A Fashions on the Field entrant arrives and there is a certain hush amongst the crowd. All eyes are instantly drawn in her direction. Including mine. My jaw drops and I think (out loud) ‘WOW’.

That’s the WOW factor.

But what exactly is it? What is it that determines a judge’s decision and sees a lucky lady walking away with a sash?

In a sea of beautiful, immaculately dressed women, what can you do to stand out?

You need to add a little pizzazz to your outfit; the icing on the cake, the star on the Christmas tree, the hint of Baileys in your morning coffee… Something that has that distinct point of difference.

It can be in the form of an exaggerated feature, a striking colour, a piece of millinery so amazing it could enter on its own, a spectacular silhouette or a fabric so stunning everyone is, well, stunned.

So next time you are working out your race day outfit, think ‘WOW’. These days where the fashion stakes are reaching new highs every year, it’s not enough just to look “good”, you have to look amazing.

Let’s look at some recent race day winners and how they created their ‘WOW’.

1. Creating WOW with a Colour / Print

Using a bold colour can be your statement feature. Lindsay rocked up to Stradbroke Cup Race Day in this Dior-inspired full tulle skirt, tailored jacket and red wide brim hat by Marilyn Van Den Berg. The moment I saw Lindsay, I knew she would win.

No one could take their eyes off her!! In this case, Lindsay’s choice to dress top to bottom in bright red is what made the outfit. Had she gone with the same outfit in a white, or black, or combination of colours, I don’t think it would have had the same impact… What are your thoughts?

stand out head turner

Image credit: Lindsay Ridings @lindsay.j.ridings


This interesting mix of colours and prints won Hannah a sash at the Prix De Fashion FOTF Finals. She added a blue striped ruffled hem to the skirt and draped it around the neck.

She picked up the orange tones in the print of her dress to incorporate into her halo. Had Hannah worn the dress without the additions, she still would have had a beautiful outfit, but not as stand out as she made it.

orange halo floral print black dress

Image credit: Hannah Carson @hanniecarson

Parris stole the show in this mustard and checkered combination. The checkered fabric was the perfect choice to compliment the mustard, creating an overall eye catcher. Had she chosen another block colour, the design wouldn’t have stood out as much.

stand out wow outfit

Image credit: Paris Clayden @parrisjclayden

I’m not sure whether to put this one under ‘Stand-out Millinery’ or ‘Print’, but you get the gist; a simple shift dress comes to life with the exciting, bold print. The print paired with a large and striking piece of millinery was all it took for Chloe Moo to win the Myer National Title in 2013.

2. Use a Stunning Fabric

A lot of the time, fabric choice can make the whole outfit! You may notice, many brands will choose a very simple design in a dress and use a different fabric for each collection, bringing it to life again and again, without ever changing the original design.

Race wear outfits are the same, with a simple design you can use your fabric to be the WOW factor.

Elizabeth wore a striking embroidered dress to Tauranga Races and walked away the Supreme Winner.
Although her dress was an elegant, simple cut, the fabric did all the talking.

Of course, the divine millinery piece that complemented her outfit perfectly by Monika Neuhauser was hard to ignore. But picture this dress in a plain colour, or even in a print. The embroidered fabric was the right choice <3

stand out amazing outfit

Image credit: Elizabeth Charleston @elizabethcharleston

Crystal always has an array of exciting prints and colours in her race wear outfits. I especially loved this tube dress, which she wore with a long sleeve blouse underneath.

The dress print with a slightly quilted look had me swooning the moment I saw it. She has worn this dress with many different undershirts and every time (thanks to the dress being so amazing) she has always stood out.