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Winning at the races

Written by Jackie O'Fee on November 2nd, 2011.      1 comments

Melbourne Cup Day usually heralds the start of the summer racing season and yesterday I was lucky enough to be a judge of the Style awards at the Te Hana Sparkling Melbourne Cup day at Ellerslie. It was a great day of racing, fashion and fun but sadly the weather kept everyone in a series of rather draughty tents (shades of fashion weeks past), rather than out in the sunshine.

I hardly know one end of a horse from another and placing a bet is a bit like trying to learn Spanish in five minutes, racing for me is all about the glamour of the event. When I did place a bet I have to admit the colours of the jockey’s silks played a greater part than they perhaps should have! That said, even when viewed through the misty rain, you can’t help but be impressed by the awesome sight that is the rippling muscle of a gorgeous thoroughbred thundering past.  
Racewear Personal Stylist
My fellow judge Di Goldsworthy & I
Although the horses are what it is all about for the trainers, owners and jockeys I was there for the fashion (along with many other women I suspect).  After all, when it comes to dress codes, the races are in a league of their own.  What other chance is there to get really dressed up - to make the effort to ensure every single item chosen works with every other item worn to create an overall effect? When else do we get to wear a hat and gloves for goodness sake? It’s a fashion gals dream!  
Judging for the Style Award basically involved wandering through the various venues with my fellow judge, the absolutely gorgeous Di Goldsworthy and spotting those among the crowd who had not only made some effort with their dress, but also exuded an overall elegance and polish. To do “Racewear” well requires an element of planning every detail and frustratingly for Di and me, nothing really showcased New Zealand’s casual attitude to dress codes than the dress of many of the gathered crowd.
Personal Stylist AucklandPersonal Shopper
It's all in the details
Now, I know that many of us come from a more practical or possibly cash-strapped viewpoint, so wearing your favourite pretty dress and shoving a $15 fascinator on your head in a nod to the dress-code is as good as it’s going to get, but I’ve got to say this is one occasion where you really should actually make a bit more effort – you really want everything to match - even if it means borrowing from friends or a trip to Spotlight for beads or feathers.  For the judging we looked at every detail – hat, bag, shoes, jewellery and even the make-up. With the men it was really difficult to find contenders as many simply hadn’t bothered to dress up. Guys, wearing your everyday business suit won’t cut it – you should at least add a hat, a kerchief and matching tie, as well as a stylish shirt and great shoes.
Liam & Kelly - Our Style Award Winners
Did I win any money? Not a razoo, but I had a great time and not least of all because of the fun I had putting my outfit together!

NB: All photos courtesy of Ellerslie.


Nicky Bushnell says ...
Hi Jackie
Lovely to see you doing what you are superb at for the race-going girls at Ellerslie. It is lovely to see so many (women) dressing up for racing now in NZ - come on guys make an effort.

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