You spend hours reading fashion blogs, shopping, planning, beading, painting, fitting, sewing and worrying.

You love what you’ve created. You feel gorgeous in it. You’re sure you’ll place.

And then you get up on stage… and don’t even make it past the heats. Not a sash in sight. Heart breaking??


Why didn’t the judges like my outfit?

Was I invisible up there?

As you scroll through your Instagram feed, it seems like everyone else is winning except you. Your feed is full of women wearing gorgeous outfits and a winning sash. Why can’t that be me?

Fashions on the Field Winners Instagram

Hmmmph ☹ Have you ever felt like this?

I have. I’ve been there many times.

Which is why I think it’s important to remind ladies, especially leading up to an exciting time for FOTF competitions, that if you don’t win or place, don’t despair.

You are not a fashion failure. Nor do you have sucky style.

Because here’s the tricky thing about fashion. It’s subjective. The winning sash is based on the opinion of a handful of discerning judges, each with their own style and fashion sense.

Fashions on the Field Judges

Image credit: Myer Blog.

You may look amazing, but one or more of the judges (for whatever reason):

• May not like A-Line skirts
• May not like pencil skirts
• May not like orange
• May not like your hair colour
• May not like the way you pose
• May not like butterflies
• May not like green
• May not be comfortable with your epic print clash
• May be thinking about lunch and rushing through the process

… see where I’m going with this?

So unless the judging panel is made up of fashion Gods like the head director of Vogue, Balmain or Chanel, a top milliner or race wear professionals, don’t take defeat too personally. And even then, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Trust yourself and if your killer creation doesn’t please the judges, wear it with pride anyway and get on with enjoying your day, millinery held high.

It’s not all about Winning

Make the day less about winning and more about having fun with your friends. Socialise, check out hunky suited up men, be inspired by all the beautiful fashion around you. Then place a bet and watch the race!

race friends

Another must is that if you love someone’s outfit, let them know!! There’s no better feeling than a complete stranger coming up and saying they love what you are wearing and how you’ve styled it.

Now, if all else fails and you still can’t stop yourself worrying about whether you will place or not, a little trick I sometimes like to use is to say to myself, “if you don’t make it to the finals, you can have a large cheesy crust vegetarian pizza with extra cheese and two scoops of Messina ice cream”, so it’s a win-win situation ;)

cheesy crust pizza

The Many Times I haven’t placed at Fashions on the Field

Hopefully these stories of my own FOTF failures will make you feel normal (or at least give you a giggle). Take comfort in knowing that even experienced race goers lose far more competitions than they win.

Girls Day Out 2020. This dress is by one of my favourite brands and what I loved most about this outfit is that I made my own millinery!! I was dying for a donut shaped hat and as usual had left it too late to purchase or get one made, so I got creative. It took me most of the day but I loved how it turned out and thought the teal mixed with fuchsia pink looked unreal together!

I didn’t place in this outfit, but I’m excited to restyle it for another outing later this year. 

Magic Millions 2020. I was hesitant to wear black and white to Magic Millions race day but it was my favourite outfit choice for the day so I went with it. I had so many lovely women come up and say this is one of their favourite outfits they’ve seen me in to date! I didn’t place but I will definitely wear this dress again!!