JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Regatta regales capital with strict fashion rules

Models wear examples of what is fashionable for the Lake Burley Regatta.

Models wear examples of what is fashionable for the Lake Burley Regatta. Photo: Colleen Petch

Attention Canberra, it is time to do away with sensible style and embrace bright floral prints, bow ties and braces for the inaugural Burley Griffin Regatta.

Taking place on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin on Saturday, the first ever rowing regatta will be enforcing strict dress codes for guests.

Similar to the Stewards Enclosure of the exclusive Henley Royal Regatta, ladies are encouraged to embrace this season's bold colours, floral prints, headwear and demure hemlines while organisers are keen to see gentleman "get preppy".

Men are encouraged to "get preppy" for the day.

Men are encouraged to "get preppy" for the day. Photo: Colleen Petch

"We're not going to be incredibly strict for year one but we are just pushing for people to make an effort," Burley Griffin Regatta fashion co-ordinator Koa Whelan said.

"The event is about encouraging everyone to push the boundaries of style. Men should get preppy with braces, boater shoes and bow ties and the girls can really dress up.

"Apart from the great horse racing events we have here in Canberra we don't really have a lot of fashion conscious events. Things are a lot more casual."

Women should wear "opulent" dresses falling just above the knee.

Women should wear "opulent" dresses falling just above the knee. Photo: Colleen Petch

With help from local fashion experts including John Hanna, Momento and Soho Dezigns owner Roz Wright, Ms Whelan and the team behind the Regatta, Signature 27, organised a fashion parade recently to showcase examples of how guests should be dressed when sipping Pimms by the water and aiming to impress fashion judge, Australia's Next Top Model judge Charlotte Dawson.

Ms Dawson, a friend of the Regatta mastermind Chris Cairns, will be attending to present $5000 worth of cash prizes to the best dressed lady and gentleman on the day.

"Canberra is a blank canvas, hospitality wise. This type of event is something new and exciting and mixes the best of what we have to offer an intelligent community – a stylish event with Parliament House and all the great landmarks in the background and 20 Olympians competing on the water," Mr Cairns said.

According to the official regatta style guide ladies are to wear "an opulent dress falling just above the knee"; a fascinator and gloves are optional.

For the men, the rules ask for light or khaki trousers, a sports coat or vest and a light coloured vest to be worn.

Sunglasses are to be carried in your top pocket square and either a Panama, boat or Milan hat would be preferred.

Tickets and more information is available at


  • "Get preppy"? How American. The organisers sound as if they want spectators to have visited the local Ralph Lauren shop before arriving. Sorry, but most young men in this town think a t shirt from G-Star Raw is just fine for all events. The proof is blatantly obvious when you look at the lack of top end designer clothes shops that went into Westfield Belconnen, unlike Westfield Sydney.

    Date and time
    December 07, 2012, 3:30PM
    • It’s about time some sartorial audacity is embraced in the vast, insipid mediocrity of Canberra. The ugly truth for the gents will be faux snakeskin shoes and matching belt, poorly cut blazers and a few dense folk replicating 1930’s gangsters – but not to be vanquished by the men will be an army of tandoori soaked gargoyles sinking their heels into the turf.

      Date and time
      December 07, 2012, 5:02PM
      Comments are now closed

      HuffPost Australia



      HuffPost Australia external site

      Follow Us on Facebook

      Featured advertisers


      Capricorn horoscope

      Trust others to think for themselves. Don't be snobbish about what seems obvious. Everyone learns at their own pace, including you.

      ...find out more here