Style Tips

What to wear to the Night Races

Let the races begin! Night time races are something a little extra special than their daytime alternative because once the sun goes down, the real magic begins. A night time race meet is often more relaxed with a light hearted mood that also flows through to the dress code. When you first think of the races, oversized fascinators and cocktail dresses immediately come to mind. However, if it’s an evening race meet you’re headed too, standard dress codes are a little different. There are still fashion rules to abide by but we’ve got you sorted on all the style do’s and don’ts for what to wear to the night races.

How are the races different at evenings?

Evening Races tend to have a very different atmosphere than afternoon races, generally with a theme or special attraction. This is an occasion that often draws a crowd just wanting a social night out or those who are newcomers to racing events and looking to ease into it. Night time race events typically occur in the Spring Summer months and are often associated with occasions such as Halloween or Christmas. So if you’re looking for a fun night out with your squad, or are looking to experience the racing world without the wardrobe pressure of daytime meets, the evening races are for you!

So what to wear to the night races?

Night time races are a great time to still dress up but there is a whole lot less pressure than the day time race attire. Typically races call for coordinating shoes, fascinators and accessories, as well as the dress codes for events such as Derby Day, Stakes Day and Melbourne Cup. Night meets however are a time where you can experiment with your wardrobe without having to worry about being perfectly put together from head to toe. Your look should always be elegant but you do have a lot more style freedom, think of what you’d wear to a cocktail gathering.

Alice McCall Talk the Talk Dress

Alice McCall Talk the Talk Dress

When you’re putting together your evening race meet outfit, look for a sleek style that works with textures rather than bold colours which will keep you flawlessly chic. The Talk the Talk Midi Dress from Alice McCall is a gorgeous sheer and lace style that is sure to have you turning heads. The sheer detailing is sophisticated and perfect for a fantastic evening occasion. If you’re looking for something a little more playful, opt for a monochrome printed style like the Zimmermann Tuck Dress. This printed fit and flare style is ultra-romantic and the girly flared skirt keeps this look perfect for a cocktail style.

Zimmermann Embroidered Dress
Zimmermann Embroidered Dress
Zimmermann Embroidered Dress

Do I have to wear a dress?

While there are no specific rules for having to wear a dress to daytime race meets, it is the most popular fashion choice for women. For night race events however, you’ll find many more of the attendees in a tailored pant suit or a skirt and top combo. This pairing of separates is a sophisticated option that will have you looking effortlessly stylish. For the perfect effortless look, the Bell Sleeve Jumpsuit from Self Portrait is a sleek, feminine and luxurious style. In classic black and white with detailed bib section, this is a winning look for all your night time race events.

what to wear to the night races
Self Portrait Jumpsuit

What looks to avoid

Don’t be fooled by a more relaxed occasion, there are still many dress codes that apply throughout the evening. While the formalities of race wear fashion aren’t as strict of a night time, it doesn’t mean you can show up in your jeans and a tee. To avoid being turned back around at the venue entrance, keep your look elegant and modest. This means no excessive cut outs in your clothing and nothing resembling active wear. You still want to bring your style game, you just have the option for it to be paired down. So that means no to the joggers, no to the track pants and no to any separates that are not of a tailored quality – yes I’m talking about your floaty shorts and cosy bomber jackets.For night time race events, there is less emphasis on strict dress codes but make sure to keep your look to a cocktail standard and always remember that ‘classy’ will never go out of style.

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