If you’ve been following me for a while, then you’ll know I am an avid outfit repeater. First of all, why only wear a beautiful dress once? Secondly, I can’t afford to buy something new for every race day. Thirdly, I love the challenge of restyling an outfit to make it appear fresh and new. And then there’s the whole sustainable fashion issue…

When having an outfit made, or investing in a dress a bit more expensive than you usually allow yourself, knowing you will wear it multiple times helps to justify the purchase.

So far this year, I have attended six race days. To each of these, I have restyled an outfit already worn to a previous race day or event. I’ve done this by adding new additions to accessories and millinery, changing colour schemes, or by transforming Spring/Summer outfits to Autumn/Winter and vice versa.

Read on to see how six dresses have been restyled, each appearing new and fresh. At the end I also share my top 4 restyling tips. Hopefully they give you some ideas on how to restyle your own race day outfits.

Outfit #1 – A Change of Colour Scheme

In February, I attended Girls Day Out Race Day. I re-wore my beautiful Alex Perry dress that I altered last year and wore to Oaks Day in Melbourne.

Kennedy Oaks Day at Flemington Racecourse and Girls Day Out at Eagle Farm Racecourse.

For this outfit, I changed the colour scheme from blue, to pink and red, with new millinery (I made myself) and shoes. I ditched the belt and added a pink and red twilly scarf to my bag. The top of this dress also looks different, but that’s because I actually forgot to bring the overlay part of this dress and only noticed once I arrived at the track! Haha.

The total cost of this change was $0 as I pulled everything from my already existing wardrobe.

Outfit #2 – A Change in Millinery

This is one of my favourite dresses and I have worn it three times so far. Having won a sash in it on its first wear, I wanted to focus on making the outfit appear different with the use of alternative millinery styles.

Stradbroke Day 2016, Derby Day 2016 @wendellteodoro, Weetwood Toowoomba 2019.

As you can see above I have worn a percher, a wide brim hat and a large oval style. You can see how the different hat shapes affect the overall look of this outfit. I have worn this dress in both Spring and Winter, and have changed my millinery choices to reflect that.

The cost of this outfit was also $0, as I made my own hat and the rest came from my wardrobe.

Outfit #3 – Updated Millinery and Accessories

I found this navy lace fabric during a holiday in China. It was $100 a meter and I was in love with it. Needing five meters, however, I wasn’t sure I could spend the money. I thought about it for days, revisiting the store three times hoping each time I left that the shop assistant would chase after me offering me a lower price! They never did.

On the final day of my China trip, I bit the bullet and purchased $500 worth of lace. Once home, I took it to my dress maker Andrew and had him make me a stunning pencil cut dress out of it.

Looking back now, with over six wears (entering FOTF, judging FOTF, a winner’s sash and even a front page newspaper spread) this dress has definitely been worth the money!

Melbourne Cup 2016, Brisbane News 2016, Judging EKKA 2017

Shoot with Wendell Teodoro 2018, Gold Coast Cup 2018, Kirin Stakes Day 2019.

I have worn this dress many times with a variety of different millinery and accessory options. I have paired this outfit with both gold and clear accessories. It has detachable sleeves, so whatever the season, I’m covered.

The best part about changing your accessories, is that you can opt for the season’s trending bag, shoes and earrings, giving your outfit a fresh new on-trend feel.

The most recent version of this outfit only cost me, $60. I purchased the clear point toe heels from The Iconic, but managed to make my hat out of an old coat hanger and use a clear bag I already owned with a clear bra strap as the handle. Smile.

Outfit #4 – Millinery Additions

This dress was definitely a purchase made under the ‘investment’ banner. I justified the price tag with a promise to self to wear it multiple times. And that I did!

I wore this dress to judge the Rocky Amateurs FOTF, and a month later wore it to Ladies Day at Doomben Racecourse and was awarded the runner up sash! I even managed to wear it to a high tea a week later… and don’t be surprised if you see me wearing it again this coming spring!

Judging Rocky Amateurs in May 2019, Ladies Day in June 2019, Tattersall’s High Tea 2019.

When I first wore this dress I paired it with a lavender button hat with flower embellishments, my Cult Gaia bag (pleased to wear this again as it was also an expensive purchase) and purple shoes I spray painted the night before.

On my second wear, I was entering the FOTF competition, so I spiced it up with new on-trend clear accessories; the clear shoes I had worn the week earlier and a lovely new Perspex bag and clear belt.

My favourite change to this outfit, however, was to my millinery. I had attended the Rebecca Share workshop a few weeks earlier, where I learnt to make a beautiful swirl. I painted it and attached it to my hat so it swept around the back of my head and framed the face at the front.