Our friends at Milford Centre (sponsor of this season's Fashion Qualifiers on Vodafone Derby Day) spent the day with racing-fashion aficionado and stylist, Tracey Dalton, checking out all that the Centre has to offer.
Keep reading to learn more about the style guides for each day, some raceday fashion tips and her picks from what's instore at the moment.
Note: this piece of content was supplied by our Fashion Qualifier partner, Milford Centre.
"If you're planning on hitting the racecourse this Auckland Cup Week, you're no doubt starting to think about what to wear.
"Whether you're entering one of the fashion competitions taking place over the week (starting with the Fashion Qualifiers in association with Milford Centre and culminating in The Ned Prix de Fashion), or just want to look stunning for the day, here are some tips, tricks and my picks for you to consider...."
Are there any style 'rules' I should be respectful of?
"The look for the races is classy and slightly demure. I'd expect to see dresses to at least the knee, no strappy or strapless tops and a more modest neckline - especially if you're entering the Fashion Qualifiers with the end goal of making it through to the final of The Ned Prix de Fashion.
"The look from head-to-toe counts; think well styled hair, beautifully polished makeup, stylish shoes, a little bag; and a hat or fascinator is a must. All of this should be put together to complement your overall look.
"But my main tip is to have fun with it! The races are one of the few events you can really go to town and dress up. Make sure your outfit reflects your personality and that you feel amazing in it - that's the whole point!"
I've seen pictures of Vodafone Derby Day before and it looks like there's a lot of black and white outfits. Why is that?
"Traditionally derby days around the world are a black and white affair. There are many theories for this, dating back to 1910 when Royal Ascot racegoers wore black to mourn the death of King Edward VII, women wore white flowers or white pearls as their only decorating feature, the day was dubbed “Black Ascot”. Then there is the story of the Earl of Derby winning the original English Derby in 1787 wearing his black and white silks, followed by the theory that the movie ‘My Fair Lady’ brought the tradition back when it played to audiences in 1964. No matter the origin, the tradition has endured and derby day = black and white."
Ed's note: whilst black and white looks are synonymous with derby day, fashion competitors are welcome to still wear colourful looks. The judges will not be biased for or against a black and white ensemble.
If you're thinking of coming to Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup Day on 13 March, we celebrate the city's great race with a style guide of a 'touch of blue' - a nod to the colour of Auckland.
Where can I go that has plenty of options for me to consider?
"If you’re unsure where to start I’d recommend a trip to Milford Centre. It really is a little fashion metropolis; with majority of the stores in the complex being fashion stores.
"Doing a little exploration of the Centre I spied a lot of fabulous outfits that would be perfect for raceday.
"Many of the fashion stores stock accessories including shoes and hats, which would be totally appropriate for the day with the right outfit. Mischief Shoes have a fabulous range too, you’ll easily find a shoe to complement your look."
I need help?! What are some specific options you thought would fit the brief?
"It was great to see Stitch Ministry in the Centre, a label that has made a comeback and didn’t disappoint. There were several pieces in the store that would make a great races outfit; dresses, skirts and tops.
My favourite was a wide legged cropped pantsuit (pictured) which would team great with a hat and some statement jewellery."
"If you want to go the black and white route...
STORM had several great separates that would make a races outfit, a standout for Derby Day was the black and white Chromanic Shirred Top (pictured) that teamed nicely with the black bias-cut skirt or the wide legged pants.
Add a wide belt, shoes hat and bag and you are set to go!"
"Moochi was another store that had plenty of options.
"In fact, three of the mannequins out the front were in outfits that could easily be styled up for raceday (so have a chat to the team instore as they've obviously got great style!).
"The Esteem Midi Dress (pictured) would be a great start to a raceday outfit."
"Decjuba is another store that had some great black and white options.
"This little midi dress and hat combine to a fab outfit - just add heels (or some cute flats if you're hitting the GA spots) and you're all sorted for Vodafone Derby Day!"
"If you're looking for something that would meet the 'touch of blue' style guide for Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup Day, look no further!
"My pick was this blue and white polka dot dress from Trenery. Not only does it perfectly meet the raceday style brief, it is made of a lovely linen fabric, ideal for a day in the sun."
"The above is really just a sampling of what's available. For the slightly more mature audience there is Blue Illusion, Identity and Taking Shape - all of which have dresses and accessories that would be great for a day trackside.
"In summary, Milford Centre really is a mini fashion haven and I was itching to create some fabulous looks for my next trip to the races!"
But what about a headpiece?
"If you're not entering one of the fashion competitions but still want to add a little something in the headwear department to your look, I saw a couple of hats/headbands at the Life Pharmacy that would be lovely for a day at the races.
"Many of the fashion stores have headbands and hats on offer too so you could easily outfit yourself from head to toe with one visit to the Centre."
"The Centre also boasts a nail bar, Kiwi Nails and Spa; and I discovered Life Pharmacy do makeup for events so you could pop back the morning of the races for a pamper session too - how good?!"
Want to know more about the fashion competitions at Auckland Cup Week? Click on the links below to learn more (and don't worry lads, there's some for you too!).
The Working Style Menswear Competition | 6 March
The Ned Prix de Fashion | 6 March
The Schweppes 1783 Style Stakes | 13 March
Keen to get amongst? The fashion competitions are open to all ticket holders that are aged 18yrs+. For tickets and more information, click here.