• Susie Wilson

Tips For Fashion Beginners- Fashion On The Fields

Racing Fashion Beginners Many years ago I recreated the Fashion on the field in Hastings Race Day in New Zealand (FOTF) I have been a judge on several occasions for Fashion on the fields. So, for those of you just starting out, I’ve made a list of things for starting out in Fashions on the Field to help jump the queue.

1 – Can’t find it? Change the colour. When you can’t find accessories that are an exact match, I get creative with paint. It’s a lot easier than you think. Acrylic paint covers most surfaces and works really well on leather. 2 – Don’t match everything A lot of women make outfits match too much. It’s okay in small doses, but over-match and your outfit will look dated. Find complementary colours or textures that go well together, but using the same fabric in the dress, millinery and accessory is too much and will lose you points with FOTF judges. Use a nice plain clutch and a hat that complimented the colours in one's outfit.

3 – Invest in your Millinery Millinery will make one's outfit stand out. A big part of the judging criteria is your headwear and how it complements your outfit. Often the judging panel is made up of milliners and they will be keeping an eye out for great headwear. So, having a custom bespoke hat made for your outfit will give you a better chance of taking home a sash. 4 – Start Planning Early! A winning outfit, with perfect detail and millinery, takes planning. Three months before an event is a good time to start looking around for inspiration. 5 – Your clutch is not a handbag Don’t bother trying to cram everything into your completely impractical, but amazing looking, clutch. There’s nothing worse than holding onto a choc-a-block bag for dear life so it doesn’t pop open at any moment. Buy miniature size items for your clutch, or carry a spare bag. If you are entering FOTF, you’ll need to touch up one's makeup and be prepared for, well, anything.

6 – Comfortable Shoes Choose your shoes wisely. Comfortable shoes are a MUST. Your heels will sink into the grass and you will be standing for most of the day. Seating is usually quite limited and there is a lot of walking to do – especially around Flemington which is a huge racecourse!

If you insist on wearing a spectacular-uncomfortable pair, then wear them in first or get them stretched. Another option- pack a pair of flats. You won’t think you’ll need them, but you might come 4pm.

7 – Hair is an addition to your Millinery Getting your hair done, in my opinion, adds points to your overall FOTF outfit. If you have a big hat you need to accompany it with a BIG up-do. A beautiful up-do in itself can be a work of art that makes you look even more polished. Doing your own hair on the morning of is stressful. It saves me time, stress and your hair stylist will work your hair around your hat making it secure on your head, ready for windy weather and a long day at the races. ABOUT SUSIE WILSON

Ms Susie Wilson


The modern day authority on all matters etiquette, taste and achievement. Ms Wilson is a recognised world leading authority on International business etiquette, protocols and social etiquette she is a motivational modern etiquette expert, sought out industry leader, accomplished speaker specialising in executive leadership and etiquette. With origins dating back to London’s Victorian Age, founder of Susie Wilson Finishing School.

A doyenne in her field, Susie has presented a vast number of seminars to corporate executives, business organisations, private clubs, and individuals of all ages, coaching her clients in the most up-to-date etiquette and finishing guidance relevant to modern day society. With nearly three decades experience in her field and a corporate background spanning Australia, New Zealand and the USA, Susie is widely recognised as being at the forefront of social and professional protocol and training.

She began her first finishing and deportment school in New Zealand in the early 1990's educating teens in model development, self-esteem, deportment and body image. Franchise holder for The Miss World New Zealand’s Pageant from 1992-1997.As a trained nurse, Susie’s medical background has provided a window into human psychology and behaviour so she undoubtedly understands why one acts in certain ways, this includes the way they dress and the image they project. Susie is passionate about educating both adults and children in improving and perfecting their social and professional etiquette and presentation skills so as to become articulate, confident and self-assured.

Ever relevant in today’s society, Susie delivers invaluable training for school-aged children in the areas of peer group pressure and cyber and schoolyard bullying. Furthermore, she is dedicated to ensuring that manners and social graces are remaining in today’s fast-paced media savvy world, where nurturing social skills and self-esteem for children and teens is paramount. Susie is committed to imparting her etiquette skills and knowledge to adults, necessary for them to achieve their goals.


Susie Wilson’s life is woven into a rich tapestry of history in formal etiquette and deportment, an education she passionately shares daily, most importantly with the younger generation, so that the manners and decorum of yesteryear don't disappear and become a lost art. Her formal training was provided through a strict weekly regime overseen by her Victorian grandmother, Florence Mc Morhan, who invoked the art of occasional dressing, social presence, proper manners, tea pouring and conversation. Susie’s grandmother took charge and mentored Susie, fashioned her manners and etiquette so she could make a confident transition from childhood to adulthood as a composed, confident, articulate and polite young citizen.

This education has governed Susie’s life as an adult and guided her into a successful career mentoring and training both adults and children who aspire to be the most polished, well-presented and confident versions of themselves. She is dedicated to ensuring that old fashion manners and social grace are not lost in today's’ fast paced social media savvy society.

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