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.

Switch head-to-toe ladylike looks into easy elegance with an edgy twist, toughen up florals with metal hardware and leather, or fast-track through all this season’s trends and shoot straight for tailored suiting. 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.


Chi Chi London The Alix Dress
Forever New Sage Gold Leaf Crown Fascinator
Sol Sana Legend Mules


Botanical Dress
Sabo Skirt
Odelia Mixed Stones Jewel Headband
Forever New
Ash Blush Kid Suede
Tony Bianco


Mad Tea Party Dress in Navy
Spurr Laura Pointy Toe Heels
Mira Embellished Feather Fascinator
Forever New


Keepsake Tight Rope Dress
Tony Bianco Lewis
Luna Faux Leather Crown Fascinator
Forever New

Race day etiquette:

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

The weather.

Keep an eye on the weather report incase you need to bring a light jacket. An alternative is a silk scarf to wrap around your shoulders.


The fascinator.

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


The shoes.

Fall head-over-heels in love with thick heels or wedges. Avoid stilettoes, there’s nothing ladylike about sinking into the grass.


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. A clutch looks great but also consider something with a strap so you can be hands free. Jewellery is always a plus.


The style.

The spring races are all daytime affairs and the style is similar to that of a wedding or cocktail party. Think fancy, longer lengths. 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. *We recommend following these guidelines in general.

  • 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!

Spring Racing Carnival dates and race-day Information:

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

Caulfield Cup: Saturday October 15

Trackside fashion at Caulfield Cup is full of bold colours and powerful prints. 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

Rip Tide Dress
Django & Juliette Niche Bright Multi Leather
Valentina Crochet Fascinator
Forever New

AAMI Victoria Derby Day: Saturday, October 29

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: Maurie & Eve, Backstage and Tome

Avery Lace Dress
Allegra Black Heels
Feeling Feline Headband in Black

Emirates Melbourne Cup Day: Tuesday, November 1

It might be the race that stops the nation but it doesn’t stop fashion’s elite 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

Talulah Losing My Mind Midi Dress
Tony Bianco Komma
Tita Crown

Emirates Stakes Day: Saturday, November 5

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

Archer Rose Cape Midi Dress
Dallas Whipstitch Wood Heels
Forever New
Mini Flower Back Hair Garland

Crown Oaks Day: Thursday, November 3

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

Lace Scallop Midi Dress
Tony Bianco Ash in Nude
Adele Statement Crochet Fascinator
Forever New

Top 4 trends for this Spring Racing Carnival:

1. Postcard prints

Find your fashion #inspo from a far away land and wear striking prints of the oriental kind. That 70s look was also spotted on the runway this year, right next to wild style. Because that never goes out of fashion!



2. Soft suiting

The power suit is out and soft suiting is in. Up the fashion stakes with a wide leg pant (even dare to flare, if you will!) paired with a matchy matchy top. Camilla and Marc are your go-to brand.



3. White-on-white

We like white-on-white. It’s the cooler little sister to black-on-black, and also the cooler option when it’s a hot day outside. Look to Ellery and Manning Cartell for all-white chic.



4. Easy elegance with edge

Take inspiration from the likes of Chloe and Aussie designer Michael Lo Sordo. A floaty dress contrasted against a sharp fascinator will make a major statement come race-day.



Related: Where to buy fascinators online for spring racing

Related: Dress cheap ‘n chic this spring racing season

The best stores to shop your race-day essentials:

Finding the perfect shoes:

This is an important part of your race-day style. Spending a day trackside requires comfortable (and chic) footwear that your feet will thank you for later. Stilettoes are in the no-go zone with thicker heels or wedges at the very top of the list. First find the dress of your dreams and then the shoes to match.




Shop your Spring Racing outfit with these deals:


15% off Race Day dresses

Get 15% off Race Day category with the code at GlamCorner. Conditions Apply

Show code & visit siteGC****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

15% off for students

Students can save 15% off all full-priced items every day. Must be registered with UNiDAYS to be eligible.

Free Shipping on all orders over $50

Receive free shipping on all orders over $50 at Pretty Little Thing.

Show code & visit siteFR****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

Shop the Sportscraft sale

Check out the sale section of Sportscraft for deals and bargains

Shop for women’s online exclusives

Check out Ted Baker’s online exclusives for women

Save 10% on your order

Sign up to the Amaroso Boutique newsletter to receive 10% off.

Free Overnight Shipping over AUD $50

Get free shipping when you spend over $50 at The Iconic.

Up to 50% off in the sale

Save up to 50% off in the sale section at THE ICONIC. Stock is limited.

Free Shipping on all orders over $50

Receive free shipping on all orders over $50 at Pretty Little Thing.

Show code & visit siteFR****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

Up to 70% off sale

Get up to 70% off with the fInal clearance at ASOS

10% off student discount

Students can get 10% off any purchase at ASOS.

Free shipping to Australia

Get free shipping on orders over $40 to Australia at ASOS.

Up to 75% off clearance items

Shop Boohoo's clearance section and save up to 75% on the regular price.

30% OFF Boot Collection

Get 30% off on boot collection by winter at City Chic.

Our last word of advice, never ever be the person to take off your shoes at the end of the day. It’s a game-changer.

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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