WHILE peplum and prints were all the rage last year, this spring racing season is a nod to the 1990s, says stylist Sofia Polak.
But she warns racegoers not to get carried away, as the classical elements of racewear are still there, from hems to headwear.
“There should always be a sleeve, even if it’s just a tiny cap sleeve – it has to fit under the ‘ladylike’ style,” she says.
“Higher necklines are also in this year, which means you can keep on trend and follow the racewear rules.”
While longer hemlines have always been encouraged, they’re going even further south this year, skimming the calf in either hobble or circle skirts.
“With a nice pump heel, most women can get away with a calf-length hem, especially with that minimalist shape, so it’s a really elegant look in a bright colour,” Sofia says.
“I think jagged hems are quite unique as well, and always something to play with. I’ve seen that on designers like Nicola Finetti and it’s a way to make yourself stand out as well as stay on trend.”
One of Sofia’s favourite looks for this season is monochrome, topped off with a large hatinator.
“I would lean more towards a more mono-geometric shape in millinery, so pick hatinators rather than hats,” she says.
“Obviously we’re putting away felt and velvet pieces for these races and leaning more towards the lighter summer materials, like straw.”
Ladies after something a bit different should look to digital prints.
“I would steer clear of floral prints, that’s been done… this year if you’re going to do prints, a digital one is your best bet to really stand out,” Sofia says.
“Style-wise I’d also like to see a more fitted, structural dress. You could do a structured cap sleeve or shoulder, or a bit at the top, but obviously keep in mind to wear an outfit that suits your body shape.”
Sofia says there’s also a tendency towards separates – dressy skirts teamed with pretty tops – as a “unique” option.
“I like to see separates because I think you can play with the outfit a bit more, and mix and match different styles and fabrics,” she says.
“I’d love to see separates in the same colour though, I think that would look quite chic and on-trend for the races.”
Accessory-wise, pick shoes you will be able to stand in all day with a unique fabric such as lace, and try an oversized clutch, says Sofia.
“The structured style clutches are really nice, and I’ve seen a little bit of bling too, but as long as it’s not too much – you have to remember racewear is daywear!”
For guys, the same rules as last year “pretty much apply” says Sofia, but a bold tie is a fun way to accentuate an outfit.
“This year they can have fun with a few colours to set off their look, but only if they’re brave enough!”