How To Survive The Spring Racing Carnival In Style

25 Oct

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I’ve been going to the races since I was a little girl.  My mum & dad would take me and my two sisters to the Melbourne Cup every year.  It was a big family outing to the city from where we lived in what was then, the country.  As a little girl, holding my mum or dads hand wandering through the crowds, the races were a visual feast for my little eyes.  We’d stand outside the Members Enclosure and peer in at the glamorously dressed ladies, marvel at the big beautiful colored roses and we’d find very entertaining the jokers dressed as superheroes or in cleverly designed outfits made out of beer cans.

It was this introduction by my parents, as a little girl, that fueled my love and fascination for racing and a racing social event, today.  I’m quite the seasoned racegoer now, but as a young woman in my twenties, beyond excited by a day at the races with my friends, I learnt the hard way.  I left home looking lady-like and came home red as a beetroot, shoes in hand, with the early on-set of a monstrous champagne headache.   Not a good look.  So I thought, after years of experience I’d pass on the things that I’ve learnt about surviving the races in style.

  • You don’t need to dress traditionally.  You don’t need to wear a hat.  You should, however, try and dress so that you feel comfortable, chic and stylish – not exposing too much flesh and not like you’re going clubbing or the beach.  Remember it’s an event held during the day, so the dress is day wear, not evening wear.
  • Don’t carry an enormous handbag.  Carry a small clutch or wear a small shoulder bag.   It’s more elegant than lugging around your big every day, carry all sack.
  • Don’t overdo the fake tan. Remember the aim is for you to look naturally tanned, not resembling a mandarin.
  • Carry lipstick, band-aids, painkillers and a couple of safety pins….just in case.
  • Don’t wear shoes that haven’t been worn in – even if it’s just around the house while you do the housework.
  • Don’t wear brand new, never worn shoes.  You’ll last an hour and you’ll want to go home.  If you don’t love or are inexperienced in wearing high heels, opt for a wedge – particularly if it’s raining.  The heel won’t sink into the grass and they’re much more comfortable than a stiletto if you’re on your feet all day.  Consider wearing gel cushions in your shoes and maybe even carrying a little pair of fold up ballet slippers  in your bag for the trip home.  DO NOT LEAVE THE RACECOURSE CARRYING YOUR SHOES AND WEARING NOTHING ON YOUR FEET.
  • Wear shapewear so you don’t need to suck in your tummy all day.
  • Slather on the sunscreen.  You don’t want to have to back up on Oaks Day, after Cup Day, with a sunglasses mark on your face.
  • Take something to throw over your shoulders (a trench, pashmina or Nana’s fur cape)…..just in case it gets cool…..& put them in the cloak room.  Don’t forget to collect them at the end of the day.
  • Have a very big breakfast and then don’t forget to eat during the day.
  • Don’t have your first glass of bubbles til at least midday and alternate each glass with a glass of water.   It might seem like a great idea at the time to make the most of the free flowing drinks, but nobody wants to open the Herald Sun the next day and see a photo of themselves looking like this…..

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