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Spring racing fashion trends

Sam McMeekin discusses the latest fashion trends and what we should expect to see during this year's spring carnival.
source: wikimedia commons

Racing season means the red carpet is traded in for a stretch of green grass as some of our favourite fashion icons take to the fashions on the field showcasing the latest trends and unique styles.

But it’s not just celebs that participate in this series of fashion events every year. In the last few days before the spring racing carnival hits full speed, girls are running around all over the place trying to find the perfect dress, shoes and headpiece to complete their spring racing outfit. The fashion of the races is almost as important as the races themselves and we all love an excuse to dress up, even the boys.


As the warmth of spring is welcomed with open arms, so are floral patterns. The popularity of floral patterned clothes has been increasing over the past few years and has finally hit overload with floral skirts, dresses, headpieces and even pants expected to make a statement on race day.

Independent online stores such as My Sunday Feeling and Her Pony are showcasing spectacular floral bodice dresses that look like real flowers.

We can expect to see a lot of pastel and bright floral dresses making their statement trackside, with high necks and fanned skirts proving a popular choice. Floral blazers are also making their way onto the scene and will be the perfect cover up over a single coloured dress for those cooler race days.

On top of this, floral headpieces are also becoming quite popular with ladies opting for headbands and floral wreaths over the traditional fascinator.


Every girl wants to be the lady in red, the one that catches all the eyes of the crowd and has everyone talking about that stunning red outfit. We saw it at the Brownlow and we’ll see it again at the races. Red dresses, fascinators and pant suits will be a stand out amongst the crowd.

Whilst bold colours have remained popular over the years, not many have dared to take on the challenge of red. It’s vibrancy and outstanding colour is hard to pull off and it’ll be interesting to see who is up to the challenge.


Yes velvet. Not exactly the coolest material for the warm sun of spring, but ladies will be braving the heat in order to wear this fashionable fabric. The texture of velvet is something to be admired and has been underestimated over the years. But it’s managed to make its way back into our wardrobes with its shimmering colour and unusual texture.

While dresses made entirely of velvet have become popular, some ladies may be opting for just a small amount of velvet detail instead in order to cope with the heat. Patterned dresses using velvet outlines and patchwork will be popular, giving outfits a shimmering glow and unique style.


Last year it was all about colour blocking and this year it’s all about neon blocking. Neon colours and accessories will be making a statement on race day with a flashback of the notorious eighties fashion favourite. Neon is no longer seen as tacky and tragic, but stylish and modern.

Similar to last year, neon blocking will have to be used in moderation as too much can ruin an outfit. When it comes to neon accessories, there will be a fine line between a hit and a miss and only the bravest of fashion icons will be attempting to pull of this look.

The boys

I know what you’re thinking. Boys just wear suits, nothing special, just the same as every year. But there is one thing that’s changing. Bowties are back. Boys are throwing away the skinny ‘muso’ tie for the Charlie Chaplin bowtie. The best thing about bowties is they come in all different colours and can change the dynamic of a boy’s outfit completely. Bold coloured bowties will be daring and fun while traditional black bowties can make the rowdiest punters look like classy gentlemen.

When it comes to the spring racing fashion, Melbourne is under the spotlight and will always bring out some of the best (and unfortunately the worst) fashion ensembles. There is no other time of the year when headpieces, hats and fascinators are worn with such flair and I for one can’t wait to see what surprises are in store.  If you’re interested in keeping up with the best fashion of the races while it’s happening I suggest following Jennifer Hawkins and Jesinta Campbell on Instagram. These two never miss an opportunity for ‘selfies’ of their outfits and photos of their celebrity friends.

Sam McMeekin is a third-year Bachelor of Journalism student at La Trobe University and is one of upstart’s staff writers. You can follow her on Twitter: @sammcmeeks

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