There’s no doubt that the spring carnival can definitely get pricey for us females. If you’re entering Fashions on the Field then the budget basically goes out the window. Between the dress and the shoes, it can all add up, and men, I know your suits aren’t cheap either! Plus, if you’re attending a few race days as I will be, it can just get ridiculous. So here are my top 3 tips to creating a race day outfit on a budget.
I should note that all of these follow comments are my own and I’m not getting paid to say them.
Tighten Your Accessory Belt
If there’s one area where I like to cut back on, it’s definitely the accessories. With so many good quality items available, there’s no reason to spend a heap of money. By budgeting here, you’re also able to spend that little bit extra on your dress or millinery (though as I said in last week’s post on 5 “must haves” for the spring carnival, you don’t have to go all out on millinery).
When it comes to handbags, Colette by Colette Hayman is my absolute weakness! If you read my “What I Wore This Month” posts, you’ll know that probably 90% of my bags are from Colette. Their quality is pretty good and they’ve very reasonable priced. A tip though, they constantly have sales on, so if you see a bag that you like and you’re not in a rush to buy it, then definitely wait. Sometimes their bags aren’t the fanciest, but I’ve got three from them in the last six months that I consider to be fantastic for FOTF. So as long as you don’t care about labels, then Colette is great for handbags.
For jewellery, I tend to always turn towards Lovisa. They’re probably not as good a quality as something from a jeweller, but for the price, you certainly can’t complain. Plus, when the season/trends change, you don’t feel guilty about buying new pieces. I will admit that sometimes I feel that some of their products do look cheap, but that’s mainly if you’re going for their novelty products. However, there are quite a few diamonds that can be found in the rough. Like Colette, they always seem to have a sale on (just last week I got 5 earrings for $20), so definitely wait if you can. I also have a few jewellery pieces for Colette, but I feel that their range isn’t as big as Lovisa. Lovisa also has millinery that are very reasonable too, so it’s a one-stop shop.
Recycle, Rewear and Reuse
I probably should take my own advice when I say this because I’m a sucker for wanting new outfits for the spring carnival. Haha, as I type, Mum is working on outfit number two of four for FOTF and then I’ll have another new dress for The Velvet King when he comes back for the Railway (I’m assuming). However, wearing pieces multiple times is the best way to save money.
When picking pieces that you can wear multiple times, go for something that is classic and will go with lots of things. Think monochromatic colours with no designs or feature elements. Allana has demonstrated this perfect through her white skirt (shown belong) which she has worn to create lots of different outfits. Having a versatile skirt is great too, as you can wear it with multiple tops or slip it over the top of a dress to create the illusion of a new top.
One thing that I do recycle is my millinery. In fact, out of nearly 100 photos on my Instagram, only 10 pieces have only been worn once (plus 3 which I’ve only worn once but other people have borrowed). It seems like I can’t go past a big white hat in summer, which offers great sun protection too. However, my black boater is my most “fancy” repeat millinery. Similar to outfit pieces you can repeat, for millinery, go for something monochromatic and simply. This will ensure that it goes with everything.
Borrow Something Blue
If you’re only going to the races but still want an expensive outfit, then hiring pieces might be the way for you. While it’s not something that I’ve personally done, it is a great way to keep costs low while still getting an entirely new outfit.
For millinery then definitely head to Milano’s “Millinery Market”. It has pieces available to rent and buy, with pieces available all-around Australia and from some of Australia’s best milliners. Prices start from around $30 + shipping, but it’s a lot cheaper than buying. Adorn Collection, run by Melissa who enters FOTF, also has millinery available to hire as well as a small collection of designer handbags.
If you’re looking for an outfit to hire than I’m sure a google search will reveal companies in your local area. However, Dress Hire seems to have a great range available at really good prices. I love how they had a section dedicated to outfits suitable for the races too.
While you’re looking at hiring, why not hire out some of your own pieces? Then you can make some money on the side to invest in those more expensive outfit pieces.
So, I hope you all enjoyed my top 3 tips to creating a race day outfit on a budget. Looking amazing is really nice, but it certainly doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg come carnival time. If you have any money-saving tips, be sure to share them in the comments below.