The $7 secret to winning Fashions on the Field

St Peter's Caulfield Cup Stockland Fashions on the Field under-35 entrants and winner Meleisha Lill (number 14).
St Peter's Caulfield Cup Stockland Fashions on the Field under-35 entrants and winner Meleisha Lill (number 14). Amber Hooker

A CAN of spray paint from Bunnings and a dress-turned-top are hardly considered essentials for spring racing.

But Meleisha Lill is a case in point that with a bit of creativity and a spare $7, you can mix it with the best and conquer fashions on the field.

The Rockhampton resident won the under-35s category in the Stockland Fashions on the Field at Callaghan Park's St Peter's Caulfield Cup race day Saturday.

Frocked up in four layers of both new and already-owned attire, Meleisha Lill won prizes to the value of $1000, flowers and bottle of wine.

Sockland Rockhampton Fashions on the Field over 35s Sarah Parker and 18-35s Meleisha Lill.
Sockland Rockhampton Fashions on the Field over 35s Sarah Parker and 18-35s Meleisha Lill.

"I purchased my skirt from Coopers about a month ago, but I couldn't find any tops that I liked with it as they were mainly block colours and I wanted something bright and spring-like," Meleisha explained. "I then had a look through my wardrobe again and decided on a dress that I then wore under the skirt as a top.

"I was very lucky for a cooler day as my skirt had about four layers plus the dress.

"I spray painted an old pair of shoes I had at home plus a new clutch I bought to match the purple in the dress with a $7 can of spray paint from Bunnings, then got Wendy White Millinery to make me a headpiece to tie it all together."

Although she caught the judges' attention for all the right reasons, Meleisha's husband was not so impressed with her creative flair.

"Hubby gets frustrated coming home to purple patches of paint on his nice green recently turfed lawn," she said.

No stranger to the stage, Meleisha has won Fashions on the Field three times this year and said it is all about the details when you put together an outfit.

"I keep an eye on what is on trend in Melbourne, Sydney and the other large race meets, but realistically it comes down to what the judges like on the day," she said.

"So you could be on trend and they go for something different. Golden rule is keep it classy though, club wear is to be left at home."

Meleisha's passion for fashions emerged as a welcome change from spending seven years in high-vis and steel caps.

Despite her win, she said she plans to take a step back from races and focus on renovations of the house having recently got married.

Meleisha's tips ahead of Melbourne Cup:

Try to not spend to much on outfits, that is why I love re-using dresses as tops etc or spray painting old shoes a different colour, as I don't have to buy all new stuff then.

I also buy and sell a lot of my old race wear on an online Facebook group and I use the money from previous outfits to buy the new ones.

Topics:  callaghan park caulfield cup fashions on the field races spring racing

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