How to Win At Ladies Day – Emer Nash

20 Aug
Hailing from Limerick, Emer Nash is a well-known figure in the Irish racing scene. With a classic sense of style and beauty and impeccable manners to boot, Emer Nash shared her thoughts with StyleJump in an interview with Fiona Sherlock this month in Bewleys Hotel in Ballsbridge.

Emer NashEmer is quietly confident, a softly-spoken lady with an air of Jackie Kennedy and a would-be Rose of Tralee. “Growing up I always went to the races with my parents. My mother really enjoyed dressing up and wearing a hat,” she says.

Throughout her formative years Emer was exposed to the glamour of the races.  “As well, when I was going to the races I’d see all the girls dressed up and wearing amazing hats and as a child I used to aspire to wear a hat to the races one day.”

I really became interested in Ladies Days about two years ago in August 2011.  The first time I dressed up for Ladies Day at the races and wore a hat was at Curragh Races.  The standard was so high.  I was chatting to a few girls who had won before and I was amazed by the style and attention to detail.  Ladies Day at Limerick racecourse was coming up in October that year so I decided to put an outfit together and out some thought into it, and I came second!

Emer Nash“When I came second I was delighted with that! I went to work the following day and my colleagues were saying “Oh you came second, second is not winning”, so I decided to go to the races in Naas the following weekend, and I thought I’d add some colour to my outfit. So I wore the same jumpsuit, changed it around with a red hat and then I came first!”

“I won two nights in the Osprey Hotel. We had two nights in the penthouse suite, with spa treatments, dinner, champagne and chocolates.“

“I’ve been a finalist at a lot of the race meetings I’ve attended,  the black jumpsuit has paid for itself at this stage. I got it from Vanity Fair boutique in Newbridge, and I wore it five times altogether!”

Emer was announced as the best dressed winner on the opening day of this year’s Punchestown festival in a pink Orla Kiely coat winning a €1,000 prize for Coast. She got her hats from Aristohats in Newbridge, Kildare and the coat from a boutique in Newcastle West, Co Limerick.

Emer Nash at Punchestown

Emer Nash at Punchestown

“This year was my first year at Punchestown I was invited to three different weddings, so used what I had and changed it around a little bit, adding some fur. It was so hard to decide for the weather. Usually for the races you’d be planning in advance but now with the weather in Ireland it’s more like planning that morning!” said Emer.

After winning she was introduced to Michael D Higgins, although the Munster lady slips this in humbly with a wide grin.

“It was definitely a brilliant experience.”

Boutiques and Shopping

Emer says she had a really strong idea in her mind about the black jumpsuit she wanted to wear, and looked around the country before finding a suitable one in Vanity Fair boutique in Newbridge. She researches online, and finds Facebook a useful tool as many boutiques post their stock online.

So how can someone achieve the Emer Nash look?

Emer Nash

“If you’re going to the races for the first time, then wear an outfit that you’re comfortable in. I always think it’s better to wear a plain dress than something with too much detail and you can accessorise it with a hat, jewellery and gloves. I always wear pearls as well. I think it pearls add some extra style and glamour to an outfit. There are really talented milliners in Ireland that can make a bespoke hat or headpiece to match your outfit. There are also loads of places you can rent out hats such as Aristohats, Frock n Fabulous and Hat Society so you don’t have to be splashing out all the time.” 

“After buying a hat from milliner Suzie Mahony, she revisited Suzie’s studio a few months later to give the piece a revamp, to get an extra wear.“

Emer recommended Newcastle west, Co Limerick as a shopping destination for racegoers to get their fashion fix.

As a Newcastle West native, Emer’s proud of her local area. “Newcastle West has some great boutiques for ladies of all ages. You will be sure to find a winning outfit there whether it’s for a race meeting or a wedding”

Emer works in the financial services sector and lives in Dublin.

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