Chair-ching; the Spring Racing Carnival hat craze must have

Darlings! It’s Melbourne and it’s spring time!

So I know ALL you can think about is what to wear to the races. Giddy up!

Nothing says spring racing like headwear. No silly, I’m not talking about horse bridles – I’m talking hats and crowns and fascinators and headbands and unicorn horns and cat ears and hens party penis hats; just the usual classy cranial accoutrements.

With Australians set to spend almost a billion bucks celebrating the Melbourne Cup alone, we’re sure about half is going to be spent on headwear. AND WHY NOT!

The ever faithful and most-definitely-not-a-dumpster-fire Internet says you should not be seen dead at the races unless you follow these trends:

  • Lace
  • Florals
  • Ultra feminine
  • Ruffles
  • Jumpsuits
  • Head-to-toe pink
  • Black
  • White
  • Red; but make sure they are the same shade
  • Bold colours
  • Clashing prints, but you know, ones that clash match, not clash clash
  • Vintage

So basically anything then. Or does the internet mean you to wear them all at once?

But if you want to be TRULY original, be one of the cool kids, wearing the latest in headwear amazeball-ness; the CHAIR HAT! You’ll be SURE to stand out, huzzah!

Good Day Rentals’ boss and BOSS, Kate, wearing the perky Nana on her noggin.
Choose yourself a lovely vintage chair hat and you’ll be right on trend. Not only will you stand out from all the other racegoers, you’ll be such a jazzy spectacle that the crowd will literally and figuratively part for you, giving you easy access anywhere and everywhere on busy race days. No more getting stuck in bottle necks on your way to lay down your wages on how fast a horse can run!

PRO TIP: choose a chair less than 90cms wide so you can still fit through doors!

Speaking of necks, your personal trainer will LOVE you for tackling the chair hat. The chair hat’s power to train and strengthen those lousy neck muscles is second to none and you’ll finally have those defined Sternocleidomastoideus’ that everyone wants. They’re the new thigh gap, FYI.

The OG chair hat wearer, Dave. Also Good Day Rentals’ maker of things, fixer of things, internet guy and spreadsheet enthusiast.

A top concern for so many on race day is finding a place to sit down and rest those sore feet/hooves. The chair hat is a double banger delight in this regard – both a place to sit down AND a tootsie life saver, yippee!

According to hat collector Deborah Quinn, in Vogue magazine’s seven step guide to racing headwear, hats should be chosen as focal pieces (step 2 of 7). And I think that you, me, Deborah and Vogue all agree the chair hat is a focal piece; people won’t be able to tear their eye holes away from you, both due to how snazzy you look AND the terrifically large amount of real estate your headwear is taking up.

Deborah also advises sensibly to build a varied hat collection (step 5 of 7) : “My hats are all individual and tell a particular story. Some are oversized and flamboyant, others small and chic; some lightweight and some heavy; some are tall; another is held together by dressmaker pins; while others are quite traditional.”

But she is wrong. You just need a lounge room to pilfer and voila! A hat collection for years to come.

Wear me, wear me, shouted the furniture! What even is a couch if not a tandem chair hat for you and your loved one to win Fashions on the Field in. Image: Samara Clifford Photography.
While Deborah believes (step 7 of 7), “women should look for an individually made hat to enhance their outfit,” men, children and large dogs can and SHOULD rock the chair hat. It’s really just about choosing the *right* chair hat. As Deborah rightly says, some hats are large, some small, some lightweight, some are furniture. Yes, she definitely said that.

Racewear and women’s fashion in general are not super terrific examples of practicality – I mean, give us some pockets #forgoodnesssakeswouldya. But the chair hat keeps on giving in the practicality (but also fabulousness) stakes. Thanks to your chair hat, you will NOT be the person on the news holding a Herald Sun over your head in the downpour because Chairy McHaterson will protect you in even the most torrential spring rain. If it’s a scorcher, you won’t even need to apply sunscreen. And if it’s a chilly one, do not even worry girlfriend, as you’ll be super warm all day, lugging that hat around.

Told you I should have worn my chair hat, Darren. NO YOU CALM DOWN.

For us professional chair hat wearers, they’re just part of the job, like war uniforms with their compulsory hats were. And as we are basically fancy pants removalists, pour chair hat is almost like a uniform, which helps us to a) look like a BOSS and b) not have a bad back. After much trial in the Good Day Rental trenches, the neck has been declared as THE place for chair carrying over distances.

A final word from our hat expert Deborah Quinn: “The hat is always the finishing note to the music.”

So on that note, please enjoy the greatest hat song of all time, Joe Cocker’s You Can Leave Your Hat On: