The 7 Biggest Sins in Racing Fashion

The 7 Biggest Sins in Racing Fashion

From cleavage-busting dresses and ridiculous heels to streaky fake tans: thou shalt not commit these fashion sins.

By Candice Jackson | 31st March 2016

Some fashion rules were made to be broken. You know the ones: fringe is only for music festivals; tall girls shouldn’t wear heels; activewear is only for the gym.

We break those rules every week but there’s a time and a place for everything. The races? Not it. You’ll look like a racing fool if you slip up here and no one wants to look tacky trackside. EVER.

To help out our Style sisters, we’ve rounded up the seven deadly sins of racing fashion that you should avoid at all costs.

1. Thou shalt not confuse racy with racewear

Brynne Ecclestone racing fashion dresses

Brynne Edelstone definitely didn't get this memo. Image: Pinterest

Leave the crop tops and short skirts for the beach or the clubs; those things should never get within 100 feet of the track. If you feel like you’re showing too much skin, you’re probably right. Avoid overly busty outfits, sheer material or dresses with large cut-outs.

2. Thou shalt not go barefoot

If your shoes end up anywhere besides on your OWN feet, you’ve done something wrong. When choosing a pair of gorgeous heels, you also need to consider comfort and durability. There’s nothing worse than finding out three hours in that they’re the shoes from hell and you’d rather go barefoot than walk in them for a second longer. If you suffer through this on a regular basis, it’s time to opt for wedges or thick block heels. Consider wearing stockings to pad your heels as well, but make sure they’re definitely ladder-free.

3. Thou shalt not make millinery an afterthought

Millinery is one of the most important aspects of racing fashion, so you should NEVER leave it until the last minute: pick your hat or fascinator first and then build your outfit from there. It’s Murphy’s Law: if you have the perfect outfit in place and “just have to grab a fascinator” to complete the look, you’ll never find one that works.

4. Thou shalt not go overboard on beauty

racing fashion, tan, beauty

Don't try a darker tan the day before the race day. Image: Pinterest

Forget the horses; fashion is the thing on show at races, and you should never let your beauty choices outshine your fashion ones. Avoid caking on makeup and instead go for a minimal look that won’t melt in the sun. Speaking of melting, if you want a spray tan then do it well in advance because a streaky fake tan is no one’s friend.

5. Thou shalt not perform a balancing act

You’ll likely be working the room, the canapé table and the bar, all while trying to Instagram that cute photo of you and your posse, hold your bag and keep up an impeccable façade. Even if you’re the master of multi-tasking, you’re asking for trouble. Secure a table nearby or opt for a clutch that can be thrown over the shoulder with a delicate strap. No one has time to deal with stains from red wine or goat cheese and baby beet canapé with balsamic glaze and micro herbs. Trust us, it’s a whole lot less fancy when it’s ruining your dress.

6. Thou shalt not wear your millinery incorrectly

milinery, fashion, racing fashion

Beatrice has had some questionable millinery choices. Image: Pinterest

Finding your special headpiece is one thing, but if you’re not wearing it correctly it’s just as much a faux par as not wearing one at all.  If you have a sloping headpiece, traditionally it’s supposed to tilt to the right, so you can kiss to the left. Materials such as felt should only be used during winter seasons. If you’re going to the hairdresser to get your up-do or wavy curls, you should get them to craft the hair around the millinery for a cohesive look.

7. Thou shalt not ignore race day etiquette

Race day etiquette is pretty strict across the board, so it’s important to know the rules and stick to them. The most common ones are to keep hemlines below the knee, cover your shoulders with thick straps (not spaghetti straps or off-the-shoulder options) and absolutely do NOT bare your midriff. But each race day has its own additional set of rules, from colour guides to pattern or design elements. You can read more about the rules for local race days coming up here.

Brisbane Racing Club


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Article by Candice Jackson

Candice Jackson is a former Journalist of Style Magazines. She has an uncontrollable sweet tooth, an irrational fear of birds and a love of travel. Candice believes in the Yes Man Philosophy.


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