Spring Racing Fashion

Spring Racing Carnival 2016 has finally arrived, and with it, everyone’s favourite dilemma: what to wear to the races! Track Mode has gathered the very best of spring racing dresses (millinery, too) — mostly because it’s what we love to do, and also because we want you to look your very best on the field! Enjoy!

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What to Wear to the Races

What to Wear to the Races | Spring Racing Carnival 2016 | Track Mode

Models in Oscar de la Renta, at the Myer Spring Fashion Launch 2016. Image: Getty

There’s fashion, and then there’s racing fashion. Australia is one of the few countries in the world that have a very strong tradition of horse racing. Just as the sport itself is in a league of its own (some would go so far as to call it “almost a religion”), so is race wear a different animal altogether.

Figuring out what to wear to the races takes a special kind of care, and a higher sensitivity for detail. Race day dresses have that certain look: it’s chic and elegant, never too tight or skimpy, and always with a special emphasis on being ladylike. At the races dresses can’t be too short. Millinery is a must. Comfortable (but still chic!) shoes are indispensable.

Australian racing fashion has a flavour all its own, neatly summed up by well-loved milliner Kim Fletcher: “In Australia we have big blue skies and so tend to wear bold colours and the further north you go, the brighter the colours.”

Which isn’t to say that understated elegance doesn’t have its place. Just as the country is well-known for its laid-back but fun and vibrant culture, Australians are also known to warmly embrace diversity of every kind.

You should also check out our beauty guide — we’ve got all the best makeup looks and hairstyles you need after you decide what to wear to the races.

Spring Racing Carnival 2016

This year’s racing season promises to be the best yet. Races horses are eager to make their mark, as are their breeders and owners. The stakes are even higher for the women — more and more females are saddling up, eager to prove themselves like Michelle Payne did last year when she won Melbourne Cup 2015.

To get the best out of the season, do more than your usual figuring out what to wear to the races: soak in the horse racing culture, find out which horses are racing, and why it matters. You might even find yourself buying a race horse for Spring Racing Carnival 2016.

Track Mode is a horse racing and fashion site founded and curated by Nina O’Brien. Find more racing fashion inspiration in our Ultimate Guide to Spring Racing Carnival 2016. You can also subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter to get exclusive race day fashion edits straight to your inbox, and be friends with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google+.