Update: The 2018 Spring Racing Fashion Trends Report has just been released. It’s the most comprehensive guide to what will be trending at this year’s Melbourne Cup Week. Make sure you grab your free copy here.
After the hectic Spring Carnival and Melbourne Cup week, whereby I have to plan three outfits, I kind of slip into a FOTF coma. Then Christmas comes and goes, New Year….and suddenly it’s January again and time for Magic Millions.
It takes me a while to rise to the occasion and I am, generally, very disorganised for this event.
So, between my ‘ehhhh we’ll just see what happens’ kinda mood and the fact I’m on an (even stricter) budget, this one wasn’t easy.
In this post I share how I came up with my outfit and then look at some of the emerging trends. Click here if you’d like to jump straight to the 2018 trends.
Choosing the Perfect Dress
I did start planning at the end of December. I trawled through the ASOS sales, in fact, I went through close to 11,000 dresses. And narrowed down my options to just three, which just goes to show how hard it is finding FOTF-worthy dresses.
Side note: When I come across FOTF-worthy dresses, I save them on this page so you can benefit from my hours of trawling.
I chose the one on the right. What I liked most about this dress was, it was $32, discounted from $191.
Secondly, I liked the print and fabric. I’m a sucker for texture and sheer panels and the midi length is my favourite. I thought I could definitely work with this dress. I had black and red millinery options at home.
I paid an additional $6 for express shipping and it arrived 3 days later.
Although I selected the XS, it was a big fit and didn’t work on my body. Now, my sewing skills are minimal, but I didn’t let that deter me and set off attempting to take it in.
Here’s what I found; taking in outfits if you don’t mind doing a dodgy job is actually quite easy. Just use the principle of darts, or taking things in at the side seams.
I wore my dress inside out and pinned along each side to fit.
Then I sewed in two darts at the back and took in one side (because there was a zip on the other side and that would be way too hard) and, voila! Good enough!
To Bead or Not to Bead
Next, I thought I would try getting a little fancy. Seeing as I have loads of beads from past projects, I decided to embellish it. The print of the dress made the white areas appear slightly blue, so I decided to work with it.
I spent close to 10 hours beading in some blue beads and black mesh.
I then had the idea to make a makeshift undershirt, with collar and sleeves, to make it slightly more conservative. Success. Or so I thought…
Trying it on a few more times, I started to feel like it was a little off. Especially with the hat I selected for it, my Peacock Millinery mesh boater with giant Ombre rose.
It sort of worked together, but at the same time… it sort of didn’t.
I decided the blue wasn’t working and chopped all the blue beads off and continued to sew on just black beads and mesh (yes, time consuming mistake, this is my life).
Here’s when my friend Brooke dropping in came in handy. I tried on my dress for her and we both stared at the mirror and decided ‘nope’. This is not good. Worse than bad. Embarrassing even. After all, I’m not just dressing for FOTF any more, I have all of you to consider!
Back to the Drawing Board
So I’m back to square one with no outfit, but this time I have 3 days till Magic Millions. THREE DAYS.
Brooke and I look through my wardrobe. Surprisingly, although I have a massive wardrobe, my key pieces suitable for race day outfits are quite limited. I need to invest in a few great tops and bottoms to mix and match.
I contemplate cutting up my tulle dress and using the skirt in another outfit, but I just can’t bring myself to do it- I love that damn dress so much!
I try on the skirt with a black Kimono style Kookai top. It looks half decent. Need some colour though.
I put on my Peacock Millinery boater. The finishing touches, my Christie Nicolaides earrings, my go-to black strappy shoes and a horse brooch (which was actually an old necklace before I cut the horses off). The tulle hat tied in nicely with the tulle on my skirt and the little pop of red and pink looked lovely.
I got Brooke to take a photo. We both agreed it was 100x better than my last outfit and even though I’m not seriously competing in FOTF, it was an outfit I was happy with.
A Glimpse of 2018 Fashion Trends
Magic Millions is one of the first big racing events of the year so it’s always fun to see what everyone is wearing, if there are any new trends emerging and what trends are still going strong.
Magic Millions is always a very vibrant event; I love the sea of colour! Carried on from Spring Carnival, pink and reds were still quite prominent. I am still loving the pink and red combo!
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I’m a big fan of prints so was very happy to see them being favored by many stylish ladies. I think this year will be a big year for prints. I love how Alyse embellished the flowers on her top too!
Pants were a fantastic statement at the track. Something to stand out in the crowd. Yvette scored herself a sash in her funky number!
Viviana and Deb wore self designed and made wide leg pants with frayed hems- Love!
There was a variety of millinery on display at the track. No new trends to note, but but the turban is still going strong, as well as wide brim hats with colourful headscarves and, of course, the boater. Click here to read about last year’s millinery trends.
The Year of the Accessory
Something I have noticed from last year is that accessories are starting to take on their own spotlight.
Gone are the days I opt for a simple clutch to match a colour in my dress or a subtle stud earring, I’m all about quirky, funky and fun accessories! You can do a lot with accessories, you can make a plain outfit a total knockout with the right choices.
Bags are now another way to add a standout feature to your outfit.
One bag I am seriously loving right now (and I may be a little biased because I think Christine is a total style icon in herself) is her newly launched Australian bag label @requiemtrend.
Christine makes her bags out of aluminum and they have interchangeable leather thread so you can suit them to any outfit. I also love the little holes they have that you can hang ornaments off.
Here are some other favourites spotted at Magic Millions…
Statement earrings are very much still on trend and I don’t see them going anywhere in a hurry. Whether it’s big metal earrings, jeweled, crystal or tassel, they’re making their way to being a staple of every racing outfit.
Sashed in first place was the lovely Millicent wearing a pink and red dress that her mum made, and a Millinery Jill boater.
This was Millicent’s first time entering FOTF. She was so cute and nervous she was shaking! Millicent has had lots of experience judging FOTF competitions as a member of the Brisbane Racing Club Fashion Committee. Congrats on your win Millicent!! You looked stunning.
Second place was the always uber stylish Yvette who wore some really funky wide leg navy PANTS. YAY for pants placing! She had a blue and white stripe ruffle top and a Millinery Jill percher that she sewed her scarf onto that morning.
Third place was Anna, a fun pop of colour in a black, yellow, pink and green dress with feather spray millinery she made herself and quirky earrings.
And there you have it, 2018 Magic Millions done and dusted 😀
What trends do you think we’ll see at this year’s Spring Carnival? Let us know in the comments below. And don’t forget to check out the 2018 Spring Racing Fashion Trends Report for the most up to date trends.
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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.