Spring Racing: How To Look Stylish Without Spending All The Cash

Trackside elegance minus the price tag.

12/10/2016 1:40 PM AEDT | Updated 12/10/2016 1:43 PM AEDT
It's possible.

Say what you will about spring carnival fashion, but the racecourse has always been a bona fide stomping ground for some of Australia's (if not the world's) most stylish women.

Indeed, Aussies have been watching the Melbourne Cup for more than 150 years so it's only natural we've been taking notes.

Of course we won't deny there have been some questionable moments on the field but hey, we can only go up from there.

But before we start, let's bust a common misconception. Looking a million bucks at the races doesn't have to entail spending a million bucks on a dress you'll never wear again. Claire Fabb, stylist and director of Style By Yellow Button explains the best approach to the spring carnival is to try and work with what you've already got.

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'You can't beat looking polished, so spend time on your hair, makeup and nails.'

"If you've got a great fitting dress in your wardrobe, there's no reason why you can't upstyle it with different accessories," Fabb told The Huffington Post Australia.

Obviously your dress will need to fit certain criteria to make it race day appropriate. Fabb warns if it's a dress you'd wear to a nightclub then it's probably not going to be right.

"Make sure it's not too short, not too tight and not showing too much flesh," Fabb said.

Instead of forking out money for an entirely new outfit, look to purchase a bold accessory like a headpiece, a hat or a great pair of shoes.


"If you have a great hat, you could always go and buy an amazing broach or beautiful ribbon from a haberdashery store to create something truly unique for that day," Fabb said.

Simply grab your favourite fedora (making sure it's in good condition) and add a ribbon and an interesting broach and you've got yourself a classic and truly individual look.

Not creative? Fabb said there are also plenty of high street stores like The Iconic, Saba and Witchery that sell affordable headpieces.

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Instead of buying an entirely new outfit try and repurpose something you've already got and then spending on a bold accessory.

As well as re-purposing pieces you've already got, Fabb said it's important to invest time in your grooming.

"To create a really polished look, spend a bit of time doing your nails and hair as well as your makeup," Fabb said.

Last year we saw a lot of dark wine-coloured lips however Fabb said this year it's best to stick with neutral tones or a classic red lip.

This year it's all about pastels and natural makeup.

As for the dress styles and colours that will be big this year, Fabb said we will see a return to ladylike elegance.

"Although we've seen digital prints and bolder statements in previous seasons, this year it's all about pastels and beautiful feminine textures like lace and pleats -- so tapping into that femininity that we love with racing."

"White dresses with different textures and also architectural silhouettes which we've seen previously from Toni Maticevski will be popular as well as longer lengths, again returning to that classic elegance," Fabb said.

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