Craig Warhurst

Spring's here and it's race-day fun

HEY ladies, unless you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks, it shouldn't come as a surprise that it's “Spring Racing Season”.

Yes, it's the excuse you have been looking for to freshen up that wardrobe (as if you really needed one) and spruce up with some colour, frills and accessories.

Once again vibrant colour is one of the big features this season.

Beautiful colours are definitely the exclamation mark at the end of a stunning fashion statement, aside from the feathers, frills and floral patterns you may come up with along the way.

If you like to live on the edge and have left everything to the last minute, or you simply cannot find anything that strikes your fancy, then a visit to Evolution CQ is your number one “to do” list activity.

Showing true passion for fashion, Evolution CQ's Trace Andrews and her dedicated team will be more than happy to assist you in your race wear from hat to heels.

Trace invites you to come in to the store, which is open seven days in the Red Hill Homemaker Centre, and browse and bask in the variety of fashion, accessories, fascinators, hats, shoes, bags and other tantalising bits and pieces that her boutique stocks.

“We pride ourselves on being able to custom-make a hat or fascinator to match your outfit at incredible prices that won't break the bank,” Trace said.

Evolution CQ is known for its “slight” obsession with beautiful shoes and admittedly Trace understands it's not an easy task walking out empty handed.

OK, so now you have your race outfit, and it's the big day to show it off.

The races are known as one of the biggest social events of the year.

When it comes to race-day etiquette, there are definitely some important rules to follow if you want to maintain your ladylike status.

Admittedly we all start out with good intentions, says Trace, but things often take a turn for the worse by the last race.

  • AVOID TANDOORI TANS! Fake tans, if necessary, should be evenly applied and be of a water-resistant formula. They should also resemble vaguely normal human skin tones - no radioactive tangerine hues, please ladies.
  • UNSOCIABLE HEADWEAR: Hats that are so big they have their own postcode can be beautiful but remember your fellow patrons, particularly in confined spaces. Even worse than the gigantic hat is the overly pointy fascinator, which can double as a lethal weapon on a low-slung head. “You can take an eye out with your standing in the queue for the loos,” Trace said.
  • THE WALK OF SHAME: Heels belong on the feet, not hung over the shoulder at the end of the day, no matter how sore your trotters are. Sometimes you must suffer for fashion, says Trace. “If you know you're going to get a bit tipsy or footsore, wear kitten heels or wedges rather than stilettos so that by the end of the day you will have your shoes on and your dignity intact.”
  • DRINK AND FINGERFOOD MISDEMEANOURS: Hold your champagne glass by the stem, not by the bowl, and never chug straight from the bottle. Trace says it's essential to pace yourself and alternate with water. Finger food snaffling is also a bad look. “Don't follow the finger food tray around the room,” Trace says.
  • QUEUE BEHAVIOUR: Queues are an inevitable part of any race-day experience, whether it's the increasingly desperate line outside the ladies Portaloos or the unruly mob waiting for a taxi after the last race. “Just wait patiently,” Trace says.
  • MEN'S FASHION FAUX PAS: Outfits for men often get overlooked, but not by the fashion police. They will be out in force hunting down blokes who commit either of two fashion faux pas: wearing the wrong flower in their buttonhole or the wrong coloured shoes with a dark suit. Shoes should be toned with the outfit. Similarly frowned upon by the etiquette elite are gorilla suits, fright wigs, and other forms of group fancy dress.
  • SEE AT LEAST ONE HORSE RACE: Remember those four-legged creatures galloping round the outer? Good form dictates you watch at least one race, even if it is just on a TV screen.
  • MARQUEE-CRASHING: Don't try to blag your way in with pleas of “but my sister's boyfriend's uncle's in there” or “Don't you know who I am?” For those fortunate enough to score a legitimate ticket, never push your luck by palming extras off to your mates. Anyway you can have just as good a time with friends in the grandstand.

The moral of the race day story, says Trace, is not only to look and feel fantastic, but do your best to remember the day along with all of the fun and fashion.

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