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Summer Racing Style Guide: Country Cup Cool

Before mad March hits South Australia, it’s all about February’s festivities. Beginning with the Northpoint Fleurieu Strathalbyn Cup, racegoers can also mark their calendars with the SeaLink KI Racing Carnival and the Port Lincoln Cup. After all, if you are exploring some of the state’s finest regions, you will need a country racing wardrobe to match.

Australian Fashion Labels Stylist Jazz Mignone thinks we should take a cue from the forecast this summer. “As these races are predominately in February, it’s hot, so these looks can be a little more relaxed than usual,” Jazz said. “Flowy summer dresses are ideal with cute headbands and strappy sandals or mules,” she said. “You could even try a heeled boot for a more ‘country’ style look, such as the western boots that are really on trend at the moment.”

Shoe Shed Director Sognia Slade agrees boots are a foolproof choice for a country race day. “Ankle boots look great with a dress,” Sognia said. “Wear something that is a snug fit around the ankle to elongate your legs, like a pull-on Chelsea boot or a pull-on sock boot.”

“We all know that our feet swell during the warmer months, particularly when we are standing all day at the races,” Sognia said. “It’s always best to go with a slightly larger fitting shoe rather than a snug fit,” she said. “Your feet will appreciate it at the end of the hot day.”

According to Jazz, the major catwalk trends this summer are bright colours and animal print - trends that can be translated to any setting. “Headbands, puff sleeves, slip dresses and animal print accessories can all be adapted for summer racewear dressing,” Jazz said.

At BNKR, racegoers can expect to find a harmony of fashion forward options and traditional racing looks. “Bright colours, bold prints and vintage-inspired pieces feature across all of the labels,” Jazz said. “As well as some very cute shoes from Jaggar The Label, launching their new collection in February.”

Lilac and yellow will lead the summer colour palette, turning every silhouette into a statement. “Slip dresses are a favourite of ours, which, given the opportunity can be layered with cute shirting,” Jazz said.

But don’t limit your lilac options to only clothing. TDE’s summer racing must-have Mini Bucket Bag stuns in lilac and sky blue, while the Pale Pink Vertical Clutch adds a sweet sensation to any ensemble. If you prefer to keep your hands free for taking social snaps, TDE’s Black Belt Bag is your ideal companion.  

Jazz advises us to keep an eye out for a C/MEO COLLECTIVE power suit or a flowing sundress from Keepsake or Finders Keepers. “Linen fabrications feature in our summer collections and are perfect for the summer race season,” Jazz said.

When curating your accessories options, Jazz recommends starting with defining your colours and overall outfit vibe. “Accessories should be used to compliment your outfit, so use coloured or tonal pieces to pick up existing colours in your look,” Jazz said.

“Don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with it, perhaps by bringing in some clashing prints like an animal print shoe/bag,” she said. “Rattan accessories are on trend, as well as mismatched gold/pearl/shell earrings – perfect for summer.”

If you are looking to highlight textures in your outfit, TDE’s Burgundy Suede Mini Cross Body Bag will add another dimension to a silk wrap dress, or if you are liking linen, you can create impact with an espadrille. Sognia believes the espadrille is a summer racing essential, whether it’s a flat sandal, slide or wedge.

“Make sure you choose a mid-heel height and purchase some Party Feet gel inserts to give you some extra padding in your shoes,” Sognia said. “It’s always a great idea to wear a block heel or a wedge to the races,” she said. “This will give you stability on the grass as well on the uneven surfaces around the field.”

With a summer filled with racing events worthy of a new ensemble (or three), you can keep your wardrobe perpetually refreshed at BNKR. “The best part is, if your planning on attending a few country race days this season, we have a new range every week,” Jazz said. “So, you will always find something new and exciting.”

Start planning your racing style sojourns with our FATR calendar here.

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