Don’t get caught out by Melbourne Cup fashion. Here’s where to buy the perfect dress that’ll see you through Fashions on the Field and beyond.
Melbourne Cup – the race that stops a nation – is coming up this 7 November. And it doesn’t matter if you find yourself trackside or bar-side, there’s every excuse to get dressed up in a fancy frock and fascinator. Racing fashion is a little bit in it’s own league to regular fashion. It’s elegant, it’s on point, and it doesn’t quite follow conventional fashion rules. Think bright and bubbly for Melbourne Cup (save your monochromes for Derby Day). Getting stuck? Throw on a statement headpiece and you're halfway there. But let's start with the dress... Featured image courtesy of Forever New.
1. David Jones
David Jones is one of the biggest stockists of high-end designers in Australia, including plenty of home-grown and international collections. You can order online and pick up in store or get super-fast delivery, all in time for the Melbourne Cup.
- Price range: We found this cute dresses for under $50, all the way up to Zimmermann dresses for $1500
- Order by: Monday 6 Nov for Sydney, Friday 3 Nov for express delivery everywhere else
- Want to save? See here for David Jones promo codes.
Race day looks from David Jones
BEC & Bridge C'Est Cool Dress
Shona Joy Bryant One Shoulder Midi With Belt
2. THE ICONIC
THE ICONIC has a multitude of race day dress options - plus it has (quite frankly, life-saving) 3-hour delivery to the Sydney and Melbourne metro areas, and yes, deals and promos are available.
- Price range: A huge spectrum - we found appropriate dresses as low as $17.99 in the sale. But it also stocks dresses around the $1000 mark.
- Order by: Monday 6 Nov (3 hour delivery to Sydney metro only) to arrive in time for the Melbourne Cup
- Want to save money? Get up to 60% off these spring items. Also check out our THE ICONIC sale page.
Bonus style secrets: We sat down with THE ICONIC's buyer to steal her spring racing dressing must dos.
Race day looks from THE ICONIC
Katie Lace Tier Dress
Amalia Dobby Flutter Maxi
Luxul Asymmetric Dress
Shein has a wide range of style that easily suit your race day look. With a spring racing section and affordable styles, this online retailer has something for ever taste and budget.
- Free shipping. Australian orders over $75 are standard shipped for free, and orders over AU$125 are express shipped for free.
- Sale section. Browse for a bargain in the dedicated sale section.
- Get $4 off your first offer. Sign up as a new customer and get $4 off your first order.
Race day looks from SheIn
SHEIN Cut And Sew Dress
SHEIN High Low Fishtail Form Fitting Dress
SHEIN Flounce One Shoulder Slit Fishtail Dress
ASOS is one of the largest online shopping websites, with dresses to suit every size and budget. They offer free shipping for Australian customers, and you should always check to see if there's a coupon code available.
- Price range: We've seen prices as low as $21, all the way up to $500+ brands like For Love And Lemons.
- Order by: ASOS can deliver to metro areas within two business days - BUT - this means two days after dispatch. During busy periods, ASOS may not dispatch your order for 1-4 business days. If you want to be safe, order your express shipped parcel at least 6 business days before Melbourne Cup.
- Want to save? Get ASOS promo codes here.
Style Secrets Bonus: ASOS's Editor tells us all about how to had a flirty flair to our race day outfits.
Race day looks from ASOS
ASOS DESIGN scuba cami pephem midi dress
Paper Dolls off shoulder crochet dress with frill sleeve in navy
ASOS DESIGN One Shoulder Ruffle Midi Bodycon Dress
Looking for a race-day dress on a budget? Missguided is the place to go. Missguided is stylish and affordable, with free shipping for all orders. They deliver within 10 working days, or faster with express shipping.
- Price range: Missguided is very affordable. Most dresses are between $30-$70 but there are load for under $20 and a few up around $100.
- Order by: Express delivery takes 4 working days, so for your dress to arrive the day before Melbourne Cup - order a week in advance.
- Want to get 20% off your order? Get our promo code here.
Race day looks from Missguided
Rose Pink One Shoulder Crepe Overlay Split Midi Dress
Rust Bandeau Bandage Midi Dress
Blue Bardot Lace Frill Mini Dress
6. Forever New
Known for its fresh, on-trend and girly pieces - you will never be short of dress options at Forever New. With hundreds of feminine styles, this is the place to go for classic, pastel or floral race day outfits.
- Price range: Prices are generally between $50-$250 but you'll find many cheaper options in the sale and outlet sections.
- Delivery: Next day shipping is available, so you could order on Monday 6 November if you need to.
- Want to save? Find Forever New deals here.
Race day looks from Forever New
Luna Square Neck Bar Dress
Cara Wide Leg Jumpsuit
Young, sassy and girlie, Pretty Little Thing means you never have to compromise on style, even if you've only got 50 bucks to spend. With fresh styles arriving every week, there's always something new to buy.
- Price range: Pretty Little Thing has dresses as cheap as $16. There are some more expensive options around $100.
- Delivery: Express shipping takes up to 4 working days. You should order by a week in advance.
- Want to save? Check out these Pretty Little Thing discounts and sales.
Race day looks from Pretty Little Thing
White High Neck Lace Crochet Bodycon Dress
Yellow One Shoulder Draped Midi Dress
Red Strappy Tie Waist Fishtail Midi Dress
Fashion powerhouse Boohoo offers a huge dress selections, from floral numbers to bright midi dresses, peplum styles and pastel swing dresses - all suitable for the Melbourne Cup.
- Price range: Boohoo is known for affordable fashion - so we found styles $15, with other dresses going up to $100.
- Delivery: It takes up to 4 working days for express orders to arrive, so try to order by the previous Wednesday to be safe.
- Want to save? Get up to 40% off Boohoo here.
Race day looks from Boohoo
Lace High Neck Skater Dress
Crochet Lace Top Chiffon Midi Dress
Lace Top Skater Dress
Aussie-label-packed store BNKR offers some great, classy options for the Melbourne Cup. Go bright, bold and sophisticated with nipped-in waists, floaty spring styles or lace numbers.
- Price range: Prices hover between $70 for simple styles up to around $300 for dresses and $500 for luxe designs.
- Delivery: It takes 1-3 business days to deliver to metro areas, so to be safe, try to order by Wednesday.
- Want to save? Get 15% off your first order here.
Race-day looks from BNKR
The Fifth Archer Short Sleeve Dress
Keepsake Mirrors Dress
Keepsake Limits Mini Dress
10. City Chic
City Chic has some of the prettiest dresses on the high street. As one of Australia's most loved plus size stores, you'll be able to find the perfect spring racing dress among the fun and feminine designs in store and online.
- Price range: The dresses at City Chic range from $100 - $200.
- Delivery: Dispatch takes up to 3 business days and delivery takes up to 5 business days so (to be safe) you should be ordering at least 8 business days prior.
- Want to save? Check out these City Chic discount codes.
Race day looks from City Chic
Soft Hydrangea Dress - blush
Ravishing Dress - black
Lace Whisper Dress
11. Amaroso Boutique
Looking for a cute little party dress? Or perhaps you're after some breezy holiday clothes? Maybe you just want to update your wardrobe with some girlie wear-everywhere pieces? Whatever your need, Amaroso Boutique is the answer.
- Price range: Prices start at around $25 but they go up to around $100 for the fancier pieces. Amaroso Boutique has Afterpay, so you can pay in instalments instead of upfront.
- Delivery: Australian express post takes 1-2 business days and Amaroso offers same day dispatch for orders placed before midday.
- Want to save? Take a peek at the sale section.
Race day looks from Amaroso Boutique
Neo Midi Dress - White
Willow Dress - Red
Monroe Maxi Dress - White
12. Ted Baker
Ted Baker is all about classic style and clean cuts. If you're after a fancy frocks that just screams out for spring, Ted Baker should surely be your first stop.
- Price range: Dresses at Ted Baker can be priced anywhere from $100-$600 but most will sit around the $300-$400 mark.
- Delivery: Express delivery takes 1-3 business days. You should order by at least Wednesday.
- Want to save? Check out Ted Baker sales on our discount code page.
Race day looks from Ted Baker
Elyana Ruched Midi Dress
Mahlene Oversized Ruffle A-line Cotton Dress
Rehanna Embroidered Skater Dress
Saba is a brand that embodies the lifestyle of the modern Australian woman. It creates transient pieces that serve well within your work wardrobe but can easily be pulled out and transformed into weekend wear. Focusing on tailoring and contemporary silhouettes, Saba is the place for Spring Racing dresses you can wear again.
- Price range: The dresses at Saba start at around $150 and go all the way up to around $400.
- Delivery: Australian deliveries from Saba can take 3-5 business days. Order at least a week before Melbourne Cup to avoid disappointment.
- Want to save? Head to our Saba promo code page for the current and working Saba deals.
Race day looks from Saba
Jo Silk One Shoulder Dress
Lou Silk Sleeved Dress
Daphne Silk Dress
What is acceptable racewear?
- Dresses – but not overly short and tight. Leave the thigh-skimming bandeau dress at home.
- Heels – closed or open toe is fine. Remember you’ll be on your feet all day, so (if you can) find a pair that’s comfortable.
- A fascinator or hat – anything from a little headband to a face full of lace, a flower in your hair, or something much larger. Anything goes.
- Clutches – not your everyday shoulder bag.
- Something to keep warm – think tailored jackets or elegant shawls.
What is not acceptable race wear?
- Sneakers, sports shoes, track shoes, runners, thongs, dilapidated footwear, scuffs, gumboots, or slippers. (A thong is defined as a shoe where two straps connect in-between the first and second toes.)
- Jeans, jodhpurs, tracksuits, leather pants, or untailored pants.
- Shorts, short jumpsuits, or short playsuits.
- Strapless dresses are traditionally not worn.
- Pants tucked into socks or footwear.
- Torn or ripped clothing (even if you bought it that way).
- Garments which show midriff. It’s currently in fashion to show a (tasteful) midriff, so you might see a few of these at the races this year, but if you’re heading to the Member’s stand, Cover up.
- Leggings worn as pants.
- Casual jackets such as parkas, duffle coats, windbreakers, denim jackets, or casual or tailored leather jackets.
Not done reading up on Race Day fashion yet? Good, us either.
Here are your next steps for race day cool all season:
- Find out where to buy the best fascinators online
- Cutest Spring Racing dresses
- How to dress for the other race days.
- It's not just about women. Here's the men's style guide to race day dressing.
- Race Day style tips from: The Iconic's Buyer
- How to add a flirty flair to Race Day: Advice from ASOS's Editor