Your Ultimate Melbourne Cup Carnival Style Guide

It’s that time of the year where the brave citizens of Australia’s southern states put away their Kathmandu puffer jackets and switch them out for their wardrobe’s best. That’s right – Spring Racing is here.

During the season, there’s no bigger week than the Melbourne Cup Carnival, bringing with it hordes of eager race-goers craving atmospheric days in the sun, shoulder-rubbing with some notable celebs, and of course, a chance to don all the very latest fashion for all to see. 

But the question remains, what should you wear? With relatively strict dress codes, legacy styles and individual tastes to adhere to, many a woman can often find themselves a little stuck when on the hunt for the perfect ensemble.

Alas! Our style gurus are on-hand to break down all the very best tips, trends and eye-catching styles to ensure you’ve backed a fashion winner at every Spring Carnival event. 

Monochrome Magic at Derby Day

As the carnival kicks off, so too does the striking legacy of monochromatic fashion. That’s right, Derby Day delivers nothing but black, white and perhaps some aesthetically-pleasing patterns. 

The day itself is about recreating all the classic elegance that the racing carnival brings, which is a fitting start for day 1 of Myer’s Fashion on the Field. While strict on dress code, the ebony and ivory-only event is the perfect affair to combine sleek glamour and utter sophistication. Whether you opt for a black-and-white mix or one-tone outfits, there’s an abundance of options to suit your own personal style – and plenty of celeb inspo to boot.

After all, that’s what these events are all about: adhering to the codes while infusing your own unique sense of style on it. No matter which of the shades you opt for, a unique silhouette, textured fabric or standout garment details is guaranteed to deliver an exceptional flair to your outfit. Light feathers, bell sleeves and metal fastenings are also your best bet this season to give that extra on-trend edge.

To polish off your classic look, a sleek, brimmed hat or delicate hairpiece is perfect for the occasion, in lieu of those OTT fascinators.

Bold & Dramatic at Melbourne Cup 

While the OTT outfits might’ve been packed away for Derby Day, Cup Day is the perfect time to pull out all the stops. With a reputation for daring, dramatic fashion, the day that hosts “The Race that Stops the Nation” is the ultimate event to make your boldest fashion statement. In a nutshell, there’s nothing truly off-limits in the style game when it comes to Melbourne Cup Day.

Bright, bold, and big – the three elements sure to create your dream outfit. Whether that’s colours, patterns or headpieces is your call. Keep it fresh with vibrant colour blocks as they’re sure to deliver that eye-catching ‘wow’ factor.

Our top tips? A defined silhouette and knee-length hemline act as a perfect base to complement some truly unique design details; ruffles, flounces, statement sleeves and laser-cut details. Be bold and pair it with even bolder jewellery to really up your style game. When it comes to your headdress, brave and creative is best!  Consider your headpiece a work of art as opposed to an accessory – and opt for anything from a wide-brimmed hat to a gorgeous silk turban, or even an embellished headband.  

Remember, keep it elegant and refined; you want to suit the theme of the day, not look like you’re setting off for a night on the town.

Flirty & Feminine at Oaks Day

Traditionally known as Ladies Day, this mid-week event offers the perfect reason to round up your girlfriends for an extra day of annual leave. As the name suggests, the whole day encapsulates and celebrates all that is feminine – and there’s much to be said for the fashion that comes with it.

As the last official day of Myer Fashions on the Field, the event – as you would imagine – is steeped in everything exquisitely beautiful, with hordes of dolled-up dames bringing nothing but their A-game every year.

While ensuring your own personal style makes an appearance, the tone of the day centres around soft pieces, pastel tones, muted hues and subdued floral prints embellished on materials of silk, satin, chiffon or lace. Sure, romantic florals are a much-favoured Oaks Day look, but if you’re really eager to stand out from the crowd, source out dreamy block colours or an elegant two-piece

To really play into your fanciful aesthetic, pair it with a simple crown, scarf or headband – it’s sure to inspire a fresher feel, plus make your look more modern and completely on-trend.

Relaxed & Chic at Stakes Day

Touted as the most relaxed day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival calendar, this event is the perfect outing for practical style. Wave goodbye to the structured silhouettes and welcome the staple items made for comfort – with a stylish edge, of course. 

It’s a motto we love to live by: “less is more”, and this sentiment couldn’t ring any truer when it comes to Stakes Day. With the track overrun by adorable youngsters and a lively, youthful energy to boot, the theme of the day is an obvious one – FUN!

Think skirts and elevated tops, simple headpieces and pretty summer dresses; a balanced look that appears classic and dressed up, while delivering a simultaneously relaxed and youthful vibe. Unstructured dresses, sophisticated separates, uber-comfy jumpsuits and lighthearted prints are all perfect go-to’s for Stakes Day. 

To tie your laid-back look together, opt for a choice of footwear similar to thicker-heeled mules, wedges, or even a pair of truly chic flats. For a headpiece? A charming straw hat, simple headband or small-scale headpiece acts as the perfect solution to avoid an overwhelming approach.

So, now that you’re up to date on all the latest trends set to pop up trackside at this year’s events, make sure you and your girlfriends are prepped and primped for a successful – and of course, safe – Spring Racing season.

Hire the perfect outfit for your next venture to the races from All The Dresses. Browse over 5,000 items with lightning-fast search and filtering!

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