Illawarra fashion retailers and dress hire businesses are receiving a much needed boost after lockdown this week thanks to The Gong race day on Saturday.
And with Illawarra Turf Club putting up a total of $10,000 in prizes for best dressed female, best dressed male and best hat, it has increased demand for colourful smart looking outfits.
"There has been lots of last minute business this week," she said.
"Up until now people were a bit uncertain about whether they were going to be able to go to the races again. But when they heard it was definitely going ahead there has been a real surge this week in dresses and hats for The Gong race meeting on Saturday."
The Fashion on the Field competition at The Gong race day is being run by Pamela O'Brien, of Locopa Designs, who is also a judge.
Mrs O'Brien is an Illawarra-based milliner whose hats and fascinators are popular at racetracks around Australia and overseas.
She has been involved in fashions on the field on Melbourne Cup Race Day at Kembla Grange every year and is expecting this Saturday to be as good as any of those with up to 5000 people expected at the track.
In terms of what women want in a dress for their return to the track Mrs Taylor said it was for outfits that stand out.
"We are seeing people come in wanting to pick up bright colours and florals. A lot of people will be making statements with really bright colourful dresses," she said.
"I am finding people are coming in to pick up lots of pinks and greens this week."
Mrs Taylor said the announcement of this year's prizemoney had definitely made an impact and women in particular were going to even greater lengths to catch the eye of the judges.
"I think people are dressing to impress and are really wanting to have a shot at those prizes," she said.
Mrs Taylor said as race meetings in Sydney began to welcome back more people, she was also getting an increase in business from there, as well as from the return of socials, formals and weddings.
"We are seeing strong demand for rentals throughout the country, particularly in Victoria and Queensland," she said.
"And we are sending a lot more dresses out to our Sydney customers."
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