So back in the UK we saw ladies day at Aintree! I used to attend as a regular almost every year, and my highlight to date was going along as a blogger for Matalan and reporting about the event for BBC North West Today and Tonight. A day like that will be hard to beat! However, there’s no need for me to feel like I’m missing out on these occasions whilst being in Sydney, as I went along to Ladies Day at Rose Hill Gardens in Sydney and had a taste of what an Australian Ladies Day at the races was like too! The answer… just the same as the UK! But did I mention sunnier skies, greener grass, prettier floral displays and a more lavish atmosphere?
When it’s ladies day, or races in general, girls usually start making a really big deal out of what outfit to put together and can make it into a bigger stress than it actually is. Dressing for the races should be a fun task, and when it starts getting stressful that’s when you know your making it into a much bigger song and dance than it should be. Here’s some tips that I put together to keep it simple and stress-free…
1. Chose a dress. Yes a dress – not a playsuit, or skirt and top, or two piece little suit. Just opt for a dress. It can be mini, midi or maxi, but just make sure its a dress and ideally one where you can get your legs out. Tights just don’t seem to cut it when it’s the races – however I totally understand the UK weather sometimes messes that idea up.
2. If you can’t decide what style of dress to go for and your sending yourself crazy, go for either a shift dress, a bodycon dress, or a smart, sleeveless above the knee dress. Maxi dresses can sometimes need taking up in length, and if your short, they can make you look shorter and stumpier, so if you are unsure then I would avoid this option. Avoid ‘trends’ if you are also struggling – that’s no peplum, cut-out, skater or bold prints. You’ll only look back at photos in years to come and cringe. I can’t stress how much keeping it simple is so much classier – classic styles will make you look effortlessly glam. This year, I opted for a fitted burgundy dress from Topshop with a low rise back. Looked quite simple and grown up from the front, but the back gave it a more daring look (incase you go out straight after… these things need thinking about!)
3. Hair accessories and hats can be really confusing if you don’t usually wear them. Hats with netting can look fantastic, but if you don’t feel like ‘you’ then your going to spend the day being conscious. Instead, go for a headband style fascinator – mine this year was from David Jones and wasn’t too fancy, it just added that extra embellishment to my hair. Pick one in neutral colours like creams, blacks, greys or beige so you feel comfortable wearing it and don’t look too over the top. I don’t usually wear hats or fascinators, so when I do I keep it subtle so I still feel like ‘me’.
4. Keep your clutch bag and your heels matching. Again, you can’t go wrong with neutrals if you are a little unsure. Creams, blacks, browns, greys, golds and silvers. And yes I stressed ‘clutch’ and ‘heels’ – that means no shoulder bags or crossbody bags and no flat shoes! It is the races, it is a formal occasion and a very dressy one at that. Girls are watching other girls (and guys are watching girls for that matter too!) so your posture is important. Stand tall in heels and look feminine! A gorgeous, pretty dress means nothing if you don’t have the heel stance to go with it. Plus heels will give the illusion of a longer, slimmer leg, and a clutch bag means you have no bag obstructing your dress yet always have a cute accessory in your hand (as well as your glass of wine!).
5. For Australians, check out the luxury department stores such as David Jones for hair accessories and hats that are timless, classic and fantastic quality. It’s a lavish affair so don’t scrimp on ‘cheap’ – a cheap fascinator will stand out miles. UK readers – House of Fraser tend to have some great racewear accessories too, so worth a try visiting!
Now don’t go asking me for betting tips…that I can’t help with…