What to Wear to Melbourne Cup Carnival

What to Wear to Melbourne Cup Carnival - Dress Codes and Style Guide

It’s the question on everyone’s lips, What to Wear to Melbourne Cup Carnival? We’ve rounded up all our top tips, dress code advice and style guide into one handy post.

Spring Racing is just around the corner and it’s time to start planning your race day outfits! Flemington Racecourse enforces strict strict race wear etiquette for both ladies and gents during the Melbourne Cup Carnival. The Dress Codes for each of the raceways is a tradition which has been handed down through the generations by the racing club and their proud members.

Getting dressed for the Carnival means respecting the tradition, dressing smartly and appropriately. You can read all of the dress regulations for Men, Women and Children on their website here.


What to Wear to Melbourne Cup Carnival



Melbourne Cup Carnival

What to Wear to Melbourne Cup Carnival – Dress Codes and Style Guide


Derby Day kicks off the first day of Cup Carnival. It’s a day of classic elegance, traditionally with a monochrome (black and white) colour scheme for women. Men often choose to wear a either a black or grey suit, vest and pants.

Next up is the big one! Melbourne Cup Day… the race that stops the nation. A day where the ladies can inject some fun and colour into their dresses and accessories. It’s the race day to make a bold statement in terms of colour. For men, a beautifully cut suit, with a bold tie which compliments your partner’s ensemble, is perfect. Cup day is THE day to make your strongest fashion statement or wear something (tastefully) daring. Statement heels are always a winner.

Oaks Day is best known as Ladies Day, an occasion to express your own feminine style, amid a spectacular racing backdrop. Embrace your best features, achieved by choosing a dress and accessories which best fit your body type and personality. Choose dresses that flow over your body, like chiffon and silk, or styles that feature floral prints or lace detailing. Team your frocks with a flower crown or complimentary colourful fascinator. Ideal suiting shades for men include navy, linen and light grey.

The final day of the Carnival is Stakes Day. Traditionally known as family day at Flemington, it is the most relaxed of the four days of racing. It’s the day for the little tackers to show their style and a chance for older girls and boys to inject a pleasant mix of understated style and fun. The key is maintaining a classic look without too looking conservative.





Headwear across all the race days for ladies is a must. This spring expect to see lots of hair clips and hats( including pillboxes, trilbies and fedoras), which look fabulous with structured dresses and bold, two-piece suits. These styles look gorgeous finished with netting over the eyes or vintage jewel embellishments.

You can never go wrong with a well made, quality designed fascinator (either headband or comb style, depending on your personal preference). Bows, scarves and jewelled headbands are also on-trend as under stated headwear options.


For a formal finishing touch on each of the race days, Gentlemen can pop the official flower into their buttonhole:

Derby Day – Cornflower

Melbourne Cup Day – Yellow Rose

Oaks Day – Pink Rose

Emirates Stakes Day – Red Rose






So now you’re up to speed, on What to Wear to Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Have a great day out at the races… We’ll see you trackside!






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Emily Collie is Founder and Editor of well-known Australian travel blog, Melbourne Girl. Emily has written travel articles for Expedia, eHarmony, Amex Shop Small Blogger Series and Racing.com, and has been featured on many Australian websites including Mimco Mimzine and Bonds Australia Blog, and was invited on behalf of the VRC and Myer, to judge the Myer Fashions on the Field competition on Emirates Melbourne Cup Day.

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