With spring racing season fast approaching and many race days ahead, I thought it was a good time to put together a list of race day hacks that will make your day run that little bit smoother.
Whether you are entering FOTF or prepping for a fun day out at the races, this is definitively a must read.
Thanks to the amazing Field Fashion Community for sharing their favourite race day hacks from tips on what to pack, how to combat sore feet, getting the perfect tan to makeup tips that will have you looking in tact morning to night!
Which of these 104 hacks are your favourite? I’ve highlighted my favourites in pink.
Pre Race Day Preparation
It’s a good idea to start prepping early for any race day. Follow these race day hacks to avoid forgetting anything important on the day and having to do a mad dash to the shops.
1. Lists lists lists! Start a list of things to take a week before and leave it on your fridge, then add things you think of throughout the week when you think of them. Foolproof. – Rebecca Keeley
2. Start taking anti inflammatory pills a couple of days before your race day. It helps with sore knees and feet and prevents your feet from swelling too much. – Sharon Lee Smith
3. Friday night while the fake tan and the nail polish is drying, get out that form guide and start picking winners. When you arrive on course put all those bets straight on. Nothing worse than being stuck at FOTF and missing a race, and nothing more attractive than an impeccably dressed woman gambling like an expert. Plus, you could make some $$. –Breanna Davies
4. Have everything ready the night before on your bed/couch so it’s all in front of you in the morning when you are getting dressed. – Tatiana Hoffmann (This also ensures you don’t forget anything the morning of- like earrings or brooches etc)
5. Since leaving my headpiece at home 100kms away from a race meet last year (I usually get changed when I get there if it’s in the country), I always account for dress – millinery – clutch and heels before I leave home! –Peta MB
** I can account for the importance of this! I once drove to a race meet an hour away in a comfy dress as I couldn’t sit down properly in my outfit and half way there I realized I’d left my dress all the way back home on my front lawn and I was so worried my free range chickens would have pooped on it by the time I arrived home to collect it.
6. Always remember to take your allergy tablets early enough so they have time to kick in. Nothing worse than forgetting and ruining your makeup with watery eyes and a runny nose. – Rachel Woolaston
Before You Leave
7. If you are a sweaty betty, put on roll-on deodorant and wait till it dries, then put ‘no white mark’ spray over the top. Nothing gets through that duo. – Bethany Braj
8. Have a hydrolyte as you get ready for the races to prepare for a long day in the sun and drinking champagne! – Tiffany Newcombe
9. 15 minutes before I leave the house I take 2 Nurofen, sit down with my feet sitting on ice packs and have a last look at the form. Then put shoes on as I’m leaving. – Kylie King
10. Order a maxi taxi or make sure you have a lift with a high ceiling car so it fits your hat. This is especially important if you get your hair done with your millinery worked into it and can’t remove it for the car ride. Always make sure you get there early so you don’t have to run or worry about traffic. – Dee McIntyre
11. If it is a big racecourse, have a look at the map to work out which is the best entrance to get dropped off at- will save your feet from a long walk. – Milano Imai
12. Borrow your children’s straw Sippy cup for when you’re travelling to the races so you don’t ruin your lipstick (*Or have any spills onto your outfit) – Katie McCann
13. If getting a spray tan, ensure you do it 2 days prior to the event. It will be settled into a nice colour and won’t smell as much. – Tracy Press
14. Window cleaner (a good quality one) can take fake tan stains off your skin. – Dimity Vanderpot
15. If you have tanned yourself and feel your hands have gone all yellow and look bad, put a little Domestos on your hands and rub them together, the tan will blend better. You can also use this on your feet and elbows- wherever the tan has grabbed too much. But be careful as this is like a bleach and will remove that tan. – Tracy Press
16. When applying Spray on Tan in the can, warm the can first with your hands as the tan will come out of the nozzle more effectively. – Natasha Kapustic
17. Don’t shave your legs after fake tanning; you’ll take the top layer of tan off. Best to shower and shave the night before and put one coat of fake tan on. Then before bed put another one on. You’ll be beautifully bronzed by the morning. – Bethany Braj
18. Tan Physics is the best self tan. Has no smell, isn’t orange, it’s instant, not staining on clothes and best of all I have the most sensitive skin and I am not allergic. No eczema or dermatitis. – Kelly O’Hara
19. If applying your own tan, apply a half pump to the back of one hand and then rub the backs of your hands and fingers together. This gives a very even tan, and saves your palms from tell tale tan signs with no need to wash your hands- so the tan on the back of your hands dries evenly. – Chantelle Westlake
20. Spray hairspray on your legs/arms if you’ve used any kind of bronzer or tan and it won’t transfer. – Jo Bovell
21. My tip is more around outfit decisions. If I have a dress or outfit in mind, and I want to see which headpiece will work the best, I use Snapchat to create stickers and put the outfit together. It’s a great way to piece together ideas! – Amelia Hardaker *Another great app for this on your phone is Pic Collage.
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Shoes/ Sore Feet
This is the biggest pain of any long day out in heels… getting sore feet!! But I think we may have just combated the problem with the tips below…
22. Spray hairspray onto your feet and into your shoes – let them dry and put them on. The silicone in the hairspray helps prevent your feet getting blisters by letting them glide a bit rather than just rub – I swear by this having done it in both strappy heels and pump heels. – Emma Nic
23. I was given the hot tip of applying Nurofen gel to your feet before you go to the races!! Saves your feet afterwards and it’s amazing!!! No more sore sorry feet. – Brooke Calahorra
24. Skin tone sports strapping tape is much more reliable than Band-Aids! There are different widths to buy for toes / heels etc. or it can be easily ripped to create a specific size. No need to replace Band-Aids during the day- strapping tape will stay all day and night! – Micaela Crompton
25. Heel stoppers are your best friend. I like to paint mine with nail polish to make them match my shoes and stand out less. – Kristen Febey
26. Before wearing new shoes, scrub the soles with a metal scrubbing wool or a scorer so that you get traction and don’t slip. – Bethany Braj
27. Heating your shoes with a hairdryer and then popping them on helps stretch leather shoes. Always wear your shoes around the house a few days before the races to make sure they are relatively comfortable. – Amber Williams
28. Before wearing your shoes, fill two zip lock bags with water, put them into your shoes and then put them in the freezer. As the water expands slightly, it will also slightly stretch the shoes which will make them more comfortable as your feet swell from being on them all day. – Renai Warner
29. Wet a pair of thick men’s footy socks and wring out excess water. Pop them on and then put on your race day shoes. The mixture of the damp sock but the extra bulk in the shoe stretches and softens the shoe so they are perfectly broken in for race day. – Rachel Martin
30. If you have a wee walk in front of you to the track, wear a $5 pair of jandals (yep I’m a kiwi) aka THONGS and dispose of these when you get there -saves nice heels for sure and is more comfortable. – Pauline Pattullo
31. Rub a candle around the edge of the inside of your shoe. Prevents rubbing and blisters. – Kerry Loose Jones
32. Tape your third and fourth toes together. There’s a nerve between these two toes, and wearing heels puts pressure on this nerve, leading to pain, cramping and sometimes numbness in the ball of your foot. Taping the toes together alleviates the pressure on the nerve, which in turn leaves you pain-free and smiling instead of crampy and hobbling around. – Peta Houghton
33. If wearing closed in shoes, especially pointy ones, buy the Scholl toe sock tubes and cut to size for biggest and smallest toe. The cushioning is amazing. – Rachel Martin
34. Never underestimate the height of your heels. Not fun walking around the racecourse for hours in uncomfortable heels especially after a glass of champagne or two! – Mette Mosebo
35. For closed in shoes, cotton pads taped to the side of your feet from the start on the day, avoid those blisters. For strappy heels, double sided tape on the straps (if they’re thick enough) so that they don’t slide down. – Emily Beard
36. Cooking grade olive oil rubbed lightly over legs gives them a smooth appearance and healthy sheen. -Petra Nolan
37. Vacuum suede shoes to get the dust/ dirt out of them. I wore mine to a country race meet (which is quite dusty). The dust vacuumed out of them really well. Vacuumed on the left vs. dusty. – Lucy Eriksen
38. Sprinkle talcum powder in your heels, feet slide into shoes a lot easier and your feet tend to stay cooler. – Sharon Lee Smith
39. Take an extra bag with flats so you can walk to and from the venue without damaging your heels or feet on rough ground! – Ali Malcolm
40. Put a silk scarf over your face/ head when pulling a dress/ top on over your head. The scarf protects your clothing from makeup and protects your makeup from being smudged! – Laura Keetz
41. Urban Decay Makeup setting spray. Your makeup won’t move and no need for touch ups. – Jacquie Elisa
42. Spraying setting spray before putting on make up will stop it going oily. – Emily Boots Cronk
43. After you have defined your eyebrows with powder or pencil, run a cotton tip under your eyebrow line to get sharp definition and then coat your brows with brow gel. Also always do your eyes first before your base, blush and highlighter so you don’t get your eye colours dropping into your base and wrecking your beautiful complexion. – Bethany Braj
44. Clear lip-gloss is great for keeping wispy bits of hair off of your face. – Tamara Ortiz
45. My little trick for avoiding lipstick on your teeth is to rub a little Vaseline or pawpaw on your teeth before applying. – Michelle Curry
46. Find a good eyelash primer (I use Estee Lauder), it stops your mascara flaking and leaving black spots around your eyes. – Olivia Corcoran O’Neil
47. A great little trick when putting on mascara is to run the bottle under hot water first to avoid clumping. Also if it’s running out you can add a few eye drops to freshen it back up. – Natasha Kapustic
48. HONEY-put a good quality honey on your lips before bedtime, you will wake up with smooth lips that are slightly bigger. (*Smooth lips look better and makes lipstick easier to apply than cracked, dry lips) -Tatiana Hoffmann
49. I keep blotting paper and Mac Studio Fix pressed powder with a fluffy brush in my clutch to keep my face looking fresh and oil free, especially on the warmer spring race days! – Leah Lendich
50. Lipsense lipsticks are so good for the races as you don’t have to worry about it going all over your glass, getting on your teeth or reapplying all day. – Kylie Gale
51. Primer is essential under your makeup so it will last all day- never skip that step. – Pauline Curtis
52. Subtly lick the edge of your champagne glass before taking a sip, you will be able to drink lipstick transfer free. Just be mindful of who may be watching. – Meleisha Lill
Hair & Millinery
53. If you’re getting your hair done with your millinery worked into it, make sure your outfit is one that you put on from the bottom up- otherwise you will have to be wearing it before having your hair done. A mistake I made once and almost cried trying to get my dress over my head with delicate feathers in my hat. – Milano Imai
54. If I wear a hat or fascinator that has a headband, I always put double sided tape on the inside of the band. It does pull a few hairs out at the end of the day, but my fascinators never move, even in really windy conditions. – Gina Watson
55. Put some tape at the front of your headpiece (if it is forward sitting) so you don’t get makeup all over it. – Annika Skye Ballantyne
56. A great tip for securing fiddly pieces of millinery – place a couple of bobby pins horizontally across the hair to act as an anchor, and then use a blunt needle and some neutral coloured thread to stitch the headband/elastic/wire to the bobby pins. – Cobie Sheehan
57. A straightening iron works wonders on out of shape feathers. – Amber Williams
58. If you are doing your own hair, it’s good to curl it the day before, so in the morning it will save you time and your hair will be easier to work with. – Tatiana Hoffmann
59. If you get makeup on the inside of your millinery, NEVER use soap or water to try and remove it. Baby wipes work a treat and they won’t ruin your hat in the process. – Jo Peterson
60. With the help of a stunning hairdo, you can discretely hold your headpiece in place. - Jessica Acton Quinn
61. Check that your millinery headband is not pressing uncomfortably on any spot on your head- especially behind your ears. Give it a stretch and a bend to improve comfort. You can even add foam tape or cushioned Band-Aids and hide them with some fancy hair. – Andy Cook
62. I’ve bought chain tassel earrings and taken the tassels off. I can then thread them into pearl studs etc. to make trendy earrings. You can also use small gold metallic rings to make extenders if the earrings are a bit larger to get the tassels to the right level. – Jan Bulman
63. Take photos of all your clutches and keep them in an album in your phone called ‘Accessories’. This will make it easier to remember what clutches you have for different race outfits. You can do the same for earrings, necklaces etc. – Milano Imai
64. When wearing heavy stud back earrings, sometimes one will fall out. Even worse if you can’t find the backing to put it back in and you have to take them off completely, ruining your look. To stop that, or to wear the earring when you’ve lost the backing in the grass, cut a piece of Band-Aid and wrap it around the earring post. – Amy Lawson
65. To change the colour of small pieces of jewellery to match your outfit, use a few coats of nail polish. –Dimity Vanderpot
66. I needed a gold metallic belt for an outfit, but I couldn’t find one anywhere! So instead I went to Colette, bought a cheap gold necklace and added the chain section of some old necklaces to make it fit around my waist. – Shynade Smith
Outfit & Outfit Disasters
67. Micropore – the fabric tape used in hospitals is perfect for hemming, fixing broken items, sticking things together and can be used as a stopgap if you don’t have bandaids! – Louise KL
68. A lot of invisible zips can be very sticky. Rub with a cake of soap to free them up. - Fiona Cosgrove
69. If you are wearing a top or dress that gapes when you bend down, be sure not to moisturize your cleavage and spray it with hairspray, then push your fabric into your skin and it will stay there. – Bethany Braj
70. Customise, customise, customize! Buying an off-the-rack dress can be tweaked by adding a flounce or trumpet hem, a peplum, a cape etc. Sometimes (often) it’s impossible to find exactly what you have in mind, and while having a complete outfit made custom is awesome, it can blow the budget. Customizing your own outfit is affordable and unique. – Rachel Fisher
71. Don’t settle for second best and trust your gut. Example if you try on a skirt that looks nice but are constantly pulling at it when trying it on, then it isn’t the right one. If you ‘umm’ and ‘ahh’ about a set of earrings, then they aren’t right. If you think the shoes are not the comfiest then that’s all you will think about on the day. – Stephanie Jameson
72. Always have needles already threaded with your outfit colours. Nothing worse than trying to thread a needle when disaster strikes. I pop them into an old Tic Tac container. The Tic Tac container is small enough to tuck discretely in your clutch and being hard plastic, saves from any sharp surprises when searching for your purse. – Naomi Hudacek
If you are entering FOTF and need to be a bit more prepared for outfit mishaps and makeup touch ups- a lot of us will only put the essentials in our clutches (which are usually quite small) and then keep the rest in a separate bigger bag. Usually there are ladies sitting around at tables watching FOTF who will be happy to mind your bag while you enter the competition.
73. Always take baby wipes!! Baby wipes remove stains! Even removes spray tan sweat marks! – Sami Byrnes
74. Always pack a spare pair of stockings in your clutch… nothing ruins an outfit like a ladder in your stocking. – Michaeleen Brown
75. Always bring a tiny bottle of clear nail polish with you to stop a stocking ladder in its tracks. – Sherie Di Bella
76. My number one race day tip is to take a spare bag and pack a pair of flats so you can slip into them on the way home!!! This has saved my feet so many times. – Phoebe Sophia
77. Pack a cake or cheese & crackers. You’re not always in the mood for oily chips and the line up could be a problem with FOTF timings. – Danielle Shaw
78. Party feet foldable flats are great- saves your feet and small enough to put in a medium sized clutch. –Dimity Vaderpot
79. Pack a stockette to shine patent shoes and bag just before judging. – Sharon McKerrow
80. Hairspray is a godsend and should be at the top of your list for FOTF preparation as it holds slippery zips up, quick dry top coat for nails, gives some shine to your shoes and is a great setting spray for makeup. – Emily Barron
81. Always have needle and thread and small tube of superglue for on the field fix ups!! I had a bit of a disaster when my hat took a knocking on route to track and luckily one of the gorgeous girls also doing FOTF had a lil tube of glue that did the trick and I was able to pick up my confidence and get on stage and make the final!!! – Carle Rutledge
82. A phone charger is a must, especially when taking lots of fashion photos. – Sharon Lee Smith
** A portable charger is my most important race day item. That way you can charge on the go.
83. Try and keep spare pairs of different coloured shoes in your car in case a friend packs the wrong ones. It saves the day. – Tracy Press
84. Refresh… a drop of Visene can change your entire look. Red eyes are not a great accessory! Keep it handy! – Annette Sanfilippo
85. I put my lipstick, lip liner, pressed powder (if it fits) and cotton tips (for eyeliner that may have gone south) in a small zip lock bag to save the inside of the clutch bag from any potential spillages and to save having to rummage around in the bag for it. Same deal goes for my money – I usually can’t fit a proper wallet so a zip lock bag keeps it all together. – Jen Marsh
86. Safety pins, and make sure it’s your ID in your purse not your IGA customer rewards card. – Aimee Holmes
87. Get one of these little sewing kits from the cheap shops and keep it in your bag, also some bandaids. – Wendy Hunt
88. Bobby pins, lots of bobby pins!!! Hair or outfit quick fix they are always handy to have with you. – Olivia Treg
89. Pack eyelash glue always! Translucent powder dabbed on to a red lip will hold the lipstick, add a matt look and lock it into place. – Kerrie Carucci
90. If you are anything like me, painting your nails immediately means you need to touch forty things and smudge your nails. If painting last minute nails, wait a moment after they’ve dried to start to set then soak them in ice water. Sets them fast and hard! No more smudges. – Meleisha Lill
91. If you’re getting fake nails and plan on wearing gloves, make sure you don’t get them too long, otherwise you won’t fit into your gloves properly. – Milano Imai
92. I cut the hanging ribbon off my top & skirt to take shopping with me for colour matching. – Abby Von Duve
93. I always take my whole outfit with me shopping, that way I can see exact colour matches and try on different shoes, belts and accessories with my outfits. Great if you have trouble visualizing. – Milano Imai
94. Allow me to introduce you all to my dear old friend ‘Duct Tape’ .. comes in various colors so you can color coordinate to your outfit but do remember to line it with tissues or some such item so you don’t potentially rip your nipples off. We all need a bit of support from time to time especially when there is a dress to be worn that doesn’t allow for a bra. Ladies with bigger busts will relate to this quite well when you need to strap the girls down but add some support so they aren’t hanging down to your tummy button. – Elizabeth Charleston
95. I used rock tape to strap the girls down last weekend & it worked a treat – great flexi support that gives you a bit of a boost & doesn’t irritate the skin when you sweat as it’s made for athletes. – Peta MB
96. My secret to never having an underwear faux pas is to tack underwear to the dress lining so there are no unsightly slips exposing a bra strap. My race day bag always contains needle and threads of various colours. – Jennine Kiely
97. Try your dress on leading up to the event more than just a week out so you don’t have the disaster I just had… and it doesn’t fit. – Lauren Allwood
98. Take your best accessories…your mates! Whether they are FOTF participants or not, you need them, so that win or lose you have a wicked day. Laugh lots, lose or win some money, crowd watch, talk rubbish, drink a little and after the fashions nail a big box of chips and gravy . Nothing that goes wrong is ever that bad with your mates in tow. – Fiona Cosgrove
99. My tip of the day is to bring your FOTF husband who loves dressing up as much as you do for FOTF events! They are very hard to come by! – Catherine Johnston
100. To every FOTF I do my best to have a positive attitude and a sense of humor – then no matter what, it will be a good day! – Demi Monde
Race days are so much more fun with a group of fab ladies who share your passion! If you’re new to FOTF or would like to expand your circle, join the Field Fashion Community to meet other women in your local area.
101. Get a race mom that goes to extents to take the perfect photo. – Brooke Maddock. I can vouch for this! Race moms are also great for sending a bajillion photos to when you’re having outfit dilemmas and in the middle of a melt down.
102. Take your mum with you!! She is always there to tell you to stand up straight, tell you have lipstick on your teeth, buy you hot chips and most importantly share a bottle of bubbles with you. – Kacey LLoyd
103. Ladies we should all support each other even if you don’t know the girl… e.g. her eyelashes come off – say something, I am sure your support will be much appreciated. – Tatiana Hoffmann
104. Invite a trusty friend along to hold your drink, look after any free goodies you get as a result of entering FOTF, take photos and offer support! – Petra Nolan
Phew that’s a lot of race hacks!
Thanks again to all the women in the Field Fashion Community Facebook Group for providing these insider tips.
So what did we miss? Now it’s your turn, share your favourite race day hack in the comments below!
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Spring Trends Report
The 2018 Spring / Summer Racing Fashion Trends Report. A 39 page comprehensive guide to what's trending this race season. Plus, you'll receive exclusive weekly fashion tips to help you stand out at your next race event.