Em Scodellaro runs the ‘It’s All About the Sash’ Facebook Group and she recently put together a fantastic 40-question survey in relation to Fashions on the Field.

First, Em asked the members of the racing fashion community to voice their opinions and answers to a variety of questions. You can download the full survey results here.

It was a great read, providing an interesting insight into how members of our community feel. Here were the 6 things I found most intriguing, and surprising!

1) Who Should be on the Judging Panel

The judging panel for, anything really, is very important. Contestants go to a lot of trouble to put together their outfits and they should be judged by the best possible panel.
Panels can be made up of just one judge, or even up to 10 for a bigger competition (think the Myer National FOTF competition).

fashions on the field judging panel

According to the survey, the most preferred people to make up a panel are:

  • Racing Fashion experts
  • Qualified milliners
  • Previous FOTF winners
  • Fashion Designers
  • Stylists

With the least desirable being:

  • General media/journalists
  • Celebrities
  • Fashion brand representatives
  • Race club officials
  • Sponsors

Who should be on the judging panel for FOTF competitions?

Having judged a number of Fashions on the Field competitions myself, I couldn’t agree more with the top 5 preferred personnel.

A panel made up of racing fashion specific experts is so important because as we all know, racing fashion is quite different to regular fashion. Someone who doesn’t know about racing fashion would not know about what to look for in an outfit and millinery, season appropriateness, or acceptable lengths of skirts, silhouettes etc. and what is trending.

Milliners are always good to have on a panel as their entire career revolves around headwear to suit a racing outfit, they have plenty of experience in knowing what to look for in racewear and can appreciate well made millinery.

Often, judging panels are made up of sponsors, those who sponsor the race day and/or the FOTF prizes. It might be important to have them on the panel, as without them, that particular event or fantastic prize, may not exist. There is nothing wrong with having sponsors on a panel, but it is a good idea to give them a briefing beforehand on what racing fashion is and what to look for when judging.

2) Preferred Prizes

I recently wrote a blog post on some fantastic prizes you can win in Fashions on the Field.

After reading the survey results, I couldn’t agree more that the favourite prize to win is (indeed) a holiday! Followed by cash, flowers (who doesn’t love receiving a big bunch of flowers right?), hotel stays (these also make fantastic gifts for family members and friends, I love giving a night stay away to my mum) and store vouchers.

fashions on the field winners with prizes

Image credit (L-R): @cambrosedesigns photo by @thechampionshipsracing, @sarah_vasey92, @shannleigh__4

What prizes do you prefer to be offered?

The least favourite prizes were gym memberships (no one likes to be forced to go to the gym), hampers, race club memberships and wine.

3) Stating what Labels you are Wearing

Sometimes when entering a FOTF competition you may be asked what label you are wearing. Some believe the reason for this is so a sponsor can determine whether you are wearing their brand and, therefore, favour those contestants.

The survey revealed that 83% of entrants said that it should not matter what brand they are wearing and that they should not have to disclose that information.

Should competitors have to state what labels they are wearing on the entry form?

The only competition I’ve been in that has asked for this information is the Myer State Finals and National competition. I hate to think they ask this question in order to favour a contestant… but, rather, to engage in brand research. Myer may need to identify trending brands, so they know what to stock. If ladies entering the races are all favouring a particular brand, it would be in their best interest to look into adding that brand to their pro