5 Dec


sarah jane young, needle & thread london, net-a-porter, sheissarahjane, spring racing fashion, oaks day, stakes day fashion, geenfields albert park


Phhhowar, better late than never right?! Forgive me, for I have socially sinned – it’s taken me several weeks to even get this post-up! I wish my excuse was that I was still recovering, it is in fact because I’ve been consumed with our second round of IVF. I can only assume most of Melbourne are probably well and truly over spring racing by now and onto Easter for 2018, but here goes. Below I’ve shared all the deets on exactly what I wore (and paid for). I’ve also asked my two favourite milliner’s for their tips on each race day’s fashion/styling, millinery etiquette and a whole lot more. I was also lucky enough to judge the junior girls category for the Emirates Fashions on the Field this year, what a treat that was! 

O A K S  D A Y

OAKS DAY OUTFIT > Dress: Needle & Thread London / headpiece: bespoke Murley & Co Millinery / shoes: Zara / hair: Mhairi McQueen / tan: Chloe Rees from Brazilian Bronze Mobile Tanning / earrings: my local chemist, ha! I don’t even remember the brand – the one for sensitive little ears! / make-up: moi { lipstick: Magnolia by Chantecaille, eyeshadow: Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette, liquid highlighter: BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector }. I would also like to add that I styled myself and paid for EVERYTHING #shitthatievenneedthisdisclaimer

sarah jane young, needle & thread london, net-a-porter, sheissarahjane, spring racing fashion, oaks day, stakes day fashion, geenfields albert park

MORE FROM THE MILLINER > How do I describe Carla Murley from Murley & Co Millinery? Well let’s just say, she is a fabulous pocket-rocket of prettiness, passion and pazazz – I adore her and her work. I came across Carla’s work a few years ago and bought one of her stunning floral crowns which I wore to my first Oaks Day in 2015 (yes, I am a late bloomer!). Below is a breakdown by Carla on each race day and what traditionally is worn, as well as some of her own millinery tips!

Derby Day: Even if you are not planning on competing in Fashions on the Field, it’s great if you can honour the strict black and white dress code. Derby Day is a great opportunity to push the boundaries with a statement headpiece, particularly because most people are in black and/or white. Go nuts, you won’t regret it! 

Melbourne Cup Day: Colour, colour, colour – flamboyant and playful colour! This is THE day to make bold colour choices, but please remember ladies, this is not a nightclub – it’s the race that stops the nation! Opt for strong design lines, appropriate hemlines and again, don’t be afraid to go for high-impact millinery. A strong silhouette with vibrant colour/s – embrace it and rock it!

Oaks Day: AKA ladies day (AKA organise a babysitter or leave the baby daddy at home!). Oaks Day is a day to celebrate soft florals and delicate millinery (ahem, my lovely piece designed by Carla!). For the boys? A strong suit, a pocket square and a hot fedora! Personally I am not sold on the no sock look, but hey, if you want to walk around Flemington all day without socks in the sun that’s your problem!

Stakes Day: Yay, the relaxed day – it’s all starting to wind down on Stakes Day and that often breeds a great vibe. You can definitely relax on the heel size and enjoy the day with your family. If you are going to wear a smaller headpiece, today is the day for it as well. 


sarah jane young, needle & thread london, net-a-porter, sheissarahjane, spring racing fashion, oaks day, stakes day fashion, geenfields albert park

S T A K E S  D A Y 

Stakes Day > dress: Ted Baker / hat: Millinery Jill / shoes: Vicenza / clutch: YSL / make-up: Zoe Karlis / hair: Mhairi McQueen. It was Jill who suggested a fishtail braid with her hat, so thanks Jill! I felt I was worried my dress was too dressy for Stakes Day, but by styling the look back with a modern/relaxed hair-up, I think it balanced well – especially with the boater. Obviously we have Pinterest for just about every adulating related topic/#inspo/everything, but I would definitely suggest asking your milliner for their opinion too. 

MG on Stakes Day > dress: believe it or not, this was her first birthday dress my gorgeous friend Monica Morog designed – 1.5 years later, it finally fits her! headpiece: this gorgeous little number is one Jill { Millinery Jill }, kindly made MG to match my boater, shoes: purchased Friday night at Cotton On! 

MORE WITH MILLINERY JILL { aka Jill Humphries } > I’ve asked Jill to share some of her millinery etiquette advice, particularly because when we met about five years ago at a racing function she politely took me aside to point out the hat I was wearing was BACKWARDS – HA! I’m all class I tell ya’ 😉 While ‘rules’ can be broken, I think honouring the traditions of race wear, HOW the milliner intended the piece to be worn, and the theme of the day itself is really important. Hello, how often do we get to wear boater hats and a Grace Kelly-esque dress? Once a year in Melbourne! While I’m no card-carrying farrrshion guru, I was a little disappointed to see so many (very!) short hem lines this year – just above the knees is my max, #sorrynotsorry. Save the shorter hem lines for the polo, ladies.

  • Traditionally millinery is made to be worn over a ladies right eye and milliners generally make it this way. So if your hat doesn’t seem to be sitting right, maybe check your placement
  • If you put a wide brim straight on top of your head it will flatten you and make you look shorter. Angle the brim in line with your cheekbone to make you appear taller
  • Veiling is brilliant if you are tired and want to hide a multitude of sins. But remember the veil should not go lower than the tip of your nose – because you still need to drink champagne
  • Holding your hat in photos is a no-no – a big brim is beautiful and should sit on your head without assistance
  • If you are unsure about placement, ask your milliner to take a photo of it on you so you can show your hairdresser
  • Many people say they can’t wear hats – you can, you just haven’t found the right one. Go and see a Milliner in the off season and try some styles on to work out what feels right
  • Hats are like shoes – it it is uncomfortable or you are unsure about it, you won’t be happy