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The ABC of Spring Racing

Updated: May 9

Sandy's Q & A with ABC radio


Q: Are you constantly busy or is the racing season your best time?

The Australian racing season is certainly the most hectic part of the year but there are always other events such as weddings, bridal parties, polo, everyday wear, church goers and of course Royal Ascot which peaks at a different time to Australian racing.

Q: What are the trends in 2021?

The trends for 2021- “Bright Ideas” are beautiful bright colours for those who love the limelight. Also, wide brimmed hats such as Audrey Upsweep brimmed hat or large custom free-formed shaped designer headwear made by the milliner.


Strike a Pose! - You’ll be right on track with the gorgeous new shapes and silhouettes for spring that will leave hearts racing.


Trendy Trims to adorn your millinery are cut or shaped feathers, curled quills, hand dyed & tooled flowers, veiling and embellishments.


I say be the “HEAD OF THE CLASS”!


Add an exclamation mark to your outfit and stand out from the crowd with stunning millinery that completes your look.

Q: If people haven't ordered their hats, is it too late?

Well!!! I have been known to finish a clients hat the night before the Cup, but pre-planning is the best option as it then gives the milliner time to be creative!! And creativity doesn’t have an off/on switch. Q: What are your tips for creating a good outfit and hat ensemble?

My Style File is that forecasting fashion trends is always tricky especially in the southern hemisphere. It doesn’t have to all match, but each piece should have a modern twist, be adventurous and compliment the outfit as well as being a reflection of your personal style. A dash of individuality goes a long way!


Q: What should a lady keep in her race day handbag?

Check out these Handbag Hints from Annemarie Lippy that Lasts:

• Long lasting lippy from Lipsense

• Gloss to touch up to keep lips hydrated

• Blotting paper or powder for touch ups

• Hair tie or bobby pins

• Small power pack to recharge phone for selfies

• Band Aids

Q: Does it feel like more people are getting back out to the races and race day functions?

Yes! Orders and enquiries have certainly ramped up in the last 2 months with the advent of spring and people now feeling more confident being out and about.


Q: Years ago, maybe in our grandfather's time, men always wore a hat, but that died out, would you like to see the hat come back for men?

Yes, definitely! In years gone by protection, status, and vanity have always been the prime reasons for wearing hats.


A hat is much more than a piece of clothing; it is a fashion accessory that can mark personality, social etiquette and lifestyle.


The twenty-first century is a relatively hatless age, with the exception of the baseball cap and the Australian favourite Akubra. This might be just a passing fad, but it is socially significant given the trends of the previous era, when men wore proper hats all the time such as Top Hats, Bowlers and Boaters.


Panama hats are now gaining a huge popularity with the Polo & Racing seasons.

It’s time for men to have a play and to get a little more adventurous and discuss with a milliner to have their fedora, trilby or cap fit the head size and always dress to impress.


Q: What is the history of the fascinator, when did they become a ‘thing’? The fascinator started to appear as far back as the 1700’s in various forms, such as ostrich and peacock feathers in the hair. However, it wasn’t until the 60’s it re-emerged with more shapes and details with a lot more artistry. Today the fascinator has taken its place in the world of millinery and is popular with the royals and fashion forward set.


My motto is:

Sandy Aslett Milliner – Making Headlines Just for You !

Have a spring in your step, with a cheeky smile and WEAR IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT!


With thanks to:

Louise Owen from elaurante - where art meets fashion

Model - Hannah

Photo credit - Richard Shaw photography