07 February 2018

Picking out a dazzling dress. Finding the perfect fascinator. Stepping out in sparkling new shoes. And celebrating with a drink (or two!) The Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes Day is coming up hot at the Awapuni Racecourse on March 31, and we just can’t wait! Sip, sip, hooray!

“Whoever said that money can’t buy happiness, simply didn’t know where to go shopping.” —Bo Derek

You never need an excuse to treat yourself to a new outfit, and you never need an excuse to treat yourself to tickets to Manawatu’s – and one of New Zealand’s – most prestigious race day of the season. The Plaza is sponsoring the Fashion in the Field awards this year, and we’ve compiled our favourite race day buys and tips.


The very best thing about a fabulous dress is how fabulous it makes you feel. Whatever your style – classic and elegant, or contemporary and quirky – we’ve found the dress for you.

Our “classic lady” category in the Fashion in the Field awards recognises the elegant, sophisticated woman. Whether your look is modern or classic, it embraces traditional and ladylike race wear with appropriate hem lengths and accessories on point. The very best thing about a classic dress is not just the way it makes you look, but how it makes you feel! We love the classic dress look with a splash of red lippy and a string of pearls. A classic dress will also never date in your closet, meaning a true investment you can pull out repeatedly for weddings, cocktails parties – and next year’s race day!

Classic favourites we’re seeing in-store this season include delicate lace detailing, in deep navy and rich rouges. We love a little navy dress paired with smoky eyes, print heels and nude nails.

If you choose a hot red number, don’t be afraid of overdoing it – a sweep of red lippy polishes off the look and ensures you stand out from the rest. If you’re not quite so bold to pair fire with fire, a nude lipgloss and classic winged eyeliner complement the look perfectly, as does a to-die-for pair of metallic strappy shoes.

Portmans are owning the classic lady look this season with a beautiful array of occassion dresses for all shapes and sizes. We’re particularly loving the elegant lace cut dresses which gently cover the shoulder and have a modest knee-length hem, oozing class and sophistication.

  1. Mi amore dress | 2. Khloe lace dress – both from Portmans

If you’re more of a longer dress kind of girl, we’re loving the flare peplum hem dress and the tasteful leg split dress, as shown on these gorgeous Pagani models. The subtle geometric lace detailing is totally on trend this season, giving the dress a bit of fine texture and a peep of golden summer skin.

  1. Aztec lace peplum dress | 2. Aztec lace maxi dress – both from Pagani

The “contemporary lady” Fashion in the Field award embraces the more relaxed style of race wear, typically seen in a gorgeous little black dress or a feminine florals. Whether your look is cocktail or party ready, you’ve paired it beautifully with a fun fascinator or headpiece.

Contemporary favourites we’re loving this season are full print neutrals, such as pretty tartans, block and geometric florals, with mustard and metallic hints. Although the square neckline and spaghetti straps are in full-swing fashion mode, more classic looks such as the much-loved halter and v neck are still dominating the party dress scene.

The contemporary look encompasses bold and bright jewellery, paired with loose curls and shorter hemlines. We’re loving big earrings as our jewel of choice for this year in glistening golds and celestial silvers, and these go perfectly with this season’s fun and contemporary frock favourites.

Dotti is right on par for fun dresses this year. Whether you prefer a swing hem or more of a bodycon style, you’re bound to find a dress to flatter your figure. These punchy floral prints are a great way to show off your individual style while stepping out in some killer heels this year!

  1. Michaela cap sleeve dress | 2. Bella halter dress – both from Dotti 

Straight and square dresses are the contemporary chic look of today. Channeling 90s occasion wear, we are loving the straight line hems and the cinched in waist to flatter the figure and elongate the body. In a variety of different prints, fabrics and colours, Glassons is heroing the look this year.

  1. Ornate mini dress | 2. Linen blend mini dress – both from Glassons


“There are two things a woman can never have too much of; good friends and good shoes.” – Unknown

Stilettos, pumps, wedges, platforms, kitten heels, strappy sandals… No race day outfit is quite the same and neither are a good pair of heels. It’s not every day we get to pull on a pair of truly special shoes and leave home feeling a million bucks. Statement-making shoes are the key to pulling off a winning look and turning a plain dress into something exciting, or by accentuating the primary hue in your floral dress.

This season, we’re loving floral pastel hues such as blush and lavender, a great statement tassel (which looks great with a matching pair of earrings!), beaded, delicate stilletos, bright pinks and strappy metallics.

For a timeless look to take next season and beyond. leopard print and the trusty, safe nude heel never go out of fashion.

Whatever the height of the heel, shoes look different with different dresses and on different people – you’ll often have to try an armful on until you find the perfect ones, unless you can’t decide between two, and then we reckon you should just buy both!

Hannahs is full of affordable party shoes fit for a princess, and it’s truly a hard call whether to opt for the classic dress and bold shoes, or the classic shoe with the bold dress. The two metallic options look fab with tanned pins, and the nude dress sandal will take you out in any dress, at any occasion. If your dress has a hint of pink or your lippy/nails are a shade of fuchsia, make an entrance with these dainty hot pink finds.

You can find all of these shoes at Hannahs. 

Merchant 1948/Overland has established itself as a leader in footwear and it’s not hard to see why! With shoes catering for all tastes, there’s no shortage of beautiful, well-made heels to treat your feet. This season, tassels ring true as the fashion leader and perfectly complement a floral or patterned dress. The elegant nude floral heel looks amazing with a simple, classic single-colour dress, and leopard print finishes the little black dress look.

You can find these heels at Merchant 1948/Overland. 


“I’ve always thought of accessories as the exclamation point to a woman’s outfit” – Michael Kors

A true fashionista knows that no outfit is ever complete without banging accessories to take your look to the next level.

Classic droplets and hoops always look beautiful, but this season it’s all about the statement earring.

Whether your preference is bold and bejewelled, shimmery and celestial or nice and neutral, we’ve found a bunch of delicate pieces in-store this season.

The key to pulling off the statement earring is by complementing or even matching the colour to your other accessories – your clutch, headpiece, makeup, shoes, or nails. There’s nothing worse than colourful statement earrings that don’t match the rest of your outfit – unless you’re brightening up a plain jeans and tee combo.

Perfect for the classic lady, these subtle tresses and simple diamantes are timeless, elegant, and really elevate your entire look.

Wear the tassels with a curled half-up do or a sleek lob, and the droplets with a sleek and coiled bun to maximise your outfit’s potential.

You can find these beauties at Colette by colette hayman. 

Wreaths, flowers, moons and stars – these are the accessory trends that have our hearts! From delicate entwined hoops to the aforementioned tassel, the bold drop earrings in this season at Lovisa are out of this world, resulting in a contemporary marriage of whimsical wonder and feminine favourites.

The contemporary lady would look divine with a floral dress paired with floral tassels, and metallic shoes would look killer with these spacey stars and moons.

You can find all of these gorgeous earrings at Lovisa. 


“Life is short. Buy the bag” – Unknown

When splurging on an outfit, don’t forget every girls’ must-have. A beautiful bag!

For the races, there is no better partner to your look than a dazzling clutch. And we think the sparkier, the more patterned, the brighter the better!

A great clutch is not too far out of hand with these beautiful ones we’ve found in Strandbags and Colette by colette hayman.

Us girls love Colette by colette hayman for well-made, elegant and delicate clutches to elevate any look.

From demure blushes, pretty pastels and metallic hints, these clutches are on this season’s must-have list, and is a staple for any wardrobe.

Thinking beyond race day, how much would one of these babies dress up your jeans and blazer brunch combo?!

You can find these clutches in Colette by colette hayman.

As a specialty handbag, tote, clutch, wallet and travel bag store, Strandbags live and breathe quality accessories.

With premium brands such as Guess, Laura Jones, Valenti, Calvin Klein and Ruby & Kit, girls of any taste and style are sure to appreciate the premium bag and clutch selection. This season brings in blingy clutches; think sequins, pearls, florals and beaded detailing, as well as blush hues. Way to make your bag the winner on the race track!

You can find these clutches at Strandbags. 

As well as the Fashion in the Field classic lady and contemporary lady awards, we’re also sponsoring ‘best dressed man’, ‘most outstanding headwear’, ‘student/under 25’ and ‘farmer and farmette’ categories, and we can’t wait to see you there! The Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes Day on March 31 is not to be missed! You can purchase tickets here.