3 fashion disasters we're bound to see at the 2018 Durban July

Image: Jackie Clausen

The Vodacom Durban July is taking place this weekend. We're excited - and a little afraid - to see how 2018's fashion theme, 'It is Time', will be interpreted by race goers.

One thing we know for sure is that we're bound to see the same-old sartorial disasters we do year after year; it's time to put a stop to it.

Image: Abhi Indrarajan


"If you never wear a hat or think you're someone who doesn't suit a hat, think again! The Durban July is THE time and place to start wearing one," says Crystal Birch, a milliner based in Cape Town.

That said, she cautions that "less is more" if you want to keep your look classy.

We love big hats for their undisputed drama, but if someone else can comfortably use your brim as an umbrella, we can safely say it's too big.

Too many embellishments, whether ruffles, flowers, feathers or crazy props, and you'll run the risk of someone remarking "Awwww, how sweet, you let your child decorate your hat."

Image: Jackie Clausen
Image: Jackie Clausen


From Somizi's bronze gladiator-meets-bullfighter getup in 2017 to the beaded minidress Jeannie D seems to have stolen from a professional ice skater in 2016, we've seen plenty of crazy costumes at this horse racing event over the years.

Repeat after us: the Durban July is not a dress up party, the Durban July is not a dress up party, the Durban July is not a dress up party!

To avoid this fashion faux paus, don't take 2018's raceday fashion theme 'It is Time' too literally. "Stay away from fabric printed with clocks no matter what; it's just too literal and expected,"  advises designer Siyethemba Duma of local label Matte Nolin.

Instead he suggests you take inspiration from a specific era, or moment in time that was significant to the fashion industry, like when designer Yves Saint Laurent created the woman's tuxedo in 1966.

Pairing a brightly-coloured, tailored suit jacket and wide leg trousers with a matching waist tie or belt would be a contemporary way to pay homage to Saint Laurent's iconic design, he says. Alternatively, give a tip of the hat to the 1920s, by accessorising a beaded lace dress with a fascinator; don't overdo the bling though, this is a day time event.

Image: 123RF/nehru


Yes, we know practicality isn't a prime consideration when picking the perfect shoes to complement your outfit, but it's time to accept that stilettos and grass just don't mix. Go for chunky heels or invest in heel stoppers to prevent your shoes from sinking into the mud. 

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