Preparing for the Spring/Summer Racing Season
While it has recently been pouring with rain in New Zealand and a liberal amount of snow falling in parts of the country, now is actually the ideal time to start planning your race wear for the new racing season when the slightly warmer weather finally arrives. There are a number of reasons why women across the country will be attending the races. Some are owners of a racehorse, there are the various ladies that are racehorse trainers or work in the industry and some will be attending for the pure joy of a day out of fun and socialising.
For some ladies the focus will be the Fashion on the Field competitions held at race courses throughout our fair land with late September kick starting the calendar of these events in New Plymouth. The first Prix de Fashion regional competition is held in October at Hastings in Hawke’s Bay so time is definitely starting to tick for those wanting to put their best food forward for the judges.
For your first port of call you need look not further than the Internet when attempting to select your outfit. Start browsing through Istagram, Pinterest or any other well-known photo sharing type websites to get inspired by the various looks that are either trending, being billed as the next big thing, or is a beautiful classic that you think you can rework. This can help you decide on the ‘look’ you want to aim for and set you on your way with trying to emulate it with available fashions and product that are either local or within reaching distance to you.
You can head straight to your favorite high end designer store or, to an online retailer the likes of Asos or Ezpopsy for a dress or outfit that you think will be ideal for your body type in a colour flattering for your complexion that covers up the bits you want to cover up – and trust me, we all have bits we want to cover up. If ordering online do be wary of how long delivery will possibly take when making a purchase online from an internationally based company.
Don’t be afraid to head to the mall and check out what the chain stores have and also think about popping into your local second-hand shops for a snoop. If you aren’t afraid of a pair of scissors and know how to use a needle & thread, then you could possibly come up with something that is show stopping that no one else will be wearing that hasn’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Hat, shoes and handbag are a big part of your outfit and all very important items when entering the Best Dressed Lady event at the races. The hat needs to balance and compliment the outfit, shoes have to be both appealing and reasonably comfortable, and the clutch/handbag needs to be suitable for the look you want to achieve but also store your race day emergency items. If you are wearing a new pair of shoes make sure you break them in before you head to the races otherwise things might end in tears.
With some outfits you will know straight away what shoes and what style handbag you will wear and then your milliner will work with the outfit. Other times you will get the headpiece made to suit your dress and then style the accessories to balance out the overall look. I recommend that once you have the basics of your outfit, contact your milliner to set up an appointment so you can put your heads together and come up with a great piece that will make your outfit ‘pop’.
Now you need to consider how you will style your hair but you will have touched on this subject with your milliner. A good milliner will advise you if your head wear needs to be propped up by a high hairstyle, held down by clips in a certain position, or in an elastic to hold it at a certain angle.
Grooming is important on race day and should be embraced rather than dreaded. Personally I love to have an outing to look forward to these days where I can get my glam on and take the time to turn myself out nicely so I can enter my outfit in the Prettiest on Parade competition as I find it gives me a real lift especially after such a wet, cold and depressing Winter.
Once you are in possession of your outfit you need to have a try on and decide on the final touches such as what jewellery you will wear and if you will wear things like gloves or a belt. Whilst it is important to pay close attention to every aspect of your outfit you should also take time to stand well back from the mirror to get an overall impression of whats going on from head to toe as you need to remember that if you are doing Fashion on the Field you will be on stage and not standing 45cm away from the judging panel.
Makeup does play a big role in the overall impression so do put some thought into the ‘look’ you want to create as well as the all important issue of what colour lipstick you will be wearing. Don’t be afraid to practice your makeup. It can take weeks, months or even years to perfect your technique of applying liquid eyeliner and you will need more that one or two goes with trying to glue in place a pair of false eyelashes, but it is worth the effort in the long run.
Regardless of the reason as to why you are attending the races, remember to enjoy the process of putting your outfit together, getting dressed and groomed on race day morning and just in general embrace being a beautiful women having an outing far away from the daily grind of your every day normal life. These days when we are all rushing around doing a hundred and one things its important for your mind, body and soul to have things to look forward to and for me personally getting dressed up and having a day at the races with friends is indeed a true high.
All the best with the plotting and planning of your race wear and I hope to see you out and about this season with a glass of bubbles in your hand and a smile on your face!