Your ultimate guide to dressing up for Spring Racing Carnival

Femme frocks and fancy fascinators, a day at the races is on every stylish woman’s calendar. This is your comprehensive guide to what to wear this Spring Racing Carnival, along with trackside tips and tricks.

Achieve IT-girl status this spring racing season by taking your outfit to new lengths.

Go from head-to-toe floral to blushing dusky tones, experiment with shoulders and stylish sleeves, or fast-track through all this season’s trends and shoot straight for powerful prints. Yes, we approve!

You might also like: Spring Racing fashion advice from THE ICONIC's buyer

Editors’ top 4 looks for Spring Racing fashion:

Here’s your shortcut to spring racing chic. Add to your basket immediately.


Bec and Bridge Honeysuckle Midi Dress
Nattie by Windsor Smith
Ribbon & Asher Leaf Crown


Rydges Wrap Dress in Khaki
Beginning Boutique
Billini Tresor Heels Army Suede
Beginning Boutique
Johnny Loves Rosie Pearl & Dragonfly Double Row H...


Finders Keepers Chances Dress
Memory Heel
Mira Embellished Feather Fascinator
Forever New

Colour Blocking

Amal Dress
Valance by RMK Online
Chantelle Fascinator

Race day etiquette

Make your Spring Racing Carnival the best yet with these pointers:

The weather

Keep an eye on the weather report - you don't want to get stuck in the mud, literally! Consider a light jacket or a silk scarf to wrap around your shoulders.


The fascinator

Hold your head high! Traditionally women wear the fascinator to the right of the head but in recent years this tradition has been relaxed.

fascinator shot

The shoes

Fall head-over-heels in love with thick heels and wedges. Unless you're void stilettos, there’s nothing ladylike about sinking into the grass.

shoes shot for SRC

The makeup

Remember that race-day is a daytime affair, keep your makeup clean and fresh. A bright coloured lipstick has our tick of approval.


The finer details

Complete your look with killer accessories. Choose a clutch with a strap so you can be hands-free for drinks and the form guide. Jewellery is always a plus.

Accessories image for SRC

The style

The spring races are all daytime affairs and the style is similar to that of a wedding or cocktail party. Don’t go overboard showing too much skin.

STYLE shot for SRC

Dress-code details for Members’ Reserve ticket holders*:

What not to wear based on which race-day you’re attending, and which ticket you have.

  • It’s a strict no-midriff policy in Member’s reserve areas.
  • Adhere to a daytime dress code: this means avoiding sequins and short skirts or shorts.
  • Stilettos will be your worst nightmare, believe me. A thick heel or wedges will be your saviour come 5pm.
  • Sneakers. (Did we even have to say it?) Or anything that resembles fitness attire full stop.
  • Torn or ripped clothing - but we trust you knew that one on your own!

*We recommend following these guidelines in general.

Spring Racing Carnival dates and race-day information:

Everything you need to know for the race-day calendar, from when to wear black to when you can flirt with colour.

Caulfield Cup: Saturday, October 21

Trackside fashion at the Caulfield Cup is full of contrasting colours and bright hues. In recent years this soiree has seen a clash of colour-blocking among the who’s who on the scene.

Brands to look out for: Dion Lee, Maurie & Eve, Sass & Bide

Iris Strapless Dress
Lisa Leather Block Heels
Max Alexander Flowers Fascinator

AAMI Victoria Derby Day: Saturday, November 4

It’s a black and white dress-code, and a classic one at that. Wearing colour on Derby Day is a big no-no and it’s not the time to break any rules. Hello, it’s tradition! Think sharp tailoring and structured pieces, pinstripes and polka dots. A day of sophisticated glamour.

Brands to look out for: Calli, Delphine and Tussah

Alette Lace Midi Dress
Spurr Roman Lace Up Heels
Luna PU Crown Fascinator
Forever New

Emirates Melbourne Cup Day: Tuesday, November 7

It might be the race that stops the nation but it doesn’t stop fashion’s elite from going all-out on the fashion front. Expect bright colour pops and stunning stand-out pieces. Hot tip: a fascinator is key to ticking the boxes at Melbourne Cup.

Brands to look out for: C/meo Collective, by johnny, Michael Lo Sordo

Clarince Ruffle Wrap Dress
Billini Paquita
Pillbox Spring Racing Fascinator

Emirates Stakes Day: Saturday, November 11

Emirates Stakes Day is also known as a family affair. It’s the more casual day on the calendar with women opting for bright colours and floaty dresses.

Brands to look out for: Camilla, Shona Joy, Talulah

Orange one shoulder frill split midi dress
Odessa Platform Sandals
Forever New
Chloe PU Flower Fascinator
Forever New

Crown Oaks Day: Thursday, November 9

Better known as Ladies Day, Crown Oaks Day is your chance to dress feminine and elegant in soft sweet shades. Insert delicate lace and dainty florals, this is always one of the prettiest days in the Spring Racing Carnival.

Brands to look out for: Keepsake the Label, Zimmermann, Alice McCall

Kat Tuck Detail Dress
Forever New
Tony Bianco
Mia Rose Fascinator
Forever New

Top 4 trends for this Spring Racing Carnival:

1. Stripes and prints

To absolutely nobody's surprise, striking stripes and out-there prints are making their way back into the carnival. For a truly bold look, mix and match patterns or colours to really stun.

Prints image for SRC


2. Statement sleeves

From bardot necklines to bell sleeves, this spring is all boldness with your arms and décolletage. Pair your sleeves with sleek hair and a subtle headband fascinator for maximum impact.

bell sleeves spring racing


3. Blushing rose

Not only are we seeing rose gold everywhere, it seems like we're all flirting with floaty, dusky blush tones. Embrace your inner romantic by choosing whimsical pieces that match the palette.

Blush image for SRC


4. Head-to-toe floral

We know - florals for spring, groundbreaking. But trust us, this look is everywhere. Flower crown fascinators with a flirty floral print will make a major statement come race-day.

FLORAL image for SRC


The best stores to shop your race-day essentials:

More Spring Racing fashion advice

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Doone Roisin

Doone Roisin is the social media butterfly and a Contributing Fashion Editor at finder.com.au. She's an online shopping enthusiast ready to show you what to buy and how to wear it, the best sales around town and insider tips to make note of.

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