Kennedy Oaks Day, and I Wore my Own Designed Dress!

Kennedy Oaks Day
Hello everyone, and today is Kennedy Oaks Day, aka the Ladies Day!

Not everyone outside Australia knows about it (actually I only learned this celebration only recently), but apparently it is one of the most anticipated events of the season, part of the Spring Melbourne Cup Carnival. As it is an annual event here in Melbourne where all the horse racing enthusiasts, together with fashion and party people celebrate for spring, and of course for their favorite horses.

But due to the coronavirus restriction, the usual exciting sights in Flemington Racecourse is nowhere to be found because, for the first time in over 150years, there are no spectators around to cheer for their favorites. It is indeed a disappointing event, but I think Victorians are very forgiving and will look forward to a much better carnival next year. 





What is Kennedy Oaks Day?

Organized by the Victorian Racing Club (VRC), The VRC Oaks is a Group 1 race for three-year-old fillies (young female horses) that takes place during the Melbourne Spring Carnival.

The race, known as the Kennedy Oaks, is run over 2500 metres at Flemington Racecourse and carries prizemoney of $1,000,000.

Oaks Day, or Ladies Day as it has come to be known, is the third day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival and is held on the Thursday after the Cup.

The Oaks has a history equal to the Cup, dating back to 1861 when Palestine won the inaugural running of the race. Until 1972, it was run over 12 furlongs (or close to 2400 metres) until it was extended to the 2500 metre distance it is today.

The blue ribbon event attracts the best staying fillies across the country and is the females equivalent to the Victoria Derby for colts and geldings which is run on the previous Saturday and is also run over 2500 metres.

The race has had some top-line fillies salute the judge including the mighty Light Fingers (1964), Surround (1976), Rose Of Kingston (1981), Research (1988) and more recently, Miss Finland (2006), Samantha Miss (2008), Dear Demi (2012) and Jameka (2015).

The future of fillies winning the Oaks has varied in recent years. Some go on to continue racing whereas others pursue a breeding career at stud.

The last Oaks winner to go on and win the Melbourne Cup the following year was Light Fingers in 1964.

Kennedy Oaks Day

You see why it is called the Ladies Day? Because during this day where only young female horses joined the race. 

So why I am wearing this dress? 

Apparently, attending a Melbourne Cup is not just another carnival.

It follows a strict dress code, according to the Victorian Racing Club dress code policy.

Kennedy Oaks Day





Dress Etiquette and Style Guide

The VRC (or the Victorian Racing Club) does have etiquette rules for how ladies and gents need to be attired if one is to enter certain areas of the racecourse. If one is lucky enough to be invited to private and/or member sections, there are a few rules to remember:

Ladies (including children 12-years old above) - are required to dress suitable standards of dressing, maintain dignity inside the enclosure. Overseas guests are able to wear their formal national dress of origin. Not acceptable is jumpsuit/playsuits, midriff exposed, or shorts.

    * Ladies are expected to maintain a suitable dress standard in keeping
with the distinction of the Members Enclosure. 

    * Overseas visitors are welcome to wear the formal National Dress of their country. 

NOT ACCEPTABLE ATTIRE:
• Any form of the following footwear: joggers, sports shoes, track shoes,
runners, slippers, dilapidated footwear, gumboots, or thongs. A shoe is
considered a thong if it has two straps which connect in between the
first and second toes

• Jeans, jodhpurs, tracksuits, leather pants or untailored pants

• Shorts

• Short jumpsuits/playsuits

• Pants tucked into socks or footwear

• Torn or ripped clothing even if considered ‘designer’ tears

• Garments which show midriff

• Leggings worn as pants. Footless tights acceptable if the suitable dress
worn over the top

• Parkas, duffle coats, windbreakers, tracksuit tops, golf, and yachting
weatherproofs, denim jackets, casual or untailored leather jackets,
anoraks and Driza-Bone (oilskin) jackets

• Strictly no denim

men's suit for Melbourne Cup

Gentlemen (including children 12years old and above) - are required to attire themselves with tailored slacks (tailored chino's), a sports coat/blazer, tie, and dress shoes. •Overseas guests are able to wear their formal national dress of origin. During the hot summer months, jackets can be a side item.

wacky men's suit for Melbourne Cup
Don’t worry, even wacky prints suits are also acceptable!


NOT ACCEPTABLE ATTIRE:
• Any form of the following footwear: joggers, sports shoes, track
shoes, runners, sandals, thongs, dilapidated footwear, gumboots
or slippers

• Jeans, jodhpurs, shorts, untailored slacks, leather pants, cargo pants
or pants with elastic cuffs

• Torn or ripped clothing even if considered ‘designer’ tears

• Open-neck shirts or shirts with no collar

• Parkas, duffle coats, windbreakers, tracksuit tops, golf, and yachting
weatherproofs, waist-length jackets including bomber jackets, denim
jackets, casual or untailored leather jackets, anoraks and Driza-Bone
(oilskin) jackets

• Safari suits, bright/fluorescent coloured suits, tracksuits

• Peaked caps, beanies

• Pullovers or cardigans (without a jacket), rugby tops and football
guernseys, even if wearing a tie

• Cravats

• Strictly no denim


Either follow these dress codes or ended up being kick-out and humiliated.





And for the sake of this blog, I decided to dressed-up and this is also a perfect opportunity to showcase my latest designed dress.

Yes, I DIY-ed this dress using an old sports shirt (previously owned by my stepson) and fabric that I got from the thrift store. 

I love making my own clothes and upcycling, and sourcing most of my materials from op shops (thrift shops) because it makes me feel good contributing to my small community. 

Kennedy Oaks Day + DIY OOTD fashion

You know that I don’t like wasting materials, so when my stepson gave me his two outgrown sports shirts, my mind is getting busy with how I can upcycle that old shirt. Luckily, I found a perfect fabric from my stash which I got from my usual op shopping trips

Using my pattern, I started to cut the fabric and sew them together. For the design, I looked for inspiration from Pinterest!

Kennedy Oaks Day + DIY OOTD fashion

Kennedy Oaks Day + DIY OOTD fashion

I enjoyed making this dress because the tiny floral fabric is quite easy to sew, and it does not cringle easily, which is awesome coz I do not need to press them!

Kennedy Oaks Day + DIY OOTD fashion

Kennedy Oaks Day + DIY OOTD fashion

Kennedy Oaks Day + DIY OOTD fashion
Since the dress looks girly and fun, I decided to pair it with my tassel earrings 



Kennedy Oaks Day + DIY OOTD fashion
The only missing to this whole look is a flamboyant fascinator, caviar, and champagne!

Kennedy Oaks Day + DIY OOTD fashion

Kennedy Oaks Day + DIY OOTD fashion

Many Aussies spend hundreds to thousands of savings just to buy a perfect outfit for this occasion, but I couldn't blame them. After all, it is a spectacular event of the season!

But I wouldn't spend that money, and just opt for spending AUD$8.00 plus my time to create this whole look.

I may not be a good punter in racing, but I am a sure punter in upcycling and I never lose.



What do you think of this dress?




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72 comments :

  1. Yup, I do have to admit that it’s my first time to know about this celebration. You have a great talent for designing. Your dress looks good on you.

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  2. wow well done Girl! That dress looks amazing! I'm not very good with sewing etc so I don't know if I will be ever able to make something like that by myself but you should do it more often

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  3. wow you so talented. love your dress.

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  4. Thats a lovely flowery dress and the colour is too soothing. Nice creativity

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    Replies
    1. hahaha thanks you! I enjoyed making the ruffles even it is quite tedious.

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  5. I know a bit about sewing and this isn't the easiest dress to make as far as I can see :)

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  6. Such a pretty dress. This event sounds like a cool event to attend

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, and hope when coronavirus is gone and we have the vaccine for it, we can enjoy many carnivals again.

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  7. oh wow! I can't believe you designed the dress! The dress is stunning wow...

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Chad! I got a lot of time and lots of inspiration in hand.

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  8. I definitely have never heard of Kennedy Oaks day. Looks like an awesome event. That is such a great DIY dress that you made, very impressive!

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  9. Great effort and looks beautiful. I liked how you paired your earrings with the dress.

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  10. Wow. You are talented designer - I love the ruffles! It is perfect attire to wear on garden strolls. I have actually never heard of Kennedy Oaks Day before. Guess you learn something new each day.

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    Replies
    1. Same here, I am learning new things everyday here in Australia!

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  11. You are brilliant. This is such a stunning dress. Love it.

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  12. I can't believe you made your own dress! That's so cool. I wish I was as talented as you. I also find it interesting that they was a Dress Etiquette and Style Guide even for children for 12 years and older.

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    1. Thank you Merveille! I think the dress code is a great opportunity for attendees to enjoy the occasion in process outfit as part of the tradition, and learn the decorum.

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  13. Looks like this special occasion is really just for distinguished people. You did a good job with that dress. I also like upcycling ideas.

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    Replies
    1. The occasion is for all! And more exciting if you are a punter :)

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  14. You look stunning!! I love your dress, I hope you had a great time in the event?

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  15. great occasion for this dress, it is so cute, I am so charmed by it!

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  16. This is the first time I heard about Kennedy Oaks Day. Love your design. Keep it up!

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  17. Oh wow, you look fabulous! Really made a good choice for the ladies day, so femine. Love the pastel blue

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  18. Another amazing dress. The color/print look amazing on you.

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  19. I cannot believe you did that yourself - that's amazing! You are so talented and make the best of it - that's just wonderful! Keep it up!!

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  20. Oh my goodness! I love this dress. So talented!

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  21. Wow....that is a very nice dress you made there, Blair! I hope I don't break so many rules, when it comes to shoes to be worn here!

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    Replies
    1. That is true! I think the stiletto heels would be a disaster in the racecourse :)

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  22. You have amazing designing skills, the dress looks absolutely gorgeous on you.

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  23. I'm more on t shirts and pants kinda gal but I must say that is one beautiful looking dress. Definitely something my daughter would like and you look beautiful in those photos as well.

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  24. That dress looks absolutely gorgeous on you and is suit you quite well. Love the floral pattern and you did a great job at making it.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Lyanna, and I'm glad you find it lovely.

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  25. You did very well. The colors and style is looking good. We never made a dress out of things at home haha.

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha I understand, and just my luck that I found these materials.

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  26. What a beautiful dress and it looks so amazing on you! Those wacky suits are so awesome as well!

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    Replies
    1. Maybe next year, I will ask my husband to wear wacky suits just for fun.

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  27. What a wonderful design this is so nice great job girl!

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  28. Seems an interesting event to celebrate and yes you nailed it , the dress is so lovely , I’m envious as I don’t know how to sew and I wish I could. You inspire me girl

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    Replies
    1. You can start on mending small stitches, then you will learn to sew a dress.

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  29. I am very impressed on your creative skills. I can't imagine making my own clothes. I am not the skilled to design my own clothes, but it is really one of my "Wish list" :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Mamshie! kapag may time ka na, you can always learn simple mending :)

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  30. Woah. The festivals i'm learning from your blog are amazing. Makes me want to experience them! And I envy your talent in fashion and dress making~ ����

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    Replies
    1. awww thank you Lei! baka next year we can attend na this carnival!

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  31. I also love an opportunity to dress up and it’s such a genius idea to make your own dress from the event. I notice the same pattern from your previous dresses! Totally laughing at those wierdly-patterned coats as well! Haha

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    1. Hahaha yeah, I am using the same pattern coz it is convenient for me. I'll try to learn new patterns soon :)

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  32. nakakatuwa to learn about the trivias you share! mahilig kayo ni hubby mo sa horses ba? kasi mostly ganun yung share mo eh! btw, as always, i love your dress!!! perfect sayo!

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    Replies
    1. I'm not sure if hubby likes horses but definitely he is loves animals including wildlife and farm animals. I never driven a horse! But I love the social aspect of the festival, the dresses, etc.

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  33. I love how they have a race for female horses over there! And I love your dress! Who knew this is made from sports shirts? Ang galeng! 😍

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    Replies
    1. I hate wasting fabrics, and I love fashion so it is a win-win!

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  34. you are truly creative sissy i so love the design. So perfect for the celebration.

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  35. I like the color of this better than the previous dress you showcased us that was in a pink color. Plus sobrang nakakagulat na sport shirt pala ang tela na gamit mo here hahaha I hope you can blog about recreating a poofy pirate shirt blouse dress too cause I want to attempt it but I have no guide and i'm such a noob on making clothes 😊

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Nicole! Yeah I have lots of DIY sewing dresses pa that are still on draft.

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  36. that dress is absolutely beautiful! i want my own lol

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