What it takes to win cup Fashions on the Field
BUNNINGS gutter guard made into millinery, a $10 vintage velvet dress and strict adherence to winter fashion criteria have helped racing-elite Cheryl-Lee Bassett to fashionable success.
The Rosewood mum of four has been competing in fashions on the field across Queensland, NSW and Victoria for seven years, during which time she has witnessed the competition at Ipswich Cup heat up.
Ms Bassett has a knack of making stand-out racing outfits from locally sourced materials and being resourceful with vintage finds.
She said a winning outfit didn't have to be expensive, her first-place ensemble in the vintage section at the 2016 150-year anniversary Ipswich Cup featured Bunnings gutter guard.
"My outfit was made by local lady Danielle Shaw from Dkay Designs at Leichhardt and Caren Lee Millinery made my millinery from gutter guard from Bunnings," she said.
"It's still is my favourite outfit to date along with a few others."
Ms Bassett said points were awarded for styling, attention to detail, individuality and following criteria closely.
"I have won an all-expenses paid trip to Melbourne wearing a $10 vintage velvet dress I picked up at an op shop in Brisbane St," Ms Bassett said.
"It's not what you spend or how much it cost that's important, it's how you style your outfit to make it complete.
"Most of my outfits from the last three years my mum, Maria, has made. I always have a few extra back up outfits as I can be very fussy with my styling and if I don't like it, I simply don't wear it. I wouldn't want to be uncomfortable.
"She makes me some incredible dresses. I always let her know what I want, starting with my fabric from Spotlight, choosing the colours and going from there."
Experienced fashionistas and new-comers will take to the stage between races on June 15 to compete in three categories.
Ipswich Cup fashions on the field has a strong influence on Ms Bassett's fashionable history.
"My first competition was at Ipswich Cup wearing a lace dress from Elly Rea fashion in Rosewood and my millinery was from local milliner Sandra-Ann from Woodend," she said.
"I entered with no idea about the dress code but I gave it a go. I never placed that day but that didn't stop me from re-entering.
"I have loved the world of fashion and styling ever since.
"I like attending Ipswich Cup as I'm a local. I enjoy not only a child-free day but a chance to glam up and a day out with friends. I enter a range of categories including family sections with the kids.
"They also love attending and I think it's the only day they act like the perfect children.
"With lots of placing and amazing prizes and opportunities along the way, meeting some incredible people who are now lifetime friends is really enjoyable."
She said her advice for first-time entrants was to stick to winter criteria.
"Ladies' dresses should be below the knee and being winter, gloves, furs, heavier fabrics, enclosed shoes, stockings and a fascinator are must accessories," she said.
"My top tips for winter racing fashion are hair and makeup should be neatly styled, wear what you feel comfortable in and wear your new heels a few times before the day to avoid sore feet.
"For men, choose a clean, crisp suit and be well groomed with a tie or bowtie, hat, gloves and don't forget your punting book - men can accessorise too."
Winter racing fashion criteria is no passing trend
JUDGES look for the finishing winter touches for a classic racewear look - stockings and gloves are favoured, as are closed toe and heel shoes.
Autumn and winter millinery should be made from felt or leather. Straw or sinamay millinery is not appropriate for autumn winter racing.
Skirt, dress or trouser hemlines should fall below the knee.
Bare shoulders, backs, midriffs or cut-outs are not appropriate.
Primary materials for autumn winter include wool, leather, heavy drill, brocade and the occasional splash of fur.
Colour palettes are kept classic with maroon, navy, emerald green, black or grey and complimented with cream or white then finished with a metallic like clean gold or rose gold.
Ipswich Cup fashions on the field:
THE fashions on the field event is a highlight for those attending and this year organisers are embracing the tradition of what the Ipswich Cup means - fashionable yet fun.
Consider the style and originality of the outfit, dressing to race day standards, attention to detail with accessories, shoes, bag and millinery suitable for winter races, grooming and deportment, no midriffs, playsuits or cut outs and no fancy dress.
Judging categories include most fashionable female, best dressed male and finest couple.