As those warm, sunny days leave us, the change to Autumn can be a tricky one to navigate from a Fashion At The Races point of view.
With a host of FATR events coming up throughout April, we went direct to It's All About The Sash' Em Scolladero and asked her to provide you with a few tips of what to look for this Autumn.
With racing coming in to Autumn, what do you see as non-negotiables when planning a FOTF outfit?
Some of the traditional guidelines to Autumn racewear include:
- Closed toe shoes for the ladies. Shoes with socks for the gents
- Tops and dresses to have sleeves
- Heavier fabrics to suit the cooler temperature ie wool, tweed
- Millinery to be made from Autumn/Winter appropriate millinery materials which are generally leather, feathers, felt, fur or fabric
- The use of more seasonally appropriate accessories such as furs/faux furs, scarfs, wraps, gloves (longer/thicker fabric), heavier denier/coloured/patterned hosiery etc
What do you see as being a key trend this Autumn?
I’m not one to focus on trends, but encourage entrants to wear what they love and what suits their body shape so they feel comfortable and confident in what they wear.
Emerging out of several years of covid lockdowns, self-expression is so important and entrants have grown in self-assuredness to wear what they feel their best in rather than what the majority are wearing, showing us their unique style. We are now seeing varying hemlines, unique accessories and wearing really ‘wow’ pieces to stand out.
As Elsa Schiaparelli once said "in difficult times, fashion is always outrageous!" and I hope to see more entrants pushing their own personal boundaries!
I have noticed a return to brimmed hats and sculptural millinery, with many entrants of all genders commissioning pieces by local milliners which is great in supporting the economy. Entrants have also been upskilling during lockdowns with many creating their own outfits or commissioning local artisans to create for them.
Our community is so resourceful and it’s wonderful to see so many live competitions revived!
Tell us about Autumn colour palettes. Where should entrants be looking for inspiration?
During the cooler months, we often see traditional Autumn/Winter colours come in to play which are generally darker e.g. burgundy, dark green, brown, burnt orange, navy etc, which are the traditional colours of the environment around us, especially in the southern states during this time of year.
These colours can be often mixed with other non-traditional Autumn/Winter colours as an accent for interest which can often create a beautiful or bold look!
What would be your advice to a first-time entrant?
When advising a first-time FOTF entrant, I would encourage them to make sure they have the basics of a FOTF outfit ready with things like millinery, shoes & accessories (bag/clutch, jewellery), and to check that it is appropriate for the season.
I would also encourage them to see if the club they are competing at has any specific themes or guidelines for the event, as themes are becoming popular at certain events.
Once all of the technicalities are out of the way, encouraging them to look at past entrants & winner’s photos of the event and other recent events is a good way to get a feel for what is happening in FOTF at that track and in the wider arena.
Don’t overthink your outfit as a ‘winning look’ and make sure you wear something you love, feel comfortable wearing and confident in; as when you love your outfit you are always a winner.
The most important thing is to just have a go and have fun! Wearing a smile, no matter how nervous you are feeling is so important and I promise it does get easier with every event!
Introduce yourself to others and you will likely come away from the day having met some new friends and also having an enjoyable day.
Lastly, don’t focus on the results of the FOTF competition and take away as many positives from the day as you can, as there will always be another event, another outfit to plan & more lovely friends to meet!