I have read and loved so many inspiring racing fashion blogs over the years but I think an evident shift in the public's view of appropriate and tasteful racing style has now seen the rule book re-written. FOTF outcomes of recent and years gone should have already told you that there is no formula for winning. Following the conventional and common sense criteria has far too often found the most devoted and immaculate FOTF devotee a vision of deflation in the third row during finals planning their next come back.
Is it time to consider that FOTF may in fact be more like a raffle than a game of chess and anyone on stage can actually win? If that is the case, then here's the good news. Just like with any raffle, the more tickets (tips) you hold; the better your chances. In this new FOTF world these tips could actually get you the sash...or... lose you the title. After all, it really is anyone's game.
1. Master of None
Thou shalt obey thy style guide and master modern trends at the same time. Welcome to FOTF Australia. For me and many others this is the fun part.
Depending on your taste though, if the judges themselves aren't across the trends you have seamlessly translated into 'racing style,' or they hold little knowledge of what IS trending; you will look great (but not to those who bestow the winning FOTF sash.)
To be safe, get a hold of the seasonal racing style guide and take a subtle risk staying true to you... Disclaimer: You may still not win.
Impeccable on trend racing style by FOTF enthusiasts who have mastered the modernised racing style balance.
2. Research Fail
Time and time again I have heard Racing Style Enthusiasts talk about the planning process but cleverly not many will divulge that part of this planning process includes researching fashion trends preferred by the FOTF judging panel.
As a tried and tested approach this can bet a little trickier with Melbourne Cup Carnival given that the judging process is slightly different to other FOTF competitions held across Australia and incorporates the preferences of a large selection panel. However, this can definitely help you get in their heads and know their expectations.... Disclaimer: You may still not win.
3. Long Smiles - the Struggle is Real
Australia's FOTF darling, Crystal Kimber owning the stage at Melbourne Cup Carnival 2015.
4. Clone Wars
The best advice I ever received was from an experienced Racing Style enthusiast who insisted that wearing custom made dresses, clothing or jewellery was the key to winning FOTF. I certainly would say this has changed since the bigger name sponsors of these competitions have come on board, but overall you never want to be standing on stage in a 'who wore it better moment.'
If you are going to wear something that is likely to be seen on another entrant make sure you adapt your own style to it and really try and shake up the way it's worn so you don't risk having someone in the same dress win right next to you. awkward. Disclaimer: You may still not win.
The Lifestyle Collaboration represent racing style originality at Magic Millions 2016.
5. Real Millinery Represent
There is a reason that millinery is a qualified profession and requires years of study. Millinery that is comfortable, made to fit you and made with quality materials that will last for years to come is an investment in winning (potentially.)
As the newly formed nemesis of their awkward cousin, the fascinator; (see 'The New F Word') a great piece of millinery looks effortless and can take your FOTF look from Holly Hobby to designer chic. Most judges can identify real millinery from a mile away too and this can make or break the judges decision... one would hope...Disclaimer: You may still not win.
True millinery on display at the Myer Millinery Award Invitation Only at Melbourne Cup Carnival 2015.