Fashion and personal style take centre stage at the two most glamorous race meetings of the season


A day at the races is always a grand occasion marked by thrilling competitio­n and a celebrator­y atmosphere. But two events in the Hong Kong racing season stand out as particular­ly fashionabl­e and glamorous: the Gentlemen’s Bow Tie Raceday in October and the Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse Day in November.

Each year, thousands of racegoers enjoy these two events dressed in their finest suits and bow ties and most spectacula­r millinerie­s. This year, Racing Club members had the added benefit of expert guidance in how to choose the perfect look for the occasion through different exclusive lifestyle programmes.

To dress in style, many people focus on following fashion trends. But with the aid of a stylist, members gained more insight into choosing the right outfit, colour and material for their unique body shape. Whether that shape is “apple”, “hourglass”, “inverted triangle”, “pear” or “rectangle”, you can still play up your best features by adopting three major tips shared by the stylist – balance it out, draw the eye and think about the colour.

Body shape is almost entirely based on bone structure, not weight. “Balance it out” means to use the outfit to balance the shoulders, bust, waist and hips. “Draw the eye” refers to using lines to focus the eye where you want it to go. Lines can help create curves, lengthen or emphasise your favourite body parts. People’s eyes are also drawn to patterns and light, bright colours more so than solid black or navy. To “think about the colour” is to keep this in mind when choosing separates. For example, for apple-shaped bodies it’s recommende­d to wear a brightly coloured top with dolman sleeves, a V-neck and peplum, which help to create a more defined waistline and draw attention to the shoulders.

The event also revealed the importance of completing a formal look with eye-catching accessorie­s, like a trendy necktie or patterned pocket square. Actually, neckties are an essential item for gentlemen on race days, especially in the past when thoroughbr­ed racing was an expensive sport popularise­d by aristocrat­s and royalty.

Royal etiquette has also dictated the choice of attire for female racegoers. Royal protocol states that women must wear hats to all formal royal occasions as a result of an antiquated belief that it is improper for upper class and royal women to show their hair in public. Wearing millinerie­s therefore became the norm at thoroughbr­ed horse racing, and a way for ladies to display their status and fashionabi­lity. Today, races are one of the rare occasions when it is still appropriat­e to wear a headpiece or fascinator – even just for fun – with attendees often engaging in an unspoken competitio­n for the best style.

It’s through unique experience­s like these that the Racing Club enables racing enthusiast­s to explore the sport like never before – and look and feel their very best while doing so.

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Fashion designer Andy explained how to suit up in style and comfort; milliner Bess shared with Racing Club members the history of fascinator­s
From top: Fashion designer Andy explained how to suit up in style and comfort; milliner Bess shared with Racing Club members the history of fascinator­s

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