Nadia Fairfax's Race-Day Style

Spring Racing fashion guide

Nadia Fairfax and Caroline Tran are the very definition of a fashionable friendship. The former is a globetrotting tastemaker, known for her daring approach to style, while the latter is a magazine fashion editor who’s partial to designer buys. Between them, they have a wealth of knowledge about how to approach dressing for events like the spring racing carnival, including how to build an outfit around a standout piece of millinery.

They also know that half the fun of any event is getting ready with your girlfriends. “It’s great to have a gal-pal with you to bounce ideas off – your beauty look, which handbag and shoes to wear,” says Nadia. “I also always have two earring options as I like to choose on the day.”

“Having friends like Nadia keeps things easy and fun,” agrees Caroline. “She’s very organised and efficient, and she has such style and always nails her race-day outfits. When we get ready together, it’s stress-free, lighthearted and we’re always having a laugh, so it puts you in the right mindset for having a fun day.”

The millinery they love

Spring Racing fashion guide

Proving that sartorial opposites attract, Caroline’s spare, minimal style is a perfect foil to Nadia’s more flamboyant looks. Case in point: their individual approaches to millinery...

“For spring racing, I’ve always been drawn to more refined and simple millinery,” says Caroline. “At the moment I like hair slide clips that can sit on the side or back of head, as well as scrunchies either in silk or velvet. I think a simple ribbon or bow in silk or velvet looks chic and modern.”

On the other hand, Nadia proclaims that she can’t get enough of key embellishments this year. “I’m loving the use of pearls on lots of the headbands and tiaras this year. And big bows – you just can’t beat them!”

Spring Racing fashion guide

Nadia wears: Dion Lee Perf Mirrordress; Ford Millinery Bluebird flower headband; J.W. Anderson Disc handbag; Shoes (Nadia’s own). Caroline wears: By Johnny Ice gather frill minidress; Morgan & Taylor headband; The Daily Edited handbag (in store only); Shoes (Caroline’s own).

I either focus on the millinery or the dress, and I build my look around the key piece.

– Caroline Tran

Looks aside...

Spring Racing fashion guide

As well as ticking off the trends, Nadia also recommends factoring in a few other criteria when selecting the right millinery, including the race day and the way you like to wear your hair. “And don’t forget comfort!” she says. “There’s nothing worse than wearing something on your head that causes pain – it’s a bit like a bad shoe! I also like to wear a piece that I’m able to put on and take off easily. I like to adjust my hair throughout the day and I am very theatrical when it comes to my conversations, so if it moves a little I need to be able to put it back on without any assistance.”

Spring Racing fashion guide

Nadia wears: Keepsake Limits dress; Jill and Jack boater; Manu Atelier Micro Bold handbag; Shoes (Nadia’s own). Caroline wears: Bianca Spender Curtain Call black crepe jacket; Morgan & Taylor Lucia headpiece (in store only); Farrah & Sloane Mila handbag; Tony Bianco Bobbi mules.

Building their look

Spring Racing fashion guide

When it comes to building a spring racing look, Caroline recommends choosing one initial focal point. “I either focus on the millinery or the dress, and I build my look around the key piece. Choosing the right key piece and working around it makes it easier to build your look, as it can get overwhelming looking at so many headpieces, shoes, dresses and bags.”

Nadia also likes to use her millinery as a starting point for the rest of her accessories. “Mainly it’s about colouring for me – use millinery to tie in your bag or shoe.”

Both love to add an element of theatricality for spring racing, either through wild millinery or a boldly coloured dress. As Caroline says, “Don’t be afraid about experimenting – dressing for the races is all about having fun with your personal style.”

Spring Racing fashion guide

Nadia wears: Vestire Leila dress; D.E Millinery Queen B headpiece; Cult Gaia Acryllic Lilleth handbag; Sophia Webster Lucia ruffle sandals (in store only). Caroline wears: Bec & Bridge Tango Race dress; Chloe Nile miniaudiere bag; Sylvy Earl ruffled crown; Shoes (Caroline’s own).

View our spring racing fashion edit