The hotly anticipated Spring Racing Carnival season has begun across Australia, bringing with it a new and fiercely competitive season of fashions on the field.
While dressing for a day at the races is often perceived as daunting and extortionately expensive, a dive down the online rabbit hole of fast-fashion reveals a luxury look can be achieved for far less than expected.
FEMAIL created nine complete looks for under $100 for the 2019 Spring Racing Season – clothing, footwear and accessories included.
1. THE ROMANTIC WRAP
When it comes to fashion, the cardinal rule has always dictated ‘for spring, think pink’ – and it seems designers did just that with their collections for 2019.
Pink powered the runways from Paris to New York all year long, with millennial, bubblegum and universally flattering blush taking centre stage, making it a surefire trend for spring racing Down Under.
Take the hassle out of styling with the wrap-around No Limits Jumpsuit from Showpo, currently reduced from $79.95 to $40.
Let your suit do the talking with a pair of ‘barely there’ black Twin Strap Tube Sandals from Pretty Little Thing, now on sale for $24.80.
The double-strap stilettos are strikingly similar to the $1,000 Purist Suede Sandals from Italian luxury footwear brand Aquazurra, one of Meghan Markle’s best-loved labels.
Jump on the mini-bag bandwagon with a tiny $35 Black Crocodile Micro Bag, also from Pretty Little Thing.
Total cost: $99.80
Powerful pink: Jumpsuits are the hassle-free, statement style of the season, with a wide variety available for next to nothing, like this $40 wrap-waist one-piece from Showpo
2. THE RIVIERA RIG
The stalls at Royal Randwick may be thousands of miles from the streets of Portofino, but slipping into a tailored ivory jumpsuit and stacked espadrilles will make you feel like you’re strolling along the Italian Riviera.
Originally priced at $72, the fashion-forward wedges are currently on sale for $27.
Top the look with a $9 Classic Panama Hat from Kmart for a true sense of la dolce vita.
Total cost: $92
La dolce vita: White linen and a classic Panama hat is a fail safe combination for spring racing, and Showpo’s reasonable collection of chic jumpsuits (like this $56 piece) provides something to suit all budgets and tastes
3. THE LILAC LOOK
Dubbed the colour of 2019 by Harper’s Bazaar, lilac has swiftly become the signature red carpet shade of celebrities like Victoria Beckham and Amal Clooney.
But your moment in the purple rain need not come with an A-list price tag, thanks to an array of chic styles from fast-fashion brands Down Under.
Currently reduced from $39.99 to just $19.98, the Lexia Long Sleeve Mini-Dress from Cotton On is a fun, flirty and fashion-forward choice for spring racing.
Add some height with a pair of Yeezy-inspired perspex Raye Mules from Dazie, currently on sale for $29 from The Iconic.
Total cost: $70.97
Purple rain: Lilac has enjoyed a huge revival since the beginning of 2019 with an array of A-listers opting for the shade on the red carpet, and fast-fashion brands like Cotton On have been quick to cop the growing demand for purple designs
4. THE MONOCHROME MINI
Givenchy’s Claire Waight Keller may tout black-and-white dresses as her signature design, but that doesn’t give luxury brands (and their associated price tags) a monopoly on monochrome.
At $35, the playful Bianca Gingham Mini-Dress from Supré is a steal without comprising on style.
Elevate the form-fitting frock with black suede Addison Mules from Spurr, originally $70 but currently on sale for $34.
Shield your eyes from the spring sun with a pair of Versace-inspired Chelsea sunglasses from Supré, available in store and online for $15.
Total cost: $84
Check mate: Never out of style, eternally chic monochrome is a safe bet for spring racing and a pair of black point-toe heels like these $34 suede mules from Spurr will see you through the entire season
THE AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB MEMBER’S DRESS CODE
Members of the Australian Turf Club are expected to adhere to the official dress code, designed to maintain the ‘sense of occasion that makes race day so special’.
Not permitted in the Members’ reserve:
– Any form of the following footwear; joggers, sports shoes, track shoes, runners, thongs, dilapidated footwear, scuffs, gumboots or slippers
– Jeans/denim, jodhpurs, shorts, untailored pants or playsuits
– Torn or ripped clothing
– Garments which show midriff and have cut-outs
– Leggings worn as pants
– Parkas, duffle coats, windbreakers, tracksuit tops, denim jackets or anoraks
Source: Australian Turf Club
5. THE (NOT SO) SUBTLE SUIT
The most definitive runway colour for spring/summer 2019 was undoubtedly yellow, storming catwalks in every shade from pastel lemon to golden turmeric.
The trend continues for summer Down Under, taking centre stage in the collections of major names like Alice McCall and Bec and Bridge, which means its sure to be popular throughout the spring racing season.
Create your own sunshine in a co-ordinate yellow power suit, sold as separates from Pretty Little Thing.
High-end Australian brands like Manning Cartell also stock co-ordinate suits, but a single blazer will set you back a cool $599.
Jump on the revival of ’90s beaded bags with Pretty Little Thing’s Turquoise and Coral Ring Grab Tassle tote, reduced from $40 to $11.
Keep footwear sleek and simple with Pretty Little Thing’s black Twin Strap Tube Sandals, currently on sale for $24.80.
Total cost: $82.60
Fun, flirty yellow has been a staple on the runway throughout 2019, making this discount lemon co-ordinate suit from Pretty Little Thing an obvious for spring racing
6. THE ELEGANT ENSEMBLE
Beloved by A-list actress Jennifer Lopez and real-life royal Kate Middleton, the lace midi-dress is a sartorial staple for all kinds of occasions, all year round.
Originally retailing at $120, the Dusty Blue Lace Ruffle Midi-Dress from Pretty Little Thing is currently on sale for $44.80.
The bargain buy bears more than a passing resemblance to designs from luxury label Self Portrait, which retail for an average of $700.
Keep footwear understated with a dainty pair of black Twin Strap Tube Sandals, also from Pretty Little Thing, currently reduced from $68 to $24.80.
Add a touch of class to your hairstyle with a dainty $10 Black Hair Ribbon from Pretty Little Thing.
Total cost: $79.60
Luxe for less: Lace midi-dresses have long been the most popular choice of attire for spring racing, and this two-tone number from Pretty Little Thing looks infinitely more expensive than its $44.80 price tag
7. THE BOHEMIAN BEACH DRESS
Breaking the decades long reign of the little black dress, 2019 has seen the sartorial set shift its focus to the cooler climes of the little white dress.
Where the LBD is timeless and classic, the LWD offers a lighter, breezier and more experimental look, perfect for spring racing Down Under.
Esteemed New York designer Brandon Maxwell has released a litany of little white dresses this season, as has iconic Australian label Zimmermann, but with a little detective work there’s bargain buys to be had.
At $39.99, the Woven Amber Wrap Mini-Dress from Cotton On provides a flattering fit with a fashionable scallop frill detail.
Take your LWD to new heights with a pair of classic tan Lily Block Heels from Rubi, available online for $39.99.
Alternatively, slip into the trendy Tortoise Shell Block Heels from Pretty Little Thing, marked down from $60 to $17.40.
Pack racing essentials into Pretty Little Thing’s Brown Rectangle Beaded Mini-Bag, currently reduced from $60 to $26.
Total cost: $83.39
White hot: The little white dress has replaced the classic LBD as the go-to garment of the street style set, so join the ivory revolution in this $39 woven wrap dress from Australian brand Cotton On
8. THE WIDE LEG JUMPSUIT
Quickly overtaking dresses as the garment of choice for occasion wear, jumpsuits are a statement style that’s here to stay.
Wide-leg striped jumpsuits are both comfortable and versatile, creating a sleek, polished look without the hassle of styling separates.
The Respect Jumpsuit in beige and white stripe from Australian e-giant Showpo normally retails at $79.95, but is reduced to $56.
Show your sartorial skills by slipping into a pair of perspex Raye Mules from Dazie, currently reduced from $59.99 to $29 on The Iconic.
Finish the look with a couple of trendy $5 Hair Clips from Supré.
Total cost: $90
All-in-one: Wide-leg striped jumpsuits (like this $56 piece from Showpo) are as comfortable as they are chic, creating a polished look without the hassle of styling separates
9. THE SUMMER SET
Hailed as the ‘summer wardrobe saviour’ by British Vogue on more than one occasion, co-ordinate sets have steadily cemented themselves as a wardrobe staple of the street style set over the past five years.
Try something different for spring racing with a quirky linen two-piece from Supré.
Summer saviour: Stand out from the traditional spring racing crowd of midi-dresses and fascinators in favour of a quirky co-ordinate like this white linen set from Supré, which retails for $55 in total
Add an edge with a pair of black studded Nicola Wedges from Spurr, currently reduced from $69.99 to $20 on The Iconic.
Shield your eyes from the sun with chic Tara Cat Eye Shades, available online from Rubi for $14.99.
Total cost: $89.99