Confidence, staying on-trend and attention to detail are key to getting the nod from judges at the Pacific Jewellers Wellington Cup Fashion in the Field competition on Saturday, says 2012 supreme winner Makere Bradnam.
But having a great time is definitely the most the important thing of all.
"You have just got to have fun," Bradnam says.
"It's not too serious."
Bradnam, 26, and her friend Maya Gaebler, 27, fashion ambassadors for the Wellington Cup at Trentham Racecourse in Upper Hutt, will be scouting out and taking snaps of the most creative and original headpieces on Saturday.
Their choices will go into the finals, from which the judges will pick the "Hat of the Carnival" winner.
Gaebler says: "Last year, I wore a magenta dress to the races and I had a plain black fascinator that had netting over the top.
"I found some earrings that had lots of magenta feathers and I just plucked them out and added them to my fascinator to tie it in.
"You don't have to be shy about going big and bold with your hat."
Gaebler and Bradnam, who are both models and write the fashion, beauty, health and lifestyle blog mayamakere.com, say race day is a time to dress like a lady. Dresses should be classic styles, and knee-length at least, shoes should be strappy heels or wedges, and headpieces are essential.
"If you're entering Fashion in the Field, you need a hairdo, rather than just having it out," Gaebler says.
"It depends what your headpiece is doing."
Bradnam's 2012 winning number comprised of a Sass & Bide dress, pink heels from Melbourne retail outlet Myer, and a pink fascinator made by her partner's mother.
"When I did it, colour-blocking was the trend, so that's what I stuck to.
"My dress had heaps of colours . . . orange and pinks and yellows and blacks that you would never think would go together."
THE WOW FACTOR
2012's supreme winner Makere Bradnam gives tips for wowing the judges:
- Make sure your dress is on- trend.
- Pay attention to details, such as nail polish, clutch and headpiece.
- Get your hair and makeup done professionally. Recommendations include Bob Hairdressing in Petone, Rebecca Connor, The Wedding Specialists, or MAC and Napolean makeup counters.
- Onstage, stand tall with your shoulders back, and be prepared to talk, because you do get asked a few questions by the judges.
- Control your nerves, keep cool and be confident.
- Have fun.
RACE DAY ESSENTIALS
Maya and Makere's essential items to take in your clutch:
- Small comb. A comb is essential to touch up your hairdo.
- Bobby pins. It's always essential to keep a few spare bobby pins handy in case you have any fly-aways.
- Bronzer. Keep your key makeup items with you so you can keep your face looking fresh throughout the day.
- Lips. Don't forget your favourite lip balm and, of course, the lipstick colour you are wearing on race day.
- It might not fit in your clutch, but don't forget your cardi or blazer! Wellington weather is so changeable and you always want to be prepared.
- The Dominion Post
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