Big, small, bright, floral or feathered, one thing is certain: fascinators are there to make a statement, and there will be plenty of competition at today's Spring Classic Premier race day at Hastings.
For many, it is the biggest occasion on the social calendar, with thousands flocking to Hawke's Bay racecourse to eat, drink and be merry.
But it's not as easy as just showing up on the day, it takes a lot careful planning to choose the right outfit for the occasion.
Hunt & Seek's Fashion in the Field contest is a large part of the race day and rewards those who have gone the extra mile to create a look that is put together perfectly.
People can enter the competition by paying $10 at the Fashion Marquee up until noon today, with contestants taking the catwalk from then to 4pm.
There are prizes to be won including jewellery, Champagne, clothing and accessories.
The overall male and female winners will receive airfares and one night's accommodation in Auckland as well as a hospitality package for two for Derby Day at Ellerslie in March. They will also be automatically entered into the regional fashion in the field final and get a prize pack worth up to $1000.
Milliner Linda Malone, who owns Napier store Decorum, says a statement headpiece can lift an outfit or contribute to a winning style.
"Fascinators have really taken over from hats, that's been the trend for about two or three years now.
"People still love veiling, things that are soft and feminine, they still want the classics. Brights are a big trend this year."
For those who get in early, Ms Malone can help to design a headpiece around a garment or fabric.
"You don't want it to be dyed to match. If you have a printed fabric, a lot of people pick out the background colour [for their fascinator] but they should use the predominant colour."
The right headpiece could also give class and uniqueness to an otherwise plain dress.
"It lifts it to another level of formality.
"If you have a pretty but plain dress, it can be worn at so many occasions, but put something on your head and it gives an instant sense of sophistication."
At Hunt & Seek's shop in Havelock North, owner Nardine Hunt works alongside Ms Malone to ensure their popular race-day dresses are matched with complementary fascinators.
"They show us their up-coming collections a couple of months out and we go away and make fascinators for them which they then sell as part of an outfit."
Ms Malone says people have a common misconception that making fascinators from scratch is an expensive option.
"For us, it's actually better, we get the chance to tie in the right colours and can work with people to get the design right."
This year, prim and proper design, bright colours and clean cuts give way to short hemlines and skin-tight bodycon dresses.
But it isn't just about the clothing on race day; personality comes into play when choosing a fashion in the field winner, Ms Malone says.
"The thing they are also looking for is someone to represent Hawke's Bay at the nationals."