I've been competing in Fashions on the Field (FOTF) competitions since 2014 and I've probably now entered close to 100 events.
Out of all those I've only ever competed in 2 "Pick from the Crowd" style, the rest have been nominate yourself.
If you're not familiar with what this is it's where you don't get to nominate yourself you are "hopefully" selected by roaming judges who walk the crowd and select who they believe should make their final cut for FOTF.
They may have 5, they may have up to 20 but you're selected at their discretion.
The first time I attended an event like this I was chosen right at the last minute when the judge chased me into the toilets and handed me a number. I was legit sweating thinking I'd not been chosen. I had spent many hours and dollars on my outfit and was so worried I'd not been seen.
The second time I was chosen straight away!!! Whoop!! I could relax!!!......well so I thought. The judge later came up to me and said "ummm actually do you mind if we take you out of Lady of the Day and just put you in Millinery?".
My mind & heart was saying "ummmm no way buddy" but my needing to be polite Trudy said "ummmm ok sure". Absolutely devastated 😭
If you've ever been to a racemeet that holds fashions like this and if you're a real FOTF enthusiast like myself you know how nerve racking it is.
I constantly would "go for a walk to the bin", "go for a walk to the toilet", "oh I'm thirsty, I need a drink, I'm off to the bar", and my favourite "what's that over there?!".🤣 You get what I'm saying?? You really need to get up off your chair and walk the crowd like it's your own personal catwalk to be seen.
I have also been a judge at an event held with the "pick from the crowd". I was so excited to not only be asked but to see if it from the other side. I wanted to make sure I saw everyone. I walked and walked. The crowd got busier and busier. At one point it was shoulder to shoulder in the bar area. I thought for sure I was going to miss someone. It was busy!
I chose as absolutely the best I could. I believe I chose the best 3 from the crowd. I was super happy with my decisions. But gosh it was hard, just as hard on me as a judge as it was for me to be an entrant. I was constantly worried I'd missed someone. There were ladies sitting down the whole time. I'd not been able to see their outfits to their full potential.
Here is 5 reasons why I'm all for the nominations......as a judge and as a entrant.......
1. If I'm putting all the time, effort & money into my outfit. I want to nominate. Even the most amazingly dressed entrant can be missed at a busy racemeet.
2. I want to see all the entrants side by side and standing up. That is the best and fairest way to determine the best dressed on the day and all of your outfit is seen to it's best potential.
3. All entrants deserve to strut a catwalk. It's the most wonderful feeling to show off your outfit you've put together. I had no confidence when I started now.....I own it!! If there is too many entrants a suggestion would be to hold heats away from the public to narrow down your top 10 or limit your nomination time and be strict on cut off time so you only get the really "die hard" entrants.
4. Once you nominate you can relax.....well relatively relax.....no "trips to the bin" etc 😉
5. This is more of a tip. If you attend a racemeet that has pick from the crowd. OMG GET THERE EARLY!!! Give yourself the best chance of being seen before the crowd arrives 💕
Raceclubs have their own reasons for deciding to hold their fashions this way and I absolutely respect their decisions but I hope this is something organisers can read and maybe take my experience on board as a judge and as an entrant of the "pick from the crowd" concept from both sides.
You'll still see me attending racedays when holding any FOTF either way 😉 just say "Hi" to me as I walk to the bin for the 10th time at a pick from the crowd race meet 😉
Pop down your experiences in the comments. Have you attended a "pick from the crowd" meet? Did you love it or hate it??
Much love Trudy 💋