opaque nude or nudey-pink.

DO use Spring Racing as an opportunity to dress outside of your comfort zone, just a little.  If you don't normally wear colour, choose something bright in a shade that suits you, or wear a rocking shade of pink lipstick.
DON'T take so many risks with your outfit that you end of feeling uncomfortable and self conscious all day.  No-one has fun if they don't feel like themselves.

Spring Racing Style
A rare "statement lip" on me - I'm normally a nude lip girl.

DO pack tweezers and glue in your clutch if you're braving false eyelashes.  I prefer to wear lashings of my favourite mascara and pack cotton buds for touchups.
DON'T wear lashes so long that you can't lift your eyelids.  I guarantee your eyes will be red and sore by the end of the day.

DO consider getting a professional blow dry first thing in the morning.  It should last a good two or three days anyway, so will save you time on mornings to come.
DON'T try out a hairstyle you've never had before if you're unsure it will suit you.  For my sister in law's wedding a few years ago, I asked for an undo and ended up looking an 80's throwback.  I had no time to fix it and had to endure it for the whole day.  Needless to say, I stayed out of as many photographs as possible.

DO take it easy with the champagne - too much sun and alcohol is a lethal combo, but you're a grown woman, you don't need me to tell you that!
DON'T forget to drink some water between all that champagne.  A dehydrated hungover mum is never a good role model for the kids.

If you want some inspiration for putting together your Spring Racing looks, I'm running style sessions at Jonte Designs' Open Day on 31st October, and I'd love you to join me!  There'll be giveaways galore and a chance to try on some amazing designer gowns and shoes.  Drop me a line if you'd like to come along and listen to some fabulous tips all about Spring Racing.

Spring Racing Style


  1. Love the jump suite. xx

  2. I agree with all your tips! Rules for life I say, not just the races!! x Allison


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