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Autumn Racing trends

With the Autumn Carnival kicking off, The Style Doctor is here to give you some racewear style medicine and have you looking your absolute best at the track.

If you’re new to races the biggest thing to know about racewear fashion is the difference in Spring and Autumn looks which includes millinery.  Hats and headpieces for the Autumn carnival should be felt, wool, leather, suede, a leather or metallic crown, or a bow. Keep your straw and sinnamay hats for spring.

You should have slightly more coverage in your Autumn look so choose a higher neckline, sleeves or a lower hemline.  Avoid strapless and thin straps as well as summery prints as it’s not the season.

Also, please remember to only follow the trends that suit your body shape, your colouring and your personal style.  If it’s too far out of your comfort zone or if it’s not suiting your shape you won’t feel confident in your look.  Most importantly don't take it all too seriously and have fun!


The trends

There are a few key trends this season and I have narrowed it down to:

  1. Bows, Bows, Bows
  2. Buoy oh Buoy (nautical)
  3. Power Suits and Bold Colours
  4. Romanticism 
  5. Couture Cowgirl
  6. Leopard Lover
  7. Monochrome (Derby Day)

Bows, bows, bows

Bows are a strong trend this season both in apparel and millinery.  Chanel, Gucci as well as Alexander McQueen showed bows on the runway and Australian Designer Rebecca Vallance has a strong bow aesthetic in her designs and even Ellery has some bow pieces.  Bows have been seen in prints, added to shoulders, added to the backs of tops and dresses, pussy bows, bow headbands, bows in the hair and millinery with bows. Bows are one of the easiest trends to incorporate this season because anyone can add a bow to a top or a shirt and anyone can add a bow to their hair without having to spend a lot of money on millinery.

Buoy oh Buoy

The nautical trend is back in a big way!  Think tailored jackets, gold button details, red, white and navy blue colour combinations in clothing and headwear and of course boater hats. Chanel and Balmain are always  leaders in the nautical trend and locally Camilla and Marc and Carla Zampatti have some nautical inspired pieces, so too does Amazon.com for some less expensive pieces.  

In terms of Millinery, Viktoria Novak’s latest ‘Audrey’ collection has some beautiful nautical head pieces and so too does Ann Shoebridge’s trans-seasonal nautical pieces.  Almost all milliners do a version of the boater hat which is also perfect for this trend as well as sailor caps.

Power Suits and Bold Colours

The 80’s is back on trend however the crimped hair, stone washed denim, mini skirts and bad make up is not appropriate for the races.  Instead we have taken the best of the 8o’s and reinvented the power suit in bold colours, textured fabrics, beautiful bottoms, double breasted styles, power shoulders as well as colour clashing.

I’m so excited about this trend as it means this Autumn carnival we won’t just be seeing the usual burgundy and forest green colours but vibrant colours which are normally reserved for Spring Racing.  Pink is the strongest colour this season with so many designers including pink in their collection including Michael Lo Sordo, Ginger and Smart and Sass and Bide to name a few.  The primary colours of red, blue and yellow are also strong.


This trend is inspired by the Romantic period in the 1800’s with billowing sleeves, lace, florals, high necklines, corsets and midi length hemlines all key features.

This trend is a softer, more feminine style and suits women who love to wear pretty, feminine styles.  Lover, Aje, Erdem and even Finders Keepers have clothes with high necklines, billowing or puffy sleeves.

Your hat or headpiece should also have a feminine aesthetic and Genevieve Ren, Viktoria Novak and Millinery Jill have some beatiful pieces this season.

Couture Cowgirl

Ever since Dior did a couture cowgirl collection, this trend has trickled down to other designers right down to high street fashion including Zara.

You could make a statement in a Zimmermann dress or for a more wearable look and a look you could easily wear again and again, opt for a leather skirt with a shirt or blouse.  Adding belts or a bow to the shirt can also add to the couture cowgirl look and top it off with a Nerida Winter or Penelope Haddrill cowboy hat.


Leopard Lover

Leopard print is a strong trend this season but it’s important to get it right otherwise it can go horribly wrong and your look can fall into the cheap and nasty category (even when it’s expensive).  

Accentuate a look with leopard print heels or a leopard print hat or wear a leopard print dress or a skirt and top and pair it back with more neutral accessories so it’s not too over powering.

Monochrome (Derby Day)

Derby Day is one of my favourite days because as I say to all my clients, black and white is always right.  Black and white is always stylish and never goes out of fashion.  This year Derby Day is on Saturday 6th April at Royal Randwick and a monochrome look is a must!

Polka dots, checks, hounds tooth, textured fabrics are all ways you can create a stand out look.  If you have gone for an all black or an all white look wear a statement hat or statement accessories so the look pops.  I was blown away by the Mother of Pearl polka dot looks and the skull caps with a bow is so original.  I also love edgier masculine looks with pants, a suit or a suit dress.

If you're heading to the races and need some further Style Medicine, you can book a Personal Styling and Shopping experience with us or if you can't make it to Sydney we can do it all remotely via our Virtual Styling experience. 

Stay stylish or if fashion pain or dowdiness persists, please consult your Style Doctor.

Kash x