Head-turning fashion

Summer guide for country Racing


Life & Style
A finer straw can add instant elegance and style for daytime gatherings and picnic racing - and give you an air of mystery. Photos by Fiona Schofeild.

A finer straw can add instant elegance and style for daytime gatherings and picnic racing - and give you an air of mystery. Photos by Fiona Schofeild.

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Milliner Fiona Schofield has some tips for headwear to turn heads during a summer of racing, events and festivities.

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As the calendar fills with invitations to post-Christmas drinks, family gatherings, lunches, brunches, dinners and picnics, pool parties, new year celebrations and finally a school holiday escape to the coast, finding the right head wear to get you through summer in style can be a challenge. 

For indoor events or gatherings held in the evening, go for a pretty headpiece to complete your outfit and give an instant feeling of celebration to any outfit.

The summer weather is too hot to get away with fresh flowers, so a beautiful Silk Bloom that can be pinned in the hair, on a hat, on the strap of a dress or the lapel of a shirt instantly lifts your outfit to party mode and the versatility of the piece means you can roll it out at a few different occasions and give it a different look each time. 

As the heat cranks up, daytime commitments demand a good hat with a brim.

Choose carefully here to ensure you have a piece that is casual enough for a day at the beach, but slick enough to pull off a fresh look at the races.

A quality mid weight weave in a lightweight straw, with a mid to large brim is the perfect choice to get you through. If you’re a bit tough on your gear, or looking for something more suited to the garden,  go for a robust braided straw that looks slick but can stand a bit of knocking about.

For those who are a bit more careful with their pieces, a finer straw can add instant elegance and style for daytime gatherings and picnic racing and give you an air of mystery and style under your brim at the beach or poolside. 

And don’t believe it when people tell you they “don’t suit hats”.

They just haven’t found one that meets their needs and fits their proportions yet!

Top tips

RACE Days – especially country ones - have gained momentum as an opportunity to dress up for a great day out with friends, often being the major community gathering for the season. 

And with so many fashion styles on offer, navigating what to wear can be difficult territory.

Racing fashion is like no other. It’s not a wedding, it’s not a cocktail party and its definitely not workwear.

But make sure your race day look is a reflection of you.

The best fashion is often on those who have chosen a look that works for them - and so they wear it really well.

Don’t let the look wear you!

Choose the best quality that you can afford. Investing in a headpiece that can work across a few outfits and seasons.

Choose a style that suits your face shape, hair and lifestyle.

Consider visiting a Milliner to have one made to best suit your needs and look, or have one adjusted to better suit your features 

Fiona Schofield from Fiona Schofield Millinery says for indoor or night events go for a pretty headpiece to complete your outfit.

Fiona Schofield from Fiona Schofield Millinery says for indoor or night events go for a pretty headpiece to complete your outfit.

Make sure it fits well – a hat should be firm but not tight.

Likewise, if its too big, you will be chasing it around town on a windy day.

Bigger is not always better – especially if you don’t have the confidence to pull the look off.

Choose tones or colours that will work with your Summer Wardrobe.

A natural straw is a great base, trimmed in a neutral ribbon or sash, or even a leather band.

A Silk Bloom can be versatile across many outings and a great addition to update your current hat or dress, or look fresh pinned in your hair

If you’re out in the sun, wear a hat.

No excuses.

You’ll be surprised how many people will tell you how great you look.

And that’s because you’ll be cool and stylish under your brim!

  • Fiona Schofield has worked in and around the fashion and millinery industry for over 25 years, with 13 of them under her own label - Fiona Schofield Millinery, which is based in Orange NSW. You can take a look at her story via her Instagram page fiona_schofield_millinery.
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