Melbourne Cup race day outfits

By Gal Dagan | Styles | 02/07/18

“The race that stops the nation”, that’s right, the Melbourne Cup’s approaching quite soon and let me tell you, it seems as with each year passing the excitements builds sooner and the peak is higher. What’s more fun than dressing up for real for a day? Not only wearing race day dresses or suits, but the whole shabang, including fascinators, fancy clutches and pairs of heels. Now it might not be soon - I know, I know! - but I feel like it can never be too soon to start preparing for the big day. Even if you’re admitted into general admission which doesn’t have a formal dress code, we all know we’ve got to show up in our best Sunday clothes.

But what’s appropriate melbourne cup fashion? If you’re a rookie, need a refreshment because it’s been a while or simply would like some new ideas, discover the race day outfits I’d love to wear. While Derby Day is a formal black-and-white day, with Melbourne Cup you can go full out with colour. Read on and discover my race season guide!

melbourne cup dresses

My favourite race day outfits

The best melbourne cup dresses

When you say race, you say dress, don’t you? There’s so many different styles and race day dresses options that sometimes it might be overwhelming choosing only one. But don’t you worry, here’s a list of must do’s:

  • Statement -  Go big or go home, but with confidence

  • Flowery - Show off your spring vibes

  • Midi - Formally formal

  • Pastels - Show your soft side

When you’ve selected the one out of millions melbourne cup dresses styles there are out there, make sure it fits precisely. My tip: go to a tailor. She/he can check if every little stitch looks perfect.

Complete your look

Accessories are just as important for the melbourne cup’s dress code as the dress you’ve chosen. Discover my advice for every accessory.

Most of all, your headpiece, a fascinator, must fit and compliment your dress of choice. Go for something light and pick the colour to match with your dress. My personal favourites are flowery ones that are small yet have an impact on your look. I’m leaving the big round fascinators for the next girl. Also for the love of all that is good and pure in the fashion world, leave felt for autumn and opt for straw instead if you’re going for a hat.

So even though I’m not a huge clutches fan - sorry not sorry - I’m aware they’re a must wear at melbourne cup. You can go classic with a black or white clutch, but really, you should match it to your dress for a complete look.

Depending of the style of race day dresses you’ve chosen, either go alllll out or keep it minimal. If your dress is statement, keep your jewellery on the downlow, and the same for vice versa.

Here’s a strict rule you can follow: no stilettos! I cannot stress this enough ladies. If you love high heels, pick a pair with a block heel. Heeled sandals are great as well, or you can just keep it simple in a pair of classic midi heels.

melbourne cup fashion

The best of men’s melbourne cup fashion

Men’s race day outfits might be a tad more complicated. There are plenty of rules, and to make it simple just follow the rule; formal is not formal enough. There’s no room for casual jackets or footwear and there’s a strict no denim rule.

My go-to advice: a well-fitting suit. For the strict Derby Day you can choose between black, white, black-and-white, or greys. But for the Melbourne Cup there’s more room to play, and you can choose bright colours and different headwear. Additionally you can opt for a pair of tailored chino pants and a white collared shirt if you’d like to mix it up.

New in men’s dress code is sockless wear for those in the refined Members Enclosure and Birdcage. With a pair of dress or formal shoes and no socks you’ll be at the forefront of melbourne cup fashion. Add a tie and your outfit is complete.

Finding race day outfits are really though! Even though there are strict dress codes for the race season attire, women only must find one of the melbourne cup dresses they like and style it according to the rules. For men, it might not be too simple either, as some jackets may be counted as too casual. With a fitted suit you’re guaranteed success. Good luck with finding yours, and don’t forget to tag us on Instagram with your look!

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