Gallery: Oaks Day racing fashionistas cover the spectrum 

WOMEN embraced the tradition of yesterday's Oaks Day race meeting in Warrnambool with bright colours and classic dresses the order of the day.

Cavendish's Lauren Hyland woke up yesterday morning with nothing to wear and by the afternoon had won the Fashions on the Field.

"I didn't expect anything like this," she said.

"I work up this morning and I thought I had nothing to wear.

"So I did a swapsy with my girlfriend.

"She's wearing one of my dresses. You just cannot pick what the judges will like on the day.

"The pendulum dress is really in."

With horse racing well and truly in her blood, Ms Hyland became emotional when talking about her twin sister, former jockey Louise Cooper, who was recently injured.

"This is just fantastic," she said.

"But I am a bit emotional just thinking about her.

"This means the world to me.

"Now I have to go and pick up my two kids from the babysitter."

Warrnambool hairdresser Sue Cassidy, who won best hat, said she thought the women looked fantastic.

"It's a Julie Gurry hat," she said.

"I sent her three dresses and she chose this one. She said she had a great idea for a hat to go with it.

"I usually get the dress and then the hat.

"The women today look stunning, there is so much great colour.

"This is ladies day and there should be colour."

More than 1800 people soaked up the sun and at times brief showers, with Warrnambool Racing Club chief executive John Green saying numbers were up about six per cent on last year.

"It did seem a very busy day," he said.

"There was good racing and the day was well supported."

Mr Green said once again the Fashions on the Field was very competitive and enthusiastically received by the general public.

Warrnambool friends Hayley McDonough and Rebecca Ward embraced the theme of bright attire, with Ms Ward taking the fashion tip of her father.

"He said make sure you wear lots of colour," she said. "He said there would be lots of colour today. He was right."

Koroit pair Sarah Burchell and her sister-in-law Megan Burchell joined Warrnambool's Sam Paroissien to soak up the festivities on a rug with their drinks and nibbles.

"We're just having a cruisy day," Ms Burchell said. "I hope the sun stays out."

Warrnambool friends Jess Haberfield and Hayley Pilkington said the fashions had lived up to their expectations with the ladies clearly putting in some extra effort.

"Everyone looks amazing," Ms Pilkington said.

"I had the dress and matched everything around that."

Ms Haberfield said she had bought my dress for a wedding and decided it was ideal for the races.

As the day dragged on and mascara needed the occasional touch-up, women could get their hair and make-up done at the Fascination Station.

Skinfit Body and Beauty's Jorgia Brown said women were opting for bright coloured lipsticks.

"Colour is huge this year," she said.

"They are wearing bright colours instead of the nudes."

In the grandstand racegoers Lauren and Matt Watson had their first win of the day with Celebrity Psychic.

Mrs Watson's tip for the day was: always back a grey.

cquirk@standard.fairfax.com.au

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