Fashions on the Field competitions are often guided by a theme, the favourite being “Black & White”.

The biggest Black & White theme day is Derby Day, during Spring Carnival. There are also “Black & White” race days at other locations, which sometimes incorporate a twist, such as “Black & White – with a Touch of Red,” just to keep us on our toes.

Some of you might feel that being limited to two colours means looking like everyone else, unoriginality, or boredom. But it’s quite the opposite.

It’s so exciting to see the many different ways ladies interpret this theme. The different silhouettes, prints, fabrications, textures, embellishments and trims can all help to create a unique and original look.

To celebrate the “Black & White” theme, in this post I cover:

22 Different Ways to Wear Black & White for the Races

Part 1 – Deciding which parts of your outfit will be black or white


1) All Black

Black on black (on black) is very statement, very chic and not at all boring. Tying in some interesting shapes to your design, like a feature sleeve or layered hem, or finishing off with some stand out millinery will rock this look!

black on black monochrome


2) All White

I also love the look of all white. The trick here is to incorporate textures, an interesting silhouette, design or mix of fabrics.

Derby Day All White Outfit

Image credit: Angela McCormick


3) All White – Black Accessories

Brodie won the 2014 Myer FOTF competition in an all white Maticevski dress, adorned with black accessories. Simple, yet elegant.


4) All Black – White Accessories

The other way around…make black your base colour and add some white in your shoes and clutch. Perhaps a little less popular but it doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying out. Done well, it looks super stylish.

A post shared by Megan O’Dwyer (@megan_odwyer) on


5) White Dress – Black and White Accessories

Wear an all white dress/ensemble and mix up your accessories with a combination of white and black. White shoes and a black clutch (or vice versa) and millinery that is black and white.

A post shared by Em Scodellaro (@emscodellaro) on


6) Black Dress – Black and White Accessories

Well, the alternative to number 5! I love how Elizabeth has incorporated a sheer fabric, which gives her outfit depth as well as lightening up the overall look of being all black.

Elizabeth Charleston Black and White derby day

Image via @elizabethcharleston


7) Black and White Dress – Black and White Accessories

Mix it all up and have a black and white outfit, with black and white accessories. The contrast of the black and white panels with the different fabrications is stunning.

A post shared by Elis Crewes (@eliscrewes) on


8) Colour Block – White Top Black Skirt

Pair a white blouse with a black skirt. This look is very chic. I would have fun with the skirt, making it quite full, or layered.

A post shared by Alice Bright (@alicebright___) on

A post shared by Em Scodellaro (@emscodellaro) on


9) Colour Block – Black Top White Skirt

Or maybe you prefer the look of having white on the bottom and black on top…

Part 2 – Decide if you will Incorporate a Print

10) Checkered / Tiled Print

If I am wearing black and white, I LOVE to use a print in my fabric. This is also a great opportunity to clash prints.

derby day tiled print top

Image credit: Peta MB


11) Floral Print

Nothing says Spring Racing Carnival like a floral print, even if it is in black and white. Feminine and stylish.

A post shared by Ashley Hart (@ashleyhart1111) on


12) Striking Stripes

Stripes are bold and brave, and can really create an interesting look when they fall in different directions.

A post shared by Richard Shaw (@richshawphoto) on


13) Polka Dots and Spots

Polka dots have always been a popular choice amongst prints. They’re fun and you can choose a wide variety of sizes and placements.

A post shared by MYER (@myer) on

A post shared by Lucinda D’art (@dartofdesign) on


14) Big Print, Small Print

I love the look of the same print in two different sizes. It’s much more effective than wearing the same print all over. In the photo below, Crystal shows us how it’s done (perfectly) with big leopard spots on top and smaller ones on the bottom.

A post shared by Crystal Kimber (@crystalkimber) on


15) Same Print, Inverted Colours

My ever-so-clever dress maker Andrew, came up with the ingenious idea of sewing the top of this dress inside out, which made the print inverted! I love the subtle difference and it definitely took this dress to a whole new level.


Part 3 – Think about Fabrics and Textures

16) Mix up your Fabrics

When you are limited to two colour options, a fun way to spice things up is to use different fabrics. You can incorporate some lace, leather or mesh into your outfit, using it as a feature, or in a panel.

This is my Derby Day outfit I wore a couple of years ago. I opted for All White. I used a combination of mesh, leather and embroidered triangle fabric that I wore on its own, with a backing behind it to give two different looks.

I love the look of different textures and fabrics, I think it is much more effective than if I had used one fabric all over.

17) Lace and Sheers

Lace is a great fabric to use in any racing fashion outfit. It looks luxurious and sits well.

A post shared by MYER (@myer) on

A post shared by MYER (@myer) on


18) Overlay a Feature Element

Embellish your white dress with a black feature over the top. You can do this quite easily yourself by adding some flowers, lace, PVC or 3D elements. If you think your dress is lacking some WOW, give this a try.

A post shared by Elis Crewes (@eliscrewes) on

black leaf overlay on white race dress

Image credit: @stacie_galeano

A post shared by Wendell Levi Teodoro (@wendellt) on


19) The Modern Pant Suit

Don’t be scared to try something a bit different. Pant suits are popping up at race courses more than ever.


Part 4 – How to Approach the ‘Black, White and a Touch of’ Theme

20) Add Grey to your Black and White Outfit

Grey is quite acceptable to incorporate into a black and white outfit. In fact, Courtney (who you will see in the past winners section below) won the 2015 Derby Day Fashions in a grey mesh full skirt.

A post shared by Richard Shaw (@richshawphoto) on


21) A Touch of Metallic

Metallic is a fun way to jazz up a black and white outfit. Experiment with a metallic belt, gold shoes, gold bag, or use metallic in your millinery.

A post shared by Get Racy (@getracy) on


22) A Touch of Red

There are some race days where red is incorporated with the black and white theme. For example, Stradbroke Cup at Doomben race course has this theme every year and it is always fun to see how the ladies choose to interpret the “touch of red” into their outfits.

The most common way is to wear a black and white outfit and use red in your accessories, like your shoes, millinery, clutch etc.