The Stylist’s Guide to being the Best Dressed Lady at Punchestown

19 Apr
The official launch of Punchestown 2013 took place last night, with an interesting mix of serious betting racegoers, business sponsors and fashionistas flocking to Dublin’s Stephen’s Green Club for the event.

With no knowledge of racing or betting, I was definitely a member of the latter group, in attendance for one reason and one reason only: The Style.

Top Tips for Punchestown Festival Dressing

Roz Purcell and Rosanna Davison  at the Punchestown racing Festival launch

Roz Purcell and Rosanna Davison at the Punchestown racing Festival launch

Be trend-aware. Take inspiration from spring summer 2013’s hottest catwalk trends when choosing your look. Whilst the neon trend is huge, the colour can be draining on Irish skin tones so go for a soft beige dress and neon clutch and fascinator for a more complimentary look that still nails the trend. If you prefer a more classic colour palette, monochrome is another huge trend this season that’s easy to put together and guarantees a sophisticated look every time.

• Choose a statement accessory. The judges are looking for a lady who puts her “own stylish twist’’ on her “eye-catching’’ look. A bright clutch bag; eye-catching headpiece or statement necklace is sure to make you stand out from the crowd. Choose just one statement piece however to avoid looking overdone.

• Don’t be afraid to recycle. Although the judges will be keeping an eye out for ladies wearing Coast pieces, this doesn’t mean you need to invest in an entire new outfit. If you want your look to feature a Coast piece but your budget doesn’t stretch to a new dress, opt for a Coast fascinator, cover-up or piece of jewellery instead. Recycle a simple shift dress you already own by adding a bold colour brooch/belt and complementary accessories and it will look and feel as good as new.

• Make smart shoe choices. It’s a long day/week of standing so be sure you pick shoes that not only complement your look but also allow you to last all day! Wedges are a great option for stylish comfort that will ensure you won’t sink into the grass. If last year’s rain can be of any warning, muddy ground and nude satin pumps are not a good combination. A patent finish allows for easy DIY cleaning on the day should your shoes get dirty.

This Katelin Coat is the perfect muted tone that goes well with almost any colour. Go bold with a strong red fascinator and heels and add a pop of colour with a brooch to pull the look together. Katelin Coat, Coast, 285 euro

This Katelin Coat is the perfect muted tone that goes well with almost any colour. Go bold with a strong red fascinator and heels and add a pop of colour with a brooch to pull the look together.
Katelin Coat, Coast, 285 euro

This hatinator is an ideal eyecatching piece to lift a simple dress. Whilst it suits black perfectly, step into spring by pairing it with a cream look or colour block it with another jewel tone like a hot pink dress. Nelly Hatinator, Coast, 78 euro

This hatinator is an ideal eyecatching piece to lift a simple dress. Whilst it suits black perfectly, step into spring by pairing it with a cream look or colour block it with another jewel tone like a hot pink dress.
Nelly Hatinator, Coast, 78 euro

This detailed dress is practical, flattering and stylish all at the same time. The ¾ sleeve eliminates a need for a cover-up whilst the skater skirt is perfect for the hip-conscious lady as it covers the hips completely, drawing all attention to the narrowest part of a woman’s silhouette, the waist. Kayleigh Dress, Coast, 148 euro

This detailed dress is practical, flattering and stylish all at the same time. The ¾ sleeve eliminates a need for a cover-up whilst the skater skirt is perfect for the hip-conscious lady as it covers the hips completely, drawing all attention to the narrowest part of a woman’s silhouette, the waist.
Kayleigh Dress, Coast, 148 euro

These shoes will lift a muted outfit beautifully. Keep the rest of the look simple, going for a block colour in any one of the print’s summer shades. Teamed with the available matching clutch (Adara Clutch, 70 euro), this pair make a stylish combination that will be hard to beat. Scarlett Shoe, Coast, 115 euro

These shoes will lift a muted outfit beautifully. Keep the rest of the look simple, going for a block colour in any one of the print’s summer shades. Teamed with the available matching clutch (Adara Clutch, 70 euro), this pair make a stylish combination that will be hard to beat.
Scarlett Shoe, Coast, 115 euro

The Stylist’s Perspective

Justine King

Justine King

As a Personal Stylist, Occasionwear dressing is one of the most common areas my clients seek help with. Whilst finding a comfortable, flattering and stylish dress seems the obvious place to start in building your outfit, anyone who has competed in the “Best Dressed Lady” competition before knows the winning look is all about the overall finish.

From underwear to shoe choices, bags to earrings, every element of your outfit needs to work together to ensure you look and feel your best on the big day.

If you’re new to the competition and don’t know where to begin, I’d recommend starting by choosing a colour you know looks well on you (e.g .Magenta pink) Using this colour as your base, choose one other colour that pairs well with it for your headpiece and accessories (e.g. black). Be mindful not to over-accessorise but do have fun with it, the judges love quirky outfit additions.

Occasionwear specialists Coast are once again sponsoring the ‘’Best Dressed Lady ‘’ competition, judged over four days of the festival with the final taking place on Friday 26th April. Stunning race-appropriate Coast looks were showcased by the Andrea Roche Agency models at last night’s launch with a heavy focus on bold satin jewel tones, from jade green to royal purple. Some of the outfits included Coast fascinators which really set off the look and suitable cover-up options were also featured, from a hot pink satin coat to a purple pashmina.

How much Coast should I wear?

Although it is not an obligation to wear Coast on the day, Ian Galvin, Chairman of Aurora Fashions Ireland says this year’s judges will be particularly looking out for ladies wearing Coast, also stating “We want the ladies attending this year’s Festival not to be afraid to put their own stylish twists on Coast pieces to create individual and eye-catching looks.”

Coast stores offer a ‘Coast by Appointment’ Personal Styling service to ensure you look your best on the big day but if you’re still stuck for style inspiration, check out my best picks from Coast ‘s Spring Summer 2013 collection and some practical style tips on Punchestown dressing.

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