When our latest competition winner Deborah turned out to be a regular race goer fashionista, we asked her how does she plan her fabulous Ladies Day outfit? We love her style and panache and just know you will love her useful tips too - simply Perfection!
I hate to admit this but I am just turned 51, how old does that sound! I am an Account Manager which enables me to travel across the UK for business as well as my racing passion. My dad was a bookmaker so I was part of the racing world from an early age. I spend most of my time in a pretty boring suit (previously a uniform, I met my husband of 27 years in the army) so racing and Ladies Days in particular provide an opportunity to wear something really flamboyant and feminine, especially hats!
I am a hat addict and I have been lucky to find the most talented and lovely lady who made all the hats in the pictures. Her name is Sally Harper- Kenn of Sharper Millinery.
When planning my Ladies Day outfit, I usually find a dress I like first. The type of dress is dependent upon the time of year and to be honest how "fat" I am feeling! I am also conscious that being a lady of a certain age I don't want to look like mutton dressed as lamb! So I would say I am not a particular follower of fashion but rather what suits my character and body shape.
Once I have found the dress, I send a picture of it to Sally. Her studio is located in Solihull but it's not a problem at all. I provide a few ideas as to what I would like her to make via email and she works her magic and produces amazing hats! The shoes, bag and gloves are next on my list. I am a big glove fan as I think they really finish off a Ladies Day outfit, but you have to be careful not to stray into " mother of the bride" territory. You can find some gorgeous vintage ones in charity shops that cost very little.
I tend to buy most of my shoes from Karen Millen or Debenhams - always high heels, never flats! I know a full day on your feet is a concern when wearing high heels but there is no reason why they can’t be as comfortable as flats with the use of Secret Soles or Gel Cushions - I always wear these to the races and sometimes for work when I am manning an exhibition trade stand to help me get through the day.
It’s also important not to overlook the small details which can make or break a Ladies Day outfit! Well finished hair, makeup and nails are essential. Plus do try on your outfit in advance of the day itself as invariably you spot something like a bra strap showing which spoils the whole look. A perfect solution to this problem would be Perfection's discreet bra solutions.
So to round up, here are just a couple of tips for planning your Ladies Day outfit:
1.Buy your dress first then match you hat / fascinator to it - it's easier that way round.
2. Be original and create your outfit from various sources - the last thing you want is to turn up wearing exactly the same outfit as another lady, especially if she looks better in it than you! So I buy from the high street - usually Karen Millen and Debenhams who have a brilliant range of summer outfits this year and I mix this with vintage items, usually my handbag, jewellery or gloves and then if your budget allows go for something totally unique and bespoke - in my case this is a Sharper Millinery Hat. It really is worth spending that little bit extra on a bespoke hat because it reflects your personality and makes you feel special from the minute you put it on. It’s what defines lady’s day at the races for me.
3. Perfect your look down to the tiniest detail. Don't let imperfections niggle and ruin your confidence or look.
4.Whatever you intend to wear on Ladies Day, make it original and keep it stylish but above all savior the unique atmosphere and excitement!
Thank you Deborah x