Dress code rules for the Spring Racing Carnival 2019

Avoid a fashion faux pas this year at the races. Here’s our guide to dressing for the Spring Racing Carnival.

Dressing for the races is a bit different than dressing for a regular cocktail event. The Spring Racing Carnival is a long-standing event that is steeped in tradition. While certain aspects of attending the races have been relaxed, there are still a few rules you need to be aware of – especially when choosing an outfit.

Here are all the strict rules and dress code trends you should know if you’re heading to the races this year.

Major events with specific dress codes

General dress code for the Spring Racing Carnival

Regardless of which day you plan on attending the races, there are a few standard rules for dressing. As an example, here are some dress-code directions from the Flemington website:

“Ladies are expected to maintain a suitable standard in keeping with the dignity of the Members’ Enclosure. Overseas visitors are welcome to wear the formal national dress of their country.

“Gentlemen are required to wear a suit of tailored slacks (tailored chinos acceptable), sports coat or blazer, plus tie and dress shoes. Between 1 December and 31 March jackets may be removed. Overseas visitors are welcome to wear the formal national dress of their country.”

These rules don’t strictly apply in a general admission area. But if you’re in a members’ area, take them seriously!


General rules for dressing at racecourses across Australia

Women

  • No jeans, no denim skirts, no denim jackets. Absolutely no denim.
  • No bare midriffs, including dresses with cut-outs.
  • No untailored pants, including leather pants and legging styles.
  • No shorts.
  • No rips in clothing, even if they are intentional rips.
  • No playsuits or short jumpsuits, although this may only be strictly enforced in members’ areas.
  • No casual jackets like tracksuit tops or duffel coats.
  • No sneakers, thongs, gumboots or other casual shoe.
  • Traditionally no strapless dresses or straps less than an inch thick are allowed, but this is not a strictly followed rule.
  • Traditionally no dresses or skirts above the knee, but again, this is not strictly enforced.
  • Traditionally all women must wear a hat or headpiece but this is also not strictly followed.

Men

  • No denim: no jeans, no denim jackets, no denim shorts.
  • No untailored pants, including leather pants and legging styles.
  • No shorts.
  • No rips in clothing, even if they are intentional rips.
  • No casual jackets or untailored jackets like tracksuit jackets, bomber jackets or duffel coats.
  • No sneakers, thongs, gumboots or other casual shoe.
  • No shirts without collars
  • No jumpers or sweaters without a jacket on top.
  • No cravats
  • No brightly coloured suits
  • No caps or beanies

Who needs to follow these rules?

Everyone attending the races and expecting to be let into a members’ areas will need to follow these rules. It’s expected that all children over the age of 12 should adhere to these rules too.

What will happen if I don’t follow these rules?

There aren’t any actual “fashion police” around, don’t worry! And if you’re just heading to a general admission area, you can get away with breaking a few rules. But if you expect to be let into a members’ area you will need to follow the dress code. If you don’t, you won’t be allowed in.

Do you need headwear at the races?

There is an expectation that women attending the races will wear a hat, fascinator or headpiece. At most racecourses there is no strict rule about this (even in members’ areas), so you may not need to. But a headpiece is part of the fun of the races, so why not give it a try?


Spring Racing Carnival major fashion events

Caulfield Cup Day – 20 October

While there is no strict dress code for the Caulfield Cup, a dress trend has a developed over the last few years. This particular day on the racing carnival calendar will see many choosing bold fashion statements. Think strong colours, colour blocking and matching sets.

Derby Day – 3 November

This day is a strictly monochrome affair. Ditch the colour and pull out your most striking black and white garb. Go all black, all white or mix the two!

Melbourne Cup – 6 November

It’s “the race that stops a nation” and one of the biggest events of the year, so you need to pull out the big guns for the Melbourne Cup. This is the event where you will see gowns, sparkles, sequins and striking headpieces. Take this as an opportunity to be experimental and give that glamorous outfit you’ve always wanted to wear a spin.

Oaks Day – 8 November

Oaks Day is also known as “Ladies Day” at the races, so this is the day to let your feminine side show. Forget blacks and navy tones and grab your pastels and florals. Think pink, yellow, baby blue and lavender. Lace, frills, volume and prints are all very welcome.

Stakes Day – 10 November

This is the last major event in the carnival season and has been coined “Family Day”. The dress code for Stakes Day is more relaxed so use this opportunity to dress flirty and fun and truly embrace spring.


Where to shop for Spring Racing Carnival dresses


Latest news

Nasty Gal Nasty Gal
Exclusive

Extra 10% off sale items

Enjoy an extra 10% off already reduced clothing, shoes and accessories at Nasty Gal. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

boohoo boohoo
Exclusive

50% off for new customers

Score 50% off your dresses, tops, shoes and more at Boohoo. Valid for new customers. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

THE ICONIC THE ICONIC
Exclusive

$20 off your first order

Get $20 off your first order when you sign up at THE ICONIC. Valid on orders over $99. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Showpo Showpo
Exclusive

10% off orders over $200

Save 10% on your orders when you spend $200 or more at Showpo. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Zaful Zaful
Exclusive

20% off your order

Score 20% off mini dresses, tops, swimwear and more at Zaful. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Sculpt Australia Sculpt Australia
Exclusive

15% off everything

Score 15% off dresses, leather jackets, jumpsuits and more at Sculpt. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

SurfStitch SurfStitch
Ends soon!

Extra 30% off selected styles: Winter Clearance Sale

Use the code to save an extra 30% off already reduced clothing, shoes, accessories, boardsports and more at SurfStitch. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Bardot Bardot

Nothing over $60 site-wide

Shop dresses, skirts, jackets and more at Bardot. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

boohoo boohoo

50% off everything

Take 50% off dresses, jackets, shoes and more at Boohoo. Excluding sale. Conditions apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

NET-A-PORTER NET-A-PORTER

10% off site-wide

Enjoy 10% off shoes, bags, accessories and more at NET-A-PORTER. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

eBay eBay

20% off gifts for Father's Day

Save 20% on Sony, Dell, Zanui and more. No minimum spend. Exclusions, T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Myer Myer

20% off women's clothing and more: MYER One Exclusive

Spend $75 and save 20% on selected clothing, footwear and handbags from DKNY, Tokito, Forever New and more at MYER. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Catch Catch

FREE shipping on Catch bestsellers

Enjoy FREE shipping on best selling products from Casio G-Shock, Converse, Ray-Ban and more at Catch. No minimum spend. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Beginning Boutique Beginning Boutique

FREE Bondi Sands dark tanning foam

Spend $150 or more and get a FREE Bondi Sands dark tanning foam. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

PrettyLittleThing PrettyLittleThing
Limited time!

Up to 70% off everything

Score up to 70% off dresses, tops, shoes and more at PrettyLittleThing. Excludes sale and beauty products. Conditions apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

PatPat PatPat

15% off site-wide

Save 15% on t-shirts, dresses, matching outfits and more at PatPat. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

ASOS ASOS

Up to 40% off wardrobe faves

Get up to 40% off selected styles from Park Lane, Forever Unique, Calvin Klein and more at ASOS. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

THE ICONIC THE ICONIC

20% off dresses, handbags & sneakers

Get 20% off 1000's of items of dresses, handbags and sneakers from THE ICONIC.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Missguided Missguided

40% off everything

Enjoy 40% off just in celebrity inspired dresses, knitwear, shoes, accessories and more with code at Missguided. Excludes sale. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Nasty Gal Nasty Gal

Up to 80% off everything

Enjoy up to 80% off everything includes clothes, shoes and accessories. Valid for a limited time only. T&Cs may apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

LN-CC LN-CC

Extra 20% off sale

Get an extra 20% off sale clothing, shoes, bags and more at LN-CC. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

THE ICONIC THE ICONIC

Up to 70% off sale clothing, shoes & accessories

Valid on selected styles and colours from brands such as Nike, Ben Sherman, Camilla & Marc, Adidas, Puma, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Jeans & much more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Glue Store Glue Store

Up to 60% off sale

Enjoy up to 60% off clothing, shoes and accessories from Dickies, Adidas, Stussy and more at Glue Store. Prices as marked. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Princess Polly Princess Polly

Up to 70% off 100's of best styles

Score up to 70% off clothing, shoes and accessories at Princess Polly. Includes selected styles from Minkpink, Afends, New Balance & more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

THE ICONIC THE ICONIC

10% off THE ICONIC exclusives

Get 10% off selected styles from Atmos & Here, Atmos & Here Curvy, Dazie, Spurr, Double Oak Mills & Staple Superior at THE ICONIC. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Newchic Newchic

Up to 90% off clothing, shoes & accessories + FREE shipping

Take up to 90% off clothing, shoes and accessories at Newchic. Plus, FREE shipping on your orders. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

LN-CC LN-CC

Extra 10% off sale

Get an extra 10% off sale styles from Prada, Gucci, Miu Miu, Valentino and more at LN-CC. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

LN-CC LN-CC

Up to 20% off new season

Get 20% off selected styles from Prada, Off-White, Valentino, Gucci, Saint Laurent and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

eBay eBay

20% off at Myer store

Get 20% off home, grooming, fashion & more from Myer store at eBay. Maximum discount of $500. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

PrettyLittleThing PrettyLittleThing

Women's clothing for $20 and under

Shop cheap women's clothing at PrettyLittleThing for just $20 or less. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Missguided Missguided

Up to 83% off sale

Enjoy up to 83% off dresses, knitwear, shoes & more at Missguided. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Amazon AU Amazon AU

FREE delivery on millions of items for all customers

Enjoy FREE delivery on eligible orders over $39 at Amazon. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

TBDRESS TBDRESS

$10 off site-wide + FREE shipping

Get $10 off when you order over $99 on dresses, blouses, rompers and more at TBDress. Plus, FREE shipping with orders over $109. Excludes wedding, events and shoes. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Michael Kors Michael Kors

Get up to 50% off

Get up to 50% off sale from Michael Kors. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

YOOX.com YOOX.com

Extra 20% off clearance

Get an extra 20% off selected styles from Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Prada and more at YOOX.com. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Showpo Showpo

Up to 50% off sale

Enjoy up to 50% off clothing, dresses and accessories at Showpo. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Amazon AU Amazon AU

10% off your first fashion order

Get 10% off your first order of clothing, shoes, watches or luggages. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Kivari Kivari

30% off Harper Bloom favourites

Take 30% off dresses, skirts, jumpsuits and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

W Lane W Lane

Everything $40 or less

Valid for a limited time only at W Lane. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

ASOS ASOS

10% off your next order

Valid for new customers only. Excludes sale items. Conditions apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Popular Dresses coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
16 Aug 2019 Extra 10% off sale items XTR****
16 Aug 2019 50% off for new customers BHN****
2 Aug 2019 10% off orders over $200 FIN****
29 Jul 2019 20% off your order ZFF****
29 May 2019 15% off everything FIN****
Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site