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Best in Show

The mere thought of the Spring Racing Carnival causes many of us to go into complete meltdown.  What to wear?  Do I need to fake tan?  Is it hat or fascinators this year?  Is my hairdresser free!?


womanwithdrive asked one of Australia’s most accomplished fashion writers and blogger, Janice Breen Burns from, for her hot tips this season. She shared some key looks for us to interpret for women with drive.


1)    Sculpture

Putting aside the younger race goers, for most women, fashion has moved away from a drapey, soft aesthetic to more sculptured and structured fabrics.  Think 1950s inspired clothing; gathered skirts, stiff pencil-skirts or the Chanel-esque tailored jacket.  This classic look is perfect for any elegant lady and oozes all kinds of sophistication.


2)   Monochrome

While Derby Day is traditionally black and white, we think monochrome packs a punch and is perfect for any race-day look.  Black and white is clean, simple and makes an impact without trying too hard.  Whether you go for a simple colour-blocked pattern, grid, stripes or houndstooth, this trend is assured to look modern and cool.  Plus, all good things are black and white anyway, Oreos, tuxedos and Chanel – just to name a few. Try to avoid zebra print, we don’t want to head into Real Housewives territory.


3)   1960s Inspired

Think Twiggy.  Think boxy shift-dresses.  Think colour and pattern.  Think Austin Powers and the Spy Who Shagged Me.  Perhaps that’s a little too far.

This trend is simple yet so versatile and works perfectly with many of this seasons emerging trends.  A simple shift dress can be amped up with a great monochrome pattern or take a more feminine approach with a creamy gelato pale or paint-box bright.  Whether you choose classic black and white or the whole ice-cream store, there’s a flavour for everyone.


4)   Prints

Floral print.  Liberty print.  Graphic print.  Animal print.  Global prints.  But which print is the right print?  This spring, it’s all about over-sized florals and graphic or global prints – think Asian, African and Indian inspired prints.  Take inspiration from different worldly cultures or get into full bloom with these great patterns.  If you don’t like the idea of loud, over-sized prints try toning them down with darker shades or monochromes.  But if you’re keen to step it up a notch, go bright and bold for a great spring colour burst.


5)   Textured Fabrics

When it comes to fabric choices, mix it up with lace or a baroque-inspired brocade.  But remember, when it comes to lace, there is a fine line between looking your conservative Sunday best and looking like the night before out on the town.  Think Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, not Lady Gaga.  Embrace seasonal colours like green and yellow.


You may remember Dolce & Gabbana’s opulent rococo-inspired runway show last year.  With delicate embroidery and rich tapestry designs, this trend took on many different interpretations from lavish luxe to monochrome modern at Balmain.  To stop yourself from looking like a Rembrandt painting, go for a toned-down look with minimal jewellery.  You want to look opulent and make a statement, without turning into a Marie Antoinette costume.


And one last tip, do not EVER take your shoes off.  It doesn’t matter how sore your feet are, the barefoot look is not stylish.

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