Key looks from the SS19 catwalks for your race day outfit

By Joanna Zara, January 25, 2019

joanna zara millinery | hat designer

For a day at the races, nothing beats that feeling of knowing that you look your best – and it allows you to relax and get on with enjoying yourself!

Hats and headpieces

Above all, crown your outfit with the perfect hat – no special race day is truly complete without one.

Look to our previous posts for advice on shopping for hats that suit your face shape.

Hats were everywhere on the catwalk. Big hats continue to be popular: from informal straws to dramatic downturned brims with veiling. Headbands are also having a moment – look for slick, oversized styles covered in satins and silks, rather than the knotted turban styles seen everywhere last year. You can also look to royal weddings for inspiration – neat straw “beret” styles always add a touch of chic glamour and are easy to wear.

 Hats and headpieces for your race day | horse racing

Hats: Joanna Zara Millinery; Photography: Light Trick Photography


There are two key trends this season. The first is a clean, crisp look with lace in panels; Reiss can be relied upon for this sort of style. The second is more romantic, with strappy bodices and full skirts, as seen at cult brand Self Portrait.



Feathers and fringing

These remain a strong favourite, on both dresses and accessories. Prada showed elegant, fitted below-the-knee dresses and skirts, with exuberant ostrich feather trims at the neck or hemline.

BIG bows

Fabulous extra-large fabric bows abounded (a signature Dior look - perhaps a nod to the exhibition at the V&A). These look at their best when used to accent a simple fitted dress – either at one side of a boat-style neckline or accentuating the waist. Try several styles to work out which look works for you.


JoannaZaraMillinery_dior style bow dress sketch

Trouser suits

A stylish alternative to a dress that can look very “put together”. Jackets are long and slightly fitted, with fluid, wide legged trousers. Choose luxe fabrics in pinks, oranges, soft reds or chic neutrals that flatter your skin tone – these are not meant to double as work wear!


Clashing florals

If, like me, these words at first strike your heart with dread, don’t worry! Designers pulled this look off by putting together the same print in two different colourways – as in this example from Michael Kors. Expect to see many more versions of this on the high street soon.

JoannaZaraMillinery_michael kors clashing floral sketch

Joanna Zara is an award-winning milliner; she designs and creates elegant, wearable handmade hats and headpieces at her Hove studio.

In Joanna’s next post, she will be giving you more detailed advice on how to make sure your hat works with your chosen outfit to create the perfect race day look.

Coming soon: entry details for a very special hat competition! The lucky winner will be able to visit Joanna in her studio and have a hat created especially for the Epsom Derby.

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