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
Ribbon & Asher Leaf Crown
Nattie by Windsor Smith
Rydges Wrap Dress in Khaki
Johnny Loves Rosie Pearl & Dragonfly Double Row Headband
Billini Tresor Heels Army Suede
Mira Embellished Feather Fascinator
Finders Keepers Chances Dress
Valance by RMK Online
Race day etiquette
Make your Spring Racing Carnival the best yet with these pointers:
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.
Hold your head high! Traditionally women wear the fascinator to the right of the head but in recent years this tradition has been relaxed.
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.
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.
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.
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
Spurr Roman Lace Up Heels
Luna PU Crown Fascinator
Alette Lace Midi Dress
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
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
Chloe PU Flower Fascinator
Odessa Platform Sandals
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
Mia Rose Fascinator
Top 4 trends for this Spring Racing Carnival:
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. Source 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. Source
1. Stripes and prints
2. Statement sleeves
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.
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.
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. Source 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. Source
3. Blushing rose
4. Head-to-toe floral
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.
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.
The best stores to shop your race-day essentials:
More Spring Racing fashion advice
Where to buy Melbourne Cup dresses and fascinators online in time for them to be delivered for race day. Read more…
Find the best online shops to buy a fascinator online for the Spring Racing season. Read more…
15 dress-obsessed retailers to shop for your race-day style this Spring Racing Carnival season. Modern monochromatic or ladylike glam, we've got you covered. Read more…