From the monthly archives: "May 2013"

Preakness is less than a week away and come next Saturday the Party in the Infield will be shown also in the fashion on the day.Perfect Preakness Outfit

Make sure you’ve got your outfit together for this fun in the sun (hopefully) day! Do you remember the Triple Crown Trends?? Preakness is all about the Infield and the party that it brings, so this day isn’t about florals, southern belles, or mint juleps, this day is about ‘Gettin your ‘Preak’ on!’

peplum2We are looking for bold prints, patterns, and modern textures. Polka Dot, Aztec, stripes,  and colors galore. Feel free to pair up to contradicting patterns, polka dot top, and striped skirt etc. Have fun with Maryland colors: Red, Black, White, and Yellow…very Mod style! You can absolutely incorporate more black into your outfit (compared to the Kentucky Derby) but make sure its balanced with other colors, and not just white, leave that for the Belmont Stakes!

Preakness outfit 1

The Black Eyed Susan is the flower of the day, a yellow petal with a black center…so of course you can pick black and yellow for your outfit colors! Black Eyed Susan Day is dedicated to breast cancer survivors with a portion of the profits benefitting Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Although the Kentucky Oaks Day is dedicated to the color pink, Black Eyed Susan Day does a bit of the same so feel free to incorporate a little bit of pink into your outfit but don’t go all out in pink like you did for Oaks. If you want to go all out in a color…YELLOW is the color to do so! Check out this outfit for inspiration:

Little bit of yellow, little bit of black, little bit of pink….PERFECT outfit for Black Eyed Susan Day!

Black Eyed Susan Outfit 1

Heading into the big day, the second leg of the Triple Crown, Preakness Stakes day, the Infield festivities and action only get bigger and you know that means we all have to step up our fashion game too. Again for this fantastic day you want bright fun colours, fun patterns and feel free to mix and NOT MATCH!

Preakness outfit 5

Now, when we say ‘NOT MATCH’, we want you to throw some caution to the wind and pair up patterns and styles that may not normally be considered best friends. Throw together stripes and polka dots, pair up a striking pattern with a single block downstairs…oh, and whatever you do, don’t forget your hat which is always necessary for race days!

All of these millinery (hats/fascinators) pieces and more can be found at the Fashion at the Races website.

Check out these outfits for some inspiration…..and yeh, one more thing…#Getyourpreakon

Preakness outfit 3

Preakness outfit 2



Suzy walked on the Pink Carpet with such a smile that she showed the crowd she was confident while having fun. Her pink outfit stood out in the crowd of 200 women and won our social media vote! We were honored to be able to chat with this fabulous woman and here all her thoughts on the competition as well as the details of her winning outfit!Suzy Buckley Winner of the Longines Most Elegant Lady


First of all, congratulations on your win! How nervous were you and what was going through your head while you were standing in the Top 10 line? Suzy Buckley Winner of the Longines Most Elegant Lady

I was so excited to be chosen, especially alongside my friend Criselda (she is contestant #65 in the lineup)! We were both so happy to be up there together, because it made the whole experience even more fun. I even grabbed and squeezed her hand before they announced the winner, because I figured it was probably my last (and only) chance to be in a pageant-esque scenario.


When they said your number, what were your first thoughts?? 

I was not 100% sure I heard them call my number at first, but my friend grabbed me with her to walk on stage. I had only actually heard her number, so when I was walking on stage, I thought “this is going to be embarrassing if they didn’t actually call me up and I have to go back down those stairs.”


When did you start styling your outfit? 

On New Year’s Day 2013, Criselda called me to find out what outfit I was planning on wearing for the pink-themed Kentucky Oaks Ladies’ Day. I said “Are you kidding? You’re crazy! It’s five months from now!” And she said “You really haven’t decided yet? Do you at least have your hat?” She made me feel even more worried and panicky when she started sending me links to various pink outfit possibilities online. That was my impetus to get my act together. The pressure! The irony is, as you can see from the photos, Criselda herself ended up wearing WHITE! Maybe that is why she did not win the contest.

Suzy Buckley Winner of the Longines Most Elegant Lady

Tell me about the outfit from head to toe. You said there was a funny story about your hat? Where did you get everything?

I pre-ordered the Oscar de la Renta top and skirt online, and just hoped it would fit. It was from the Spring/Summer 2013 collection. The top came with a matching “shocking pink” camisole, I decided to buy a tight, nude Spanx tank top and wear that under the shirt instead.I liked how the nude underlay made it easier to see and appreciate the embroidery.

As for the hat, I happened to be going to London in April, so I researched a bunch of milliners to visit while I was in town. By this time, I had my ODLR outfit, and I brought it with me so I could match it to whichever hat or fascinator I found.

I went to Harrods, Liberty of London, Misa Harada and Gina Foster. I found some really spectacular hats everywhere, especially at Harrods. It was a really hard decision to make. But it was at Philip Treacy’s shop on Elizabeth Street that I found the ideal topper for this ensemble. I originally purchased a pink hat with a white squiggle on top. The sales clerk wrapped it up really well in tissue paper and put it in a big, silver cardboard box so I could bring it safely with me on the plane home. Criselda–who, if you haven’t noticed by now, was seemingly obsessed with my sartorial choices for Derby weekend–texted me quite a few times during my trip, urging me to send her a photo of the hat I bought. But the hat was so perfectly wrapped up for the flight, I didn’t feel like unwrapping the whole package just to photograph the hat for her. I looked online to find a photo, but didn’t see anything remotely like it. Criselda would not let up with her hat inquiries, so I finally decided to just unwrap it and snap a quick shot of it so she’d leave me alone. But then I couldn’t find it! I looked around my hotel room for that silver box, and did not see it. I thought maybe the hotel housekeeper had placed it in a drawer or maybe on top of something, but no! It was nowhere to be found. I was traveling with my friend Joyce, and the two of us tore the entire room apart. Surely, it had to be somewhere. I didn’t think for one second that anyone would have stolen the hat, because–really, now–who on earth would want a shocking pink hat with a white squiggle on top? It’s a very particular item, and probably wouldn’t suit everyone’s tastes (or match many outfits). However, the box had indeed disappeared from the room, so it was necessary to alert the hotel staff. The security team from the hotel came to the suite and asked me a bunch of questions. They then forwarded through hours and hours of security tape until they saw me walking into the room with the box one afternoon, and then–about 24 hours later–the hotel maid walking out of the room with the garbage (including the big silver cardboard hat box from Philip Treacy) in tow.Suzy Buckley Winner of the Longines Most Elegant Lady

Unfortunately, by the time we got to the bottom of this, it was time for me to fly back home to Miami. So the hotel manager had to contact the Philip Treacy boutique, order me a new hat, and ship it to me in the US. This time, I went with the pink squiggle. It came just in the nick of time, a few days before I left for Louisville. Because the squiggle was so long, thin and delicate, I did not trust transporting it in any sort of a hat box on the plane. So I just carried it in my hand the whole way. At one point, a flight attendant suggested I put it in the overhead bin, but she was going to have to throw me off the plane first before I was going to do that. I would never have smooshed that hat up in the overhead bin, especially after all it had been through! I still can’t believe she asked me to do that.

I have been to a few Kentucky Derbys, and since this wasn’t my first rodeo, I knew that comfortable shoes are of utmost importance. You’re on your feet from at least 11 am through dinner and beyond! There is no point in wearing gorgeous shoes that give you blisters, because then you won’t feel up to walking around and enjoying the experience. So I bought a pair of silver Jimmy Choo pumps with heels of a moderate height. I walked around the store for about 25 minutes to make sure I was not going to have any unexpected issues.

The color of my skirt somehow rubbed off onto my white Chanel bag, and turned it pink. That was a bummer. You have to be so careful with white leather handbags–they pick up the color of whatever clothing you wear, especially denim or anything too bright. I learned my lesson the hard way!


What did you think the judges would be looking for?

I had no idea what the judges would be looking for, because horse racing fashion in America tends to skew country, with wide-brimmed, floppy hats and floral, A-line dresses. That’s not my style, but looks like those have won in the past. In fact, that’s even how a lot of the celebrities at the Derby dress. You’ll see actors and actresses, musicians and models look stunningly polished at the Emmys, Grammys or Oscars, and then they show up at the Derby as if they thought it was a country and western costume party. For this event, I just bought an outfit I was comfortable in that felt “Kentucky Derby” mixed with a little “Palm Beach.” Hats with oversized brims look dated to me.

 Suzy Buckley Winner of the Longines Most Elegant Lady

Who is your favorite designer? Milliner? 

I love Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera for daytime parties, but usually wear a lot of Lanvin, Alexander McQueen, Fendi and Naeem Khan for nighttime events.

Philip Treacy is fabulous, but I like the special one-of-a-kind pieces I found at his boutique in London more than what’s available at the department stores in America. Department stores buy a lot of “safe” hats, because their clients probably aren’t as comfortable taking millinery fashion chances. I think the best hats are whimsical and beautiful at the same time, because it always guarantees you’ll get smiled at by the people who see you–whether it’s because they are amused or just think you look nice. When it comes to hats, there is a fine line between silly and chic, and you should definitely stay on the chic side!


Do you think fashion is important at the horse races? If so, why?

Of course. The world has turned into such a jeans-and-t-shirts place these days. Everybody always seems to want to wear jeans to everything, all the time. That’s so boring. Maybe it’s because I’m from Miami, but I love to see color, texture, beading, sequins and great silhouettes. It’s stimulating to the senses to see artful ensembles, especially when you don’t see people dressing this way on a daily basis. The horses are gorgeous, the weather is (hopefully) beautiful, the flowers and track look lovely, and the people are dressed up creatively. I think dressing up for races heightens the experience of everyone who attends, and almost takes you back to a more romantic era in time.

Suzy Buckley Winner of the Longines Most Elegant Lady

What is your favorite racetrack to visit and why?

It’s a tie between Churchill Downs and Arlington Racetrack. They are both spectacular venues, so well-maintained and magnificent.


If you were designing the next winner’s outfit for the competition, what would you design?

It would be a form-fitting, pale pink dress, in the style of Roland Mouret or Victoria Beckham, with a belt-cinched waist and some sort of interesting shoulder detail.

Suzy Buckley Winner of the Longines Most Elegant Lady

Its finally that time again! KENTUCKY DERBY WEEK!!

Since its only a few short days until the Kentucky Oaks, followed by the Kentucky Derby, we will post a blog each day of a different outfit that you can wear to one (or both) of these days! Pair it with a beautiful hat from our store…and you’ve got your winning outfit!

Last outfit of the week…because today is KENTUCKY DERBY DAY!!!

We’ve put together an outfit that was inspired by a hat by Karen Morris Millinery. This black, grey, and bright yellow dress gives a fun and flirty feel about your outfit. Its a great print that is on an A-line dress with a small cutout in the front. We’ve paired this outfit with electric yellow platform sandals (remember your feel will last longer in platforms) and a yellow and black accented purse. To even out the yellow, we’ve added a bold black bracelet and fun black and yellow earrings. To finalize the stylish jewelry picks, we’ve put a statement black necklace with the outfit to give it that extra pizzazz it’s asking for.

A great piece designed by Karen Morris ties this whole outfit together perfectly. The marigold flower and veil with ostrich quills adorn a perfectly construckted black felt beret. Buy it today:

Is this one your new favorite? We will take a vote after the Sunday after Derby Day at

6 KY Outfit


We’ve put the outfit together in honor of todays KENTUCKY OAKS DAY. This outfit would serve perfectly both at Oaks and at the Derby. A great pink shade dress teamed up with white and lime green colors keeps you in the feel of spring without just getting lost in a sea of pink.

We chose a hat, Lorie,  by Rose J Monzyk that brings all three of these colors together. Lori is designed in hot pink sisal with phalanopsis orchids in white and apple green embellishing the front. A spray of green sinamay completes this look. This hat is lightweight and easy to wear. (

Fun striped shoes with pink accents and white jewelry including a horse bit ring is perfect for these two race days!


Ready to go Pink??

5 KY outfit


We are only TWO days from the Kentucky Derby and we are still talking about fashion…duh! This is our forth outfit where we have brought inspiration from the ‘Run for the Roses’ slogan. A beautifully cut Donna Karan dress with the bold and always gorgeous shade of red. It has a little ruching which will allow you those Mint Juleps and Kentucky  BBQ food without feeling guilty and self conscious.

Moving to the shoes we chose a nude pair to bring the outfit down to earth a bit and then shoot it right back into Fashion Space with the red soled Christian Louboutins. This outfit is the higher priced of our last few picks but still inspirational nonetheless!

Keeping the dress and shoes simple, the accessories are really going to give it the finishing touches. We chose Red Roses and Bold Gold to compliment the outfit. A chunky gold bracelet on one arm with a rose cocktail on the other hand. Little rose earrings are a nice hidden surprise which is then complimented by a light gold chain necklaces with a thin rose outline charm.

We do have two bags in this selection…and that’s for good reason. If you want to play is more safe during the day, we’ve got the tan shoulder bag just for you! Then when the Derby is finished…your horse has won, and the Mint Juleps are all sipped…its time to hit the town with this black crystal clutch! Hey-if you want to go all out all day…go sparkle with the red clutch! Warning: Its prone to compliments and Oooh’s and ahhs’!

What about the hat you ask? Well why not a Red Rose!! This piece from Boring Sidney Hats is an absolutely stunning couture piece, it is a large, dynamic, hand crafted rose headpiece. It is made of large quantities of dupioni silk, and painstakingly hand sewn onto a straw sinamay base. Easily attaches with just a clip! This piece won’t weigh your hair down for when you go out later on! (

Is this one your new favorite??

4 KY outfit

Outfit number three is inspired by the style of our good friend Trixie Hammer at . This outfit is fun, flirty, but still classy with a vintage vibe. Blue and white polka dots gives the outfit a pin-up feel which is strengthened by the addition of the white and red accessories. A red quilted purse such as the ones you’d find from Chanel herself always gives a chic POP to your outfit. To add to the vintage style, grab a pair of cloves, either lace or step it up a notch by choosing a light leather pair like these from Alannah Hill.

Lastly,  but possibly most importantly, we’ve added a great sinamay piece designed by the fabulous Lisa Tan. We’ve combined the navy and red colors with a constructed piece that has little red bows and curled sinamay pieces on the side. This is a great take on the big brimmed pieces as it still has a brim presence without being too big and crazy. We’d categorize this piece as a hat or hatinator. These are great pieces to wear to the races as it won’t kill your hairstyle, or hide your beautiful face. It only compliments your outfit in a VERY positive light.

Three outfits down…which one is your favorite so far?

3 KY outfit

Heading into Tuesday before the Kentucky Derby…do you know what to wear to the First Saturday in May?? How about incorporating some very bright colors in your outfit? Yellows, royal blues, bright greens, pinks and purples; all these colors are perfect for this bright Southern raceday. Colorblocking is still a big trend of 2013 and this is the way to do it! Since your colors are bright enough…you don’t need to add any crazy hat to ‘overkill.’ Keep everything simple in a sense since your colors are so stand out. Also, have fun with your make up! Incorporate your colorblocking in your eye shadow and your nail polish!

Kentucky Derby Outfit 2

Lemon Blue FOF Forme Millinery

This outfit  would be perfectly paired with ‘Lemon Blue’ from Forme Millinery by Jenny Pfanenstiel. A still standout piece without being too crazy with your bright colors. It may not be the ‘bigger brimmed’ that so many people lean towards, but that’s what makes this outfit fantastic! You look like a fashion magazine rather than just a photo in a local newspaper! Happy fashionable racing!




Kentucky Derby is the more feminine racing weekend compared to the other two Triple Crown Races. You want to wear florals, bright colors, feminine silhouettes, and pair with accessories that brings the southern gal out in ya! Most importantly, its all about the hat!

Kentucky Derby Outfit 1

Hats to Di For

Pairing a floral, more form fitted dress with red accessories shows that you’ve taken the time to look good…and stand out! No one can resist checking out a pair of red patent platforms.

Since we’ve paired this floral dress with a black and red hat from Hats to Di For, its important to incorporate a few black accessories even though there is black accents in the dress. Grab a pair of lace gloves so that you can place you hand on your hip right by your black skinny belt. This dress with just slightly hug the body and the skirt length is just right above the knee, (no higher ladies!) Its also perfect for the 70’s temperature that we may be facing on The First Saturday in May. Not a ton of jewelry is needed so for this one just wear the silver pieces that your hubby gave you…he’d like that anyways!







Keeneland Bluegrass Stakes

It’s now the day after the last Derby prep weekend. Both the Arkansas Derby and the Bluegrass Stakes provided us with two new stars heading to the most exciting two minutes in sports, also known as the Kentucky Derby.

But why should the horses get all the attention? Just as much as it’s a prep race…it’s also prep for fashion! Now all the focus in your closet turns to the first Saturday in May and what outfit you will be putting together.

But that’s a whole other ten articles coming your way…let’s focus on the fashion we saw at the Bluegrass Stakes this weekend at Keeneland Race Track in Lexington, KY. A track full of pearls, Pulitzer, and checkered pants, and it didn’t disappoint!

Keeneland Bluegrass StakesWe did see an increase in millinery which was awesome! Well done everyone! As one of the dressiest days at Keeneland, ladies stepped up the class a little bit by lengthening the skirts, covering up their shoulders, and picking out a perfect headpiece. The weather was a bit cooler in the 60’s which did have ladies in more covered up pieces, three-quarter-length tops, shawls, and the occasional trench coat.

As for the millinery it was a 50/50 split between the big brimmed pieces and the smaller fascinators/hatinators. We saw lots of sinamay pieces with big flowers designed on the side, smaller headband fascinators with feathers, and the occasional couture piece that many bought right at the racetrack. (There are great hats right here folks! 🙂

Lots of printed dresses with florals, stripes, and polka-dots. Bright colors like pinks, reds, yellows and bright greens were seen throughout the track. Statement necklaces and the timeless pearls served as the major jewelry for the day.Keeneland Bluegrass Stakes

Surprisingly to some, but not to us as we have seen it time and time again, the men seemed to be better dressed than the ladies. Well fitted suits, perfect color combinations, cufflinks, shining silver watches, and shiny dress shoes, the men really step up their game at this racetrack. We need to get the ladies to follow suit! Well done guys!

Keeneland Bluegrass StakesOf course there were the occasional plaid pants and crazy 80’s ties but the majority was very well dressed. The number of blue jackets and slacks (a signature at Keeneland) diminished a bit and moved more towards light grey suits, blue three piece and gingham shirts with bright colored ties. Not much negative things to say about the guys!


Overall the fashion was a great sight to see. Always room for improvement but for all the race days at Keeneland, this is by far one of the best dressed. We need to see more hats, heels, and overall step up in the outfit which could be made through accessories: gloves, bracelets, matching purses etc.Keeneland Bluegrass Stakes

Another Bluegrass Stakes has come and went…now we are looking toward the Run for the Roses! Do you have your hat yet?

See more pictures of the fashion on our photo page!






This Friday we are going to shake things up a bit and feature a local blogger of Lexington.

Kelly Vaughan writes a daily blog of fashion, DIYs, and more and she is tell you what she’d wear to the Bluegrass Stakes this weekend! Check it out:

Friday Faves: Stakes Racing

Ok y’all, the Bluegrass Stakes is this weekend and the fashion will be off the charts. For those of you who aren’t horse racing gurus, the Bluegrass Stakes is a big Grade 1 race that occurs every spring at Keeneland. It is an important prep for the Kentucky Derby. The horses aren’t the only ones prepping for the Derby this weekend. Fashionable race fans will be donning their pre-Derby wear with complete and utter style. A stakes race is a pretty big deal, and your outfit should reflect that. Rule of thumb, the higher the stakes, the higher the fashion.  Here are some great options if you are still clueless as to what to wear this Saturday:
color blocking derby dress pink fascinator

Dress: Donna Morgan via, Fascinator: Nordstrom, Clutch: Rachel Roy, Wedges: PacSun, Pyramid Bracelet: ASOS, Bow Bracelet: Torrid As you can see, this Keeneland look is already a bit more dressed up than what I showed you last weekend. Again, its a stakes race, so you’ve got to bring it a little more. Color blocking is huge again this spring, so you could always recycle that dress from last year. Remember, just because you are dressing up more, does not mean you should wear black. It is still a day event and not a funeral, wear your brights. The black and white clutch is perfectly on with the black and white trend, add comfortable but chic black wedges. The fascinator is perfect with this dress because the pinks are almost exactly the same. I’m obsessed with fascinators that tilt on the side of the head like that. I think I just might have to DIY one for Derby!

patterned derby dress and fascinator

Dress: Bluefly, Clutch: Dorothy Perkins, Wedges: Ivanka Trump via Amazon, Fascinator: Goorin Bros, Looped Bracelet: Forever 21, Initial Bracelet: Wallis, Gold Link Bracelet: Charlotte Russe This one is for those of you who like a little print, or a lot like me. Just because it is a stakes day, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it! A bold graphic print in a high-low dress (mullet dress as I like to call it) is perfect for a day at the track. It is breezy, but still sophisticated which is what you want if it gets blazing hot. I kept it simple and paired it with a cream fascinator that is a perfect little mini pillbox. Neutral accessories finish the look off!

pink dress with fascinator

Dress: Dorothy Perkins, Fascinator: Nordstrom, Wedges: Kohl’s, Clutch: Dorothy Perkins, Rose Gold Chains: ASOS, Initial Bracelet: Wallis This look is the most formal, but if you are going to be standing in the paddock or up in a box, this is the perfect look. A sweet pink goes elegant with a couture neckline. Match the fascinator perfectly for an on trend monochromatic look. Rose gold and neutral accessories finish off this perfectly polished look. Also, Sunday is Horses and Hope Pink Day at the track. Patrons are encouraged to wear pink in honor of Susan G. Komen, so this last look would also work then too! Make sure you smile for the cameras! What are y’all wearing to the track this weekend? Not in horse country? Love Always Kelly Vaughan

For more of Kelly’s fabulous articles visit her site here:



Only a few days until one of the last couple Derby Preps are run . One of these preps being held at the gorgeous Keeneland Racetrack in the heart of the bluegrass Lexington, KY.

If you have never been to Keeneland you may be surprised to know that there is a distinct style there, or what they call “Keeneland Style,” otherwise known as preppy preppy…and more preppy! Think Martha’s Vineyard, Lily Pulitzer,  and Ralph Lauren. Girls in pineapple print dresses with a pearl necklace, and the guys in bright yellow pants with a navy jacket and pink bowtie.

However, Bluegrass Stakes Day is a bit dressier than your usual frat prep. Women adorn themselves in beautiful hats, high heels, and sometimes a diamond or two to show off. Many of the men lose their navy coat and opt more for a suit (which they should.)

So what should you wear? Think more ‘Classic’ then preppy, and more Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) than Charlotte. (Sex in the City reference…there’s only one I promise). Push the prep to the curb this day and step up your game. We are looking more for couture ‘hatinators’ than small fascinators or huge Derby hats. Heels are expected but leave the cork wedges at home.

Carrrie and Charlotte

As always with Keeneland (and every other track) no nightclub dresses. If you can’t touch your toes (with heels) safely than its too short. No more than 2 inches above the knee is the safest measurement we can give you.

Usually this is a day that you could come in a black dress and dress it up with color but since Spring has taken so long to actually ‘Sprung’ we will say go more for color with black accents than the other way around.

Since Keeneland is such a classic and preppy track, no sleeveless or spaghetti strap dresses. Go more for wide straps, a cap sleeve, or three-quarter length even.

Accessories are a must have at this track. Big statement necklaces, cocktail rings, and bracelets have you looking like you belong.


We want to see the guys in well fitted suits with much attention to detail, pocket squares can be colorful and folded in fun designs, suit ties can have a great bold print on them and leave the white shirt at home. Pick a spring color and possibly a gingham or striped pattern. See for some great color tips, pocket square ideas and more.



Angela Menz

Angela Menz has been a regular at fashions on the field right across Australia. She has competed successfully at the highest level for the past 10 years wearing all of her own designs- both millinery and clothing.

She has taken out many prestigious titles at major race meetings including Derby Day at Royal Randwick, Golden Slipper day at Rosehill, Blue Diamond stakes at Caulfield and Ladies Day at Eagle Farm. In 2011 she took out the country’s most sought title, being crowned the national winner of Fashions on the field at the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington.

Currently based in Melbourne working in footwear, she earned a degree in fashion design from the Canberra Institute of Technology. She has a keen eye and love for fashion, with a strong interest in fashion history. Yet she always understands and applies the latest fashion trends into her design work.

Angela Menz is well known for a strong sense of colour and ability to create a total look.

We are so happy to have had the chance to sit and talk with her about her Fashion at the Races experiences!



1.       How did you first get interested in the industry?


My dad and his side of the family have been involved in horse racing so I’ve been going to the races since I was a child. As I got older I became interested in fashion and really fell in love with race wear and millinery. 

Although I do enjoy a day at the races I will confess I the fashions side of things interests me the most.


Angela Menz2.       What do you love about what you do every day in regards to fashion?

I love checking out blogs, online stores and seeing what’s happening on the runway. There are always new and exciting things to look at in regards to fashion and I love the constant flow of new ideas and being able to see what is happening around the world in terms of fashion and design.


3.       Can the industry do things better? Where and how?

There is always room for improvement and always a need to keep new ideas flowing. 


4.       What’s your favourite race day memory?

The first time I was at Flemington to see the Melbourne Cup is definitely a standout. Being in the crowd and feeling the ground as the horses came down the straight with the crowd roaring was something that I couldn’t have imagined from seeing the race on TV. I loved it so much I’ve been back every year since.

5.       Favourite designer?Angela Menz


I don’t have one designer that’s a favourite, I’m too indecisive! But on my list would definitely be Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano, Christopher Kane, and Marc Jacobs


6.       Hat or Fascinator? Why?

I love a big outrageous hat. There are not many places that you can get away with wearing a crazy hat so when I go to the races I like to make the most of it. However I think both hats and fascinators have their place in race wear. Some days it’s more appropriate and easier to wear a fascinator. Fascinators are also fantastic for women who aren’t so confident with wearing a large hat. 


7.       What would you do to bring a new generation to the track for a day?

Having friends that had never been to the races I think getting them involved and understanding how a race day works is still an area that needs a bit of work. By that I mean understanding how to look at a form guide, knowing how to place a bet and knowing the basics of horse racing. Also knowing that you can go to the track and have a beautiful lunch, knowing anyone can go to the mounting yard and see the horses walking around before and after a race although very simple for someone who has been before is a bit overwhelming for those new to the races. 

I know women who come to the races for the fashion and leave as soon as it’s over. I think part of it is not really knowing what else to do and not having the confidence to go and find out.  


8.       What’s your fashion advice for women dressing for a day at the races?

There are certain ‘rules’ about dressing for the races which get tossed around all the time- such as wearing knee length hemlines and having covered shoulders however I think the most important tip is to remain true to your own style and dress with a sense of occasion. 


9.       What was it like to win the national competition?

It was so exciting and very overwhelming to win. I actually cried when I was announced the winner then did a little happy dance. I don’t think it fully sunk in until a few days afterwards. Angela Menz



10.   How much time do you put into your outfits for the competition?

It varies quite a bit for how long an outfit takes to come together. Sometimes it may be months in the making other times only a couple of days. However FOTF is always in the back of my mind when I’m going shopping and looking at the latest fashions. Before race days there will definitely be some late nights.   


11.   Do you think the FOTF competition has helped make racing more popular?

Absolutely! It brings a new type of racegoer to the track and adds to the atmosphere on course. FOTF gives a new area of focus to people that perhaps aren’t so interested in the horses but still want to be involved.   


12.   Are fashion and racing a natural fit?

They are a match made in heaven. A huge part of racing, particularly during carnival is the social scene and given that racing is the sport of kings it’s a great excuse to dress up for a day.



 Tips for winning Fashions on the Field


1 Read the judging criteria. It’s what the judges are briefed on before you take to the stage so it’s best to know exactly what they are looking for.

2 Make sure you are appropriately groomed. I think now the biggest grooming blunder is wearing too much makeup and forgetting it is a daytime event

3 Know your trends. This year I would be looking at digital prints, clashing prints and structured clothing. Peplums are still popular this season and are great for a ladylike look.

4 Don’t be afraid to take a risk. To win you need to stand out from the crowd. Daring to wear something out of the ordinary might be what pushes you above the rest

5 Be prepared to ditch your gloves. Gloves often don’t work with the fresh and modern outfits of today.

Triple Crown Trends


Kentucky Derby : IT IS ALL ABOUT THE HAT


Heading into the Kentucky Derby its better to start getting your outfit ready now than waiting until so close to the big weekend. The traditional hat is a big brimmed “Southern Gal” hat but that’s not necessarily the case anymore. You don’t have to go big  to be fashionable but you do need to wear some sort of a hat. Since Fascinator is thrown around with so many different definitions we will say you need to wear a hat or a hatinator (hat/fascinator). Regardless you should wear something that stands out and ties into the rest of the outfit. Structures couture pieces are a fabulous pick. First of all, this is a once in a lifetime race and you should have a once in a lifetime piece!Kentucky Derby Hat

If you do choose a bigger brim, make sure its not hiding your face too much. You are gorgeous and we want to see that! If its a big brim…keep it simple. So many people think they need to go all our for Kentucky Derby Fashion and their way to do that is with huge hats and crap all over them! (Most of the time just glued on.) Go for a chic big brim with great construction by a gifted milliner.

Always make sure to tie the hat into the rest of your outfit. Gloves are a great add on accessory for this Southern Belle raceday theme, lace especially! Keep your outfit young though! There are a TON of photographers prowling the grounds looking for happy people having a good time…in great Kentucky Derby Fashion. Oh…and SMILE! No one likes a pretty gal with a scowl on her face

Colors? You can always do black and white but this particular raceday is vibrant and it is called ‘The Run for the Roses…” so rather than B&W…go vibrant fun colors! Red Rose…always a winner!





Preakness is the more laid back and ‘fun’ race of the Triple Crown Festival. (All three are fun but this one seems to have you relax and let loose a bit more). Major trend of this race day is bold colors and prints. Being in Baltimore which is a fun vibrant city in its own, you want to bring on fun prints in your skirts, shirts, or dresses and of course tie it all into your perfect headpiece. Have fun with the prints, mix and match floral with polkadot, or stripes and checkers! Try Color-blocking with bright shades.

Black-Eyed-Susan Day surrounds you with the yellow flower…don’t be the black dress in the background…be the stand up Pop of Color in the front!!

Shoes: This track is a little tough on the feet because of the inside of the grandstand big slant (CMON PIMLICO FIX THIS!)…Go for a stylish wedge! Sandals are great but don’t dress down your fabulous outfit with braided espadrilles.

Hat: Fun Hatinator, leave the floppy hats and big brimmed at home!







As the last leg of the Triple Crown is the tell tale of the possible Triple Crown Winner…win or lose, its black or white. Also being so close to the FABULOUS New York City (Holllaaaaa) bring out the New York in you and incorporate black in your outfit! If you are starting to slump a bit with disappointment while reading this…shoulders back!! This is a good thing!! First of all, everyone looks fantastic in a black dress… and white?? OMG what a standout if you are looking good in a white dress. Don’t be afraid to incorporate a little color in each outfit but push the boundaries with the B&W and mix with prints and accessories.PageLines- belmont5.jpg

We caught up with Penny Zygmante from England to tell us about her fun trip to the races in Ireland. With her own blog about fashion at the horse races in England, she’s no newbie to whats expected for a stylish day at the races.


An English Girl In Leopardstown

All week there were ‘what shall we wear?’ ‘what’s the weather going to be (very pertinent for a days racing in Ireland!)?’  and of course the all important ‘what shall we wear on our heads!!’ the talented Irish couture milliner Aoife Hannon was given a brief of orange, teal, grey and gold with feathers and as mad as you dare and I was not to be disappointed!!! Also nails – what colour winter/spring??  A trip to the beauty salon is an absolute must for any Irish girl prior to an outing and each small town/village will have it’s own salon providing good value professionVintage Fashion at the Racesal treatments.

Suitcase packed I headed for Dublin for the first ever time to attend the Irish Hennessey Gold Cup at Leopardstown, I have been all over Ireland but never experienced the delights of it’s capital. My excitement was immense and all I could mutter on arrival to our penthouse apartment was ‘I can’t believe I am here, OMG, OMG!’ We then made our way around the block to the fabulous bar in the swanky Shelbourne Hotel, what a treat! I thought I would test the barman as I do all over the world by giving him the task of making me a Cosmopolitan, one which I gave him a gold star for as he even very importantly burnt the orange…… that got us started on a VERY long night during which we met lots of equally excited race-goers both English and Irish. In good Irish fashion the ladies in the bar had dressed for the occasion and looked very feminine and classy with just the right amount of cleavage and hemline!

Rather bleary eyed the next morning we started the process of making ourselves look as gorgeous as we possibly could for the day of high fashion and racing ahead. Again questions, questions, hair up/down? gloves on /off? which earrings… then should Aoife wear her fabulous lace leather collar?? Was it overkill?? The answer? YES! But we went for a gorgeous handmade feather brooch to hold her fabulous cape in place. Then the cherries on the top of our outfits were fitted, mine being an explosion of orange feathers with a few teal ones ‘thrown’ in for good measure on a soft grey satin cocktail base finished off with a stunning veiling and a dramatic feather sweeping out the back, well done Aoife!!! Whereas I OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhad gone for what I call my ‘racing dress’ a beautifully cut wrap dress from a small boutique in Kilkenny Ireland (one of the many things I love about the green isle is that in every small town there  is also a ladies dress shop/boutique that will stock feminine pieces that are just that bit different) that has an array of colour, Aoife had gone for a dramatic black look with her headpiece bringing in the colour in a fabulous deepest red felt saucer beret base with an array of natural plumage bursting out of the top with hints of handpainted gold accessorized with a vintage tan ‘Kelly’ bag and co-ordinated butter feeling gloves. Smokin’ hot!

Dressed to kill we hit the streets, racing handbags attached praying that the weather would be kind, as we passed race-goers whilst in the comfort of our taxi we got a first glimpse of what the ladies would be wearing for the day. Our first impression was that there was far too much sinnamay on heads because in our opinion one should never wear that fabric until after the Cheltenham festival in mid-March, similar to not wearing white before Memorial day and after Labour day.  Our second was that they had made a mighty effort with their looks. On entering the racecourse we immediately saw the complex that had been erected to stage the Hennessey best dressed lady, a catwalk, cocktail bar serving Hennessey based glasses of deliciousness and a pamper area for hair and make-up. Here we found gaggles of beautifully turned out ladies waiting expectantly to have their photographs taken. The Irish girls are very clever in that they show off all of their assets in such a way to look sexy without giving it all away, something that the English girls have a lot to learn about! It has a lot to do with their mothers who are very strong of opinion and of wise words and Aoife’s mother is no exception with Aoife always coming out with what her mother would have to say (one of her best is if you have a bit of a tummy, you must ‘hold it in’ the theory being it will learn to do it itself (old fashioned pilates)!! Also shoes, they are gorgeous, high and fashionable but are not ‘no pain no gain’, you rarely see bare foot girls in Ireland whereas in England it is a common sight to see girls circling a pile of unwalkable shoes in their bare feet!!!! What else was most notable was the amount of tailoring which is most flattering, with even the younger girls doing this to great effect – fur as ever was a popular accessory and this finished off the looks perfectly. The vintage look is also very popular  and mixed with high fashion really works.

Once we had taken in the sights of the gorgeous ladies, we indulged in what is a very important Irish tradition, that of meat and 3 vegetables prior to racing to prepare one’s body for the days festivities ahead. So there were Aoife and I dressed to the nines sitting down eating our food with 3 typical Irish race going men – who were most charming and gave us a tip for a horse that they have a share in, Pique Sous for  the Cheltenham festival in March, which is the pinnacle of National Hunt racing and again a different culture from Leopardstown – on arriving home I looked up it’s form and it looks to have a nice Irish Fashion at the Raceschance!! A friend of ours a fierce gambling man who I will call ‘Your man from Ballinasloe’ (YMFB) told me to back Our Conor in the first at 100/30, did I ?? no! so he duly romped home. After a few more fun bets I decided  to retire from the gambling life, as felt I it was not my day and we concentrated on yet more fashion.

On closer inspection there were some really inventive and exciting headpieces made from brightly coloured felts, velvets and satins (and yes too much sinamay!). So how disappointed were we when we watched the final line up of 10 ladies and the winner was chosen, head to toe black with a cheap mass produced sinnamay piece on her head! Yes she looked lovely but this was a national hunt meeting and the other ladies were wearing clothes appropriate for the occasion and the winner was not. There were HUGE mutterings over the choice but once the decision was made that was that.

Once the competition and racing was over we all decamped to the fillies bar where there was live music and a DJ. So for a couple of hours we all danced and socialized with all manner of racegoers all of whom love to talk about their winners (not so keen on the losers!). We met the charming owner of Paddy Power bookmakers (one of the largest in Ireland) being very normal a pint of Guinness in hand enjoying a day at the office and also trainer Paul Nolan who had Joncol (3rd)in the big race, discussing his recipe for fresh clams in wine and garlic. Amongst other revelers were lots of my fellow countrymen who were most charming feeding us champagne and compliments (I wish they were like this back in England!) the Irish men are very chivalrous all of the time and will always make sure that us ladies are well looked after and entertained (although can be just that little bit cheeky!!).

We left with a suitable amount of people still partying and headed back into Dublin town to indulge in another food related tradition, early supper. This is like a pitstop to partying…. It was after this that we returned to the bar of the Shelbourne for more cosmopolitans followed by a late night visit to the New Buck Foleys  townhouse nightclub a Dublin institution.

The next morning we looked back at our day and night and decided we had experienced a full day of Irish racing and lived the culture of après racing. Next stop Cheltenham the home of National Hunt racing in March.


See more from Penny on her website and her gorgeous hats at

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