STYLE-SAVVY: Liam Chambers-Ward of Lowes, Bev Gaddes of Jacqui's Shoe Boutique and Georgie Cone of Red Hot Hair have been busy preparing racegoers for Grafton Shoppingworld Fashions on the Field's biggest day of competition.
STYLE-SAVVY: Liam Chambers-Ward of Lowes, Bev Gaddes of Jacqui's Shoe Boutique and Georgie Cone of Red Hot Hair have been busy preparing racegoers for Grafton Shoppingworld Fashions on the Field's biggest day of competition. Adam Hourigan

Classic colours and curls tipped to impress at Grafton Cup

ACCORDING to those in the know, expect to see plenty of classic blue shades like navy out on the track today as punters and partygoers get out their Thursday best to attend the jewel in the July Carnival's crown - the Grafton Cup.

Besides the premium thoroughbred fields, those of the fashion variety will also go up a notch today.

This is mainly because it's d-day, 'decision' day, for the pinnacle of the Grafton Shoppingworld Fashions on the Field events.

Today has prestigious titles including the Red Hot Hair Best Dressed Lady, Lowes Best Dressed Gent and the debut Instagram-driven category the Telstra Best Dressed Couple.

And what better way to get an indication of what's going to be hot this July Carnival than ask those sponsors with behind-the-scenes access.

Bev Gaddes from Jacqui's Shoe Boutique, the long-time sponsor of the Millinery Award, said fascinators and hats had been flying out the door.

"We've sold a lot of navy, nude and blush millinery this year. Classic black hats were also a sellout,” Ms Gaddes said.

On the shoe front, Ms Gaddes said court shoes and classic points were popular choices, as well as ankle boots in tan, black and white.

"We sold a lot of medium-height shoes for comfort and most of the higher heels were of the block variety to save sinking into the lawn.”

Ms Gaddes said they often sell racegoers the 'trifecta' - the hat, handbag and shoes combo. "We feel privileged to help women co-ordinate the colours and style for their racing outfits. It really helps to add to the spectacle during the carnival.”

Gents are becoming more adventurous with their fashion, according to Lowes Grafton assistant manager Demi Martin, with burgundy and navy tones leading the charge in the store.

She said sports jackets with contrasting trousers were a popular choice with the younger racegoers, ahead of the traditional matching two-piece suits.

"A lot of guys went for beige trousers and navy or blue on top. Then they add some colour through a loud floral or paisley tie. Bold coloured dress shirts have also sold well, and the classic black suits,” Ms Martin said.

As far as accessories go, she said it appeared beards were likely to dominate their Best Dressed Gent category again this year, given the number of shoppers sporting them.

"The older guys love a good driving cap, too,” she added.

Of course, part of dressing up includes attention to detail, and for the women that means a little bit of preening for the locks.

Georgia Cone from Red Hot Hair, who sponsors the most popular category, Best Dressed Lady, said there had been lots of curls requested from race-going ladies.

"They like the wavy look with a fascinator on top, while clients that are wearing traditional hats prefer their hair straightened.”

But many woman are not wearing any hat. "They are opting for a more formal up-style, the bigger the better.”

The Daily Examiner will be covering today's Grafton Shoppingworld Fashions on the Field live from the judges' desk and throughout the afternoon. Find out who all our winners are as it happens by following our live coverage at www.dailyexaminer.com.au and on our Facebook page.