A Guide to Dressing Like a Fox at the Races

By Kate Piasecka, avid race-goer

I adore dressing up and heading trackside. I love racing fashion – it’s kind of like British wedding fashion with an Australian twist. I love the frocks and the extravagant millinery and the romance behind putting together a completely unique outfit you wouldn’t ordinarily wear anywhere but at the track.

I work in spring racing PR so as you can imagine, I’m in my element.

And so armed with the knowledge I have honed to a fine art, and in celebration of the 50TH anniversary of the iconic Myer Fashions on the Field,  here is my guide to dressing like a fox at the races:

1. Be a traditionalist.

Thighs, cleavage or completely exposed shoulders should be saved for your casual summer wardrobe, or a nightclub.

2. Dress for the weather.

There is nothing worse than seeing freezing cold women at the races.

3. Millinery is a must.

A. MUST. Millinery can be a hat, a fascinator or some other kind of head piece like the Gatsby-style pieces we are currently seeing in stores. Millinery doesn’t have to be expensive. Trust me. Today I went to Spotlight and purchased a hot glue gun, some faux flowers, a ready-made base and a head band and BOOM, I have a magnificent hat (or so I like to think!) for less than $30.

Note from Andrea: If you’re going down the DIY route, only approach if you are really ‘crafty’ and you’ve got the time to make it especially fab. Circa 2003, non-crafty me swiftly created my ‘masterpiece’ for Melbourne Cup, only to find myself chatting with a renowned Australian Milliner in The Birdcage. Let’s just say I blushed, a lot.

4. If you are planning to walk on grass, do not wear stilettos.

Our Prime Minister demonstrated why this is so imperative this week when she tumbled onto a grassy lawn in India, and later said “…if you wear a heel it can get embedded in soft grass. And then when you pull your foot out, the shoe doesn’t come – and then the rest of it is as you saw.

Sure, wear a heel, but make sure it’s one that won’t leave you with a sinking feeling – try a wedge instead. And if you don’t think you can last in your shoes all day, pack a pair of flats, I do it every year. Flat shoes are better than no shoes!

5. Old meets new.

Racing style is all about incorporating traditional style with on-trend pieces and creating a look you probably wouldn’t wear anywhere else. This season’s major trends are peplum, lace, florals, clashing patterns and neon. Work ’em.

6. Dress for comfort.

A race day can be a long day, so make sure you are wearing something you are comfortable in, not something you will be adjusting all day because it isn’t right for your body type or that makes you self-conscious.

7. The sun is up. Dress accordingly.

Avoid evening-style dresses made from silk, for example.

8. Hydrate and protect.

Sunscreen and water are your best friends for a day in the sun drinking champagne. If you don’t hook up with these besties, you will look like a hot mess by the end of the day, no matter how amazing you looked at 10am. Trust me.

9. Make sure you watch some actual horse racing!

You know what goes best with racing style? Enthusiasm for the actual event.It’s fun flirting around in a frock, but it’s rude to ignore our equine friends. Go on girls, get into it!


All that said, I haven’t always been a self-proclaimed racing fashion know-all. If you Google me for long enough, you’ll probably stumble across 22-year-old-me, sporting a strapless leopard print number while sculling out of a champagne bottle at the 2008 Melbourne Cup. Classy.


Need inspiration?

Cincopa WordPress plugin

Photos courtesy of sdpmedia

When your outfit is sorted, why not see how you fare in the fashion stakes?

Enter the Myer Fashions on the Field here, and the Chadstone Fashion Stakes here.

Have you ever attempted a DIY head-piece for the races, and what was your secret to success?

And have you ever taken a Gillard-style lawn-tumble? 

baby hanger1 The Fox in Flats Top 50 Style Dare Bloggers, 2012



Sharing is Foxy!


  • http://www.lipglossmumma.blogspot.com.au/ Lipgloss Mumma

    I love getting dressed up for the races, but i don’t think we will get there this year :( Anyhow, I always love simple and classy. Always. Great tips!

    • FoxInFlats

      Simple & classy wins the day. Every time. x

  • http://twitter.com/ShesSonic Sonia // She’s Sonic

    Awesome tips, Kate! I’d love to attend a Spring Racing Carnival event one day.

    • FoxInFlats

      She’s done a fab job. I’d so concur about the comfy shoes too – went to Derby Day two years ago and was in agony!

  • Melissa Mitchell

    You actually made that sound fun! I’ve never been interested in the races, but that sounded like a fun day! I want to see your hat though.

    I love the first dress in the gallery, and then the yellow one in pic 5 (I think it was 5?)

    • FoxInFlats

      Hi Melissa, Kate’s awesome DIY effort is in her pic. My sad DIY effort is in the hall of shame 😉 x

  • http://kimbalikes.com Kim-Marie Williams

    Gorgeous hat, you clever girl Kate! X

  • http://kimbalikes.com Kim-Marie Williams

    Keep it classy at all times. Be inspired by all the retro fashions out at the moment. X

  • Pingback: ONLINE: Guest Post for Fox in Flats « Kate Piasecka()

Browse Categories

Style in Stages

  • Babe in arms
    Babe in arms: 3 tips for finding a great childcare centre, and what a carer should NEVER say to a parent
  • Breastfeeding
    Breastfeeding: 3 of-the-moment looks perfect for breastfeeding
  • Pregnancy
    Pregnancy: When is the right time to have kids?
  • School mum
    School mum: My kids and I have sorted your Autumn wardrobes + WIN a $500 shopping spree at NEXT
  • Teens at home
    Teens at home: 5 foxy finds for when you’re freezing at the footy

Style Inspiration

  • Celebrity
    Celebrity: Margaret Zhang: Blogging tips, the perfect winged eyeliner, and the 90s staple that’s baack!
  • Playground Style
    Playground Style: Style Share: Jasmine @PrettyChuffed

Fashion Filter

  • Accessories
    Accessories: Summer Sunglasses Trends 2015
  • Bottoms
    Bottoms: Overall update
  • Dresses
    Dresses: Luxurious silk for under $200
  • Lingerie
    Lingerie: If Spanx are “the work of the devil,” I’ll see you in hell
  • Shoes
    Shoes: Two sandals that’ll take you from picnic to party + WIN SHOES!
  • Tops
    Tops: 8 trans-seasonal classics every woman needs

Mother’s Group

  • Inspiration
    Inspiration: 5 unisex Valentine’s gifts that go the extra mile

Tips and Ideas

  • Beauty
    Beauty: Less than 5 minutes to the perfect fake tan
  • Body
    Body: Who needs a running buddy when you can get one of these?
  • Cheap & cheerful
    Cheap & cheerful: C’mon baby, light my fire: 3 candles to uplift, inspire, and sexify
  • Hair
    Hair: 5 beauty tips to simplify your summer
  • Travel
    Travel: Top 10 travel tips for a healthy & safe family holiday

Style Dares

  • Style Dares
    Style Dares: DAREcember 2015: Putting style back into the silly season


  • WIN
    WIN: Two sandals that’ll take you from picnic to party + WIN SHOES!



Work with [FIFTAG]


don't miss out!

WEEKLY tips, ideas and inspiration straight to your inbox