A FOTF Guide for Judges

Dear Judges and Masters of Ceremonies,

Congratulations on being tasked with the enormous responsibility of judging Fashions on the Field (FOTF). FOTF has become a cherished sport and hobby for thousands of women and men across Australia and the world. Not only that FOTF is a highly lucrative sport with a multi million dollar industry of milliners, designers, boutiques and stylist dependant on it. These guidelines were developed to help you make a informed decisions that will see your choices respected amongst this competitve sport and industry.

Image by Shane O'Neil

Image by Shane O'Neil

Who can compete

FOTF is a inclusive sport for women and men of all ages, sizes, abilities and nationalities. While there are always those who join our sport for a laugh, and we encourage everyone to participate and give it a shot, please respect our community by awarding to those who abide by the following points.

FOTF is about personality, stage presence and deportment. Contestants need to carry themselves with confidence and grace. FOTF however, is not a beauty contest even though many beautiful women do enter.


What is racewear

Racewear is a specific fashion market. Here are a few points on what constitutes racewear: These points must be abided to: 

  • Dress or skirt length must be no higher than the knee
  • No excess skin - this includes the lining of the dress, skirt of top. Plunging necklines and backless tops are a huge faux par. Off the shoulder outfits are to be judged on the weather.
  • What is trending on runways or the highstreet might not be the same as FOTF please be ontop of racewear trends by browsing #fotf on social media or looking at FOTF websites such as Its All About the Sash, Milano Imai, or googling FOTF
  • Quality millinery is a must. Millinery must complement the entire look and be made of the appropriate materials for the season.
  • Accessories and attention to detail is hugely important. From millinery to heel shape and the details on the clutch, every aspect must be accounted for.
  • Style and originality must be rewarded

Racewear style.

There are three types of racewear styles.

Classic racewear which may be full skirts, suits and blouses.

Contemporary racewear which is modern silhouettes

Costume racewear which is a dramatic interpretation of racewear (not dressing up in a awful neon suit).

Brittany Tamou centre is in costume racewear perfection

Brittany Tamou centre is in costume racewear perfection

Dressing for the Season

Please ensure participants are given ample notice on whether they are to dress for the weather, the season or a combination of both. Participants will work with milliners and dress makers for weeks if not months in advance to ensure they have the best shot to win FOTF and need notice to put their outfits together.

There are strict guidelines as to what should be worn in what season. Generally in SS we wear light fabrics which such as silks, cotton, lace and in AW we wear heavier fabrics like wool, heavy lace, and velvets.

Shoe choices are also influenced by the season. While closed toe can be acceptable all year round, open toe shoes are strictly for spring and summer

Millinery can be categorised into three groups;
AUTUMN/WINTER – Felt, fur and heavy fabrics are suitable for cooler weather.
SUMMER/SPRING – Straw, sinamay and light fabrics are suitable for warmer weather.
TRANS-SEASONAL – Leather, lace and some fabrics can be worn in any climate.
*Courtesy of Racewear Carousel

Beautiful winter racing styles on display here

Beautiful winter racing styles on display here

About your competitors

FOTF is hugely popular and thanks to social media it's popularity continues to rise. Accounts such as It's all about the sash, Millinery and Racewear Australia, Milano Imai, and Best Dressed Accessories have a huge following both in Australia and internationally. Indeed FOTF is not just a side event at the races it is the only reason many of our competitors attend the races and with them, they influx huge revenue into the track by purchasing tickets to marquees, drinks, bringing their friends and affiliated businesses with them and then promoting the track itself on social media.

Large groups of competitors will come to the track to socialise in this lucrative sport

Large groups of competitors will come to the track to socialise in this lucrative sport

The competitors spend months planning their outfits from choosing fabrics, designing their outfits either alone or by employing stylists, designers and dressmakers. Competitors also spend long hours searching the internet the perfect accessories  and researching current FOTF trends to ensure they have the winning edge for their outfit.

FOTF outfits tell a story. They reflect each competitors unique style and taste. I cannot stress how important a MC's role is when commenting on competitors outfits while they are on the catwalk. The competitor has invested time and money but also their own self esteem to get onto the stage and show off their creation. They are most likely also representing the milliner who has spent hours creating something unique and cutting edge, and the local designer who's reputation rely's on this moment for the promotion of their business. Please be respectful of these points while commenting as your comments may influence the judges decision.

Thank you for reading these guideline. Your contribution to our sport makes the difference between competitors returning to the track year after year to compete or not and we appreciate you taking this as seriously as we do.

Cobie looking amazing in Hats in Fashion by Kerry McGlone millinery

Cobie looking amazing in Hats in Fashion by Kerry McGlone millinery



Bethany Brajkovich