“Joy is an intense momentary experience of positive emotion, one that makes us smile and laugh and feel like we want to jump up and down.”

Recently, I listened to a TED talk about the feeling of Joy. The speaker was Ingrid Fetell Lee, who, as a young aspiring industrial designer had brought about feelings of joy in her professors after showcasing her designs to them. Intrigued by this reaction, she ended up devoting a large portion of her life’s work to discovering the meaning behind joy and what brings upon these emotions. How do tangible things make us feel intangible joy?

If you don’t have time to watch the full 13 minute video, I encourage you to watch the section from time 5:38 to 6:25.

This got me thinking and relating it to my own life. Who wouldn’t want to wear a race day outfit that makes someone jump for joy? Perhaps this is the secret to placing in Fashions on the Field! And perhaps ladies already incorporate this concept into their race day outfits, consciously or subconsciously. I wanted to investigate more.

So, when you think of joy, what is it that you think of? Personally, I think of balloons, dandelions, rainbows, a big bunch of flowers and brightly coloured beads.

Ingrid asked hundreds of people what brought them joy and she started to notice some commonalities. There were cherry blossoms, bubbles, swimming pools, tree houses, hot air balloons and fireworks.

everyday objects that bring joy happiness

Ingrid managed to categorize the most common answers into the following 5 categories:

  • pops of bright colour
  • round things
  • symmetrical shapes
  • abundance, multiplicity and repetition
  • the feeling of lightness or elevation.

Excited by her theories, I decided to look for race day outfits that brought feelings of joy to me, and to see if they too, embodied these characteristics. Here’s what I found…

Pops of Bright Colour

Pops of colour are pleasing to the eye, whether it be through an array of brightly coloured prints paired together, or through just one or two colours creeping through a base colour.

I especially love Ian Bennet’s 2016 winning Myer Millinery Award piece which features not only pops of colour, but is created out of feathers to look like fireworks- something that brings joy to many people.

feeling of joy in outfit

Image credit: @richshawphoto

bright fun colourful outfits

Image credit: @thelittlegeorge, @alicebright__

fun light hearted outfit colourful

Image credit: @kerriecarucci_

wow colourful bright spring race day outfit

Image credit: 1: @wendellt photo of @brooke.prince

Round Things

Round objects make us feel safe, calm and happy. In racing fashion, I always find that a full skirt twirling down a runway makes me feel joy, as do beautiful round brims on hats and polka dots or curved prints.

full skirt twirl dress

Image credit: @kerry_mcglone29