Fashion in the Fields 101 January 23 2014, 0 Comments

Fashion in the Fields is a fun and exciting event to be part of. If you are a seasoned professional, or thinking about entering for the first time, we hope a few of these tips will help make your experience a great one!

1) It's all about class

Keywords to consider when planning your outfit: Classic, ladylike, elegant, demure. If your dream outfit doesn't quite match up to those, it's probably best suited to a different occasion.

It's all about being a lady.

Julie is a regular Fashion in Fields entrant. Her outfits are always classy and elegant with her own modern twist. Photo credit: Ellerslie. Julie is wearing our bespoke hat at this fashion in the field event at Ellerslie.

2) Know the nitty gritty

Each racetrack has their own rules and regulations. These are a must read! The judging criteria is often different at each event, and before you plan your outfit make sure you know exactly what the judges are looking for. Make sure you know your registration times - this is the one time it is not acceptable to be fashionably late! Most racecourses have a no late registration policy. Get there early and plan ahead to avoid any last minute catastrophes.

3) Find your inspiration

Each raceday often has it's own theme. Look on the racetrack website, research past winners and look at photographs. For example, Derby Day is traditionally black and white. These themes are very important - and again checking the judging criteria is imperative.

Remember, the Supreme Winner at a major raceday often becomes the 'face' for the raceclub itself for the next year. Any photographs on the day will likely be used in advertisements, on their websites and other social media. The judges have been given the job to find an ambassador. When you are creating your outfit, think about it from the raceclub's perspective, is it marketable - does it sell a look?

Anna Campbell: Ascot Lady winner Ellerslie Boxing Day Races 2013. Photo credit: Ellerslie. Anna wearing a bespoke Natalie Chan couture hat.

4) Fashionable, not frumpy!

Although racedays often have a theme, you can still create a very original and modern look. Classic doesn't have to mean dowdy. Good styles never go out of fashion. Look for influences from eras past combined with your own fashion style.

Great separates also look just as good as a dress!

For example: This photo below is a fantastic example of what you can create. This is a great Derby Day outfit, but with a pop of colour.

Outfit: All Natalie Chan Boutique Model: Jessica West-Walker

5) Does that suit me?

Do your research about YOU. What shapes/styles/colours suit you?  That latest trend might look fantastic on the catwalk, but does it translate on you?

Show off your assets.. in a conservative way.

6) Never ever will I ever..

... have my hem shorter than just above the knee

... show cleavage

... wear a strapless dress

... wear a ball gown/full length dress

Personal appearance is very important. Don't overdo the make up or the fake tan! Make sure your hair is very tidy, most competitors opt for a classic hair-up. Make sure you have no flyaways and that your hair is brushed back from your face.

7) I will always look..

... sophisticated!

8) The cherry on top

Remember that this is an outfit you are putting together. The dress is important, but the hat or headpiece is the cherry on top.

You need something very tasteful that works with your outfit. There are good milliners in New Zealand who are just a phone call away! There is a large difference in quality from a milliner to a mass produced shop. You don't have to have the Eiffel Tower on your head, but your headpiece or hat can't be a let down.

Most milliners will help you find a hairstyle to suit your chosen piece and find a way to secure it firmly. If it has an elastic it is very important that you try to cover it as much as possible. Also insure that the elastic is as close you can to your hair in colour.

Big big big...! Photo Credit: The A-List

9) Where do I start?!

Look online and read some style blogs. Look at previous winners/entrants to get ideas - but never copy!

We recommend getting your dress first, and then sourcing your millinery and then accessories. That being said, often you will find something you fall in love with, and then you end up working to find things to match (This can be very tricky!).

If you know a good milliner/tailor that creates made to order pieces that is a big step forward to getting your look.

On the day make sure that you have a small kit with you in case of emergencies. Include: Flats for in between heats (you will need them trust me!), touch up make up and a small sewing kit. .. for just in case.

10) It's about having a good time

There will be nerves, potentially tears, and definitely sore feet and blisters from the heels.. But it is great fun! If it is your first time entering, be confident. The more you do, the more confident you will feel on stage - so get started and let us know how it goes!

Best of luck!


Stephie and the Natalie Chan Girls



*Stephie is the PR & Marketing Manager at Natalie Chan, model and top ten finalist in Miss Universe New Zealand.