A wise woman known as Coco once said that the secret to accessorising is to take off the last thing you put on. This fashion observer agrees and puts forward the hypothesis that the end result of ignoring this nugget of style advice is racing fashion.Racing fashion is about getting dolled up, dolled up real classy like. Under the style mantra of ‘more is more’, the aim is to stand out from the crowd, hopefully win a best dressed prize and go home with a hat gift voucher, a crystal vase and sore feet.
There are two main forms of dressing for the races. The first is the easy option and one most favoured by the younger lady – a short, tight cocktail dress, platform shoes and a fascinator.
Crowds of girls can be seen walking arm-in-arm ‘Sex and the City’-style at racing events, using the combined power of their bare home-bronzed legs to gain as much attention as possible.
The main choice of head adornment, the fascinator, is fascinating – a whimsical feathered question mark above each head asking the eternal question, ‘Why am I here?’
The other mode of dressing for a race meet is the style-queen route. These fashion aficionadas mark the occasion by accessorising themselves to the power of Christmas tree. The style-queen wants more than attention – she wants to WIN.
With Ladies Days becoming something of a cultural phenomenon in Ireland, it can be a pleasant display of Irish millinery with many women choosing to go the bespoke route. That’s good business for a niche industry in this day and age.
So the style-queen channels her inner stylist. More often than not, dressing on the high road is a less revealing sartorial adventure – knee length dresses and coats are de rigueur. The judges are looking for a shining beam of class and style. Showing a bit of leg is not often rewarded.