Spring Racing: Dress Code Survival Guide

Fashion liberation is spreading like wildfire – rules are being broken left right and centre, what’s old is new, what was once sartorial suicide is now the epitome of cool. But in the era of free fashion, the racing calendar is a paucity of particular do’s and don’ts. Racing fashion rules are made to be followed (to a point, let’s not go crazy). So, here are your do’s and don’ts for spring racing, a few of our top shopping edits and the one rule that can be... bent.

Do’s

1. Floral is always a good idea. It is spring racing, after all. Soft, feminine florals are especially perfect for Oaks Day.

2. With the exception of Derby Day, don't be afraid of colour.

3. Opt for beautiful tailoring or floating silhouettes - classic is always best when attending the races.

4. Think about your outfit as a whole and make sure all the different elements—headwear, accessories, shoes, hair, and make-up—work with each other. Don’t try and make a statement with all your pieces. Less is more!

5. Experiment with new trends in millinery and have a bit of fun. If you’ve kept your dress simple, this is a good way to show off your personality.

Don’ts

1. You MUST wear some kind of millinery. Avoid felt or wintery hats and keep it seasonal for spring with straw hats, floral headpieces, traditional millinery or even headbands.

2. Don’t wear anything too tight or too short. The races are about elegance, class and glamour, so embrace it.

3. Don’t wear denim of any kind, shorts and jumpsuits are also a no-go.

4. Don’t wear inappropriate footwear. It sounds simple but finding a comfortable heel that looks amazing is trickier than expected. (We recommend opting for a block heel).

5. Don’t get your race days mixed up. Each one has a specific dress code. Derby Day is monochromatic with clean lines, Melbourne Cup calls for bold colours and defined silhouettes, Oaks Day is for feminine pastels and subdued florals, and Stakes Day is the more casual of the race days, so opt for something less structured.

The Dress

Spring Racing Fashion

Alice McCall Postcard dress in Dusty Peppermint, available on Level 2 at the Macquarie Centre

alice mccall spring racing

Alice McCall Oh So Lovely dress in Sunset, available on Level 2 at Macquarie Centre

spring racing

Aje Georgia maxi dress, available on Level 2 at Macquarie Centre

The Bag

cult gaia

Cult Gaia Acrylic Lilleth bag, available at David Jones, Level 2 Macquarie Centre

Zimmerman hat box bag

Zimmermann hat box bag, available at David Jones, Level 2 Macquarie Centre

The Shoes

Marc Jacobs Aurora mule

Marc Jacobs Aurora mule, available at David Jones, Level 2 Macquarie Centre

Zimmerman weave braid tie heel

Zimmerman weave braid tie heel, available on Level 2 at Macquarie Centre

Mimco Lotus heel, available at Macquarie Centre

Mimco Lotus heel, available on Level 2 at Macquarie Centre

Accessories

Zimmerman single orchid earring

Zimmermann single orchid earring, available on Level 2 at Macquarie Centre

Mimco Sauna stud

Mimco Sauna stud, available on Level 2 at Macquarie Centre

Cult Gaia Mira earring,

Cult Gaia Mira earring, available at David Jones, Level 2 Macquarie Centre

Headwear

Zimmerman flat crown straw hat,

Zimmermann flat crown straw hat, available on Level 2 at Macquarie Centre

Morgan and Taylor Shantung Floppy Bow headband

Morgan and Taylor Shantung Floppy Bow headband, available at David Jones, Level 2 Macquarie Centre

Morgan and Taylor Graphite Crystal Flower headband

Morgan and Taylor Graphite Crystal Flower headband, available at David Jones, Level 2 Macquarie Centre

Mimco Santana crown

Mimco Santana crown, available on Level 2 at Macquarie Centre

The Rule Breaker

Don’t underestimate the power of a good suit. The assumption is that racing means dresses but try a tailored suit, or a wide leg pant with matching top.

 

Zimmerman Corsage tailored pant and jacket

Zimmermann Corsage tailored pant and jacket, available on Level 2 at Macquarie Centre

Sass and Bide Magic Maker pant and cami

Sass and Bide Magic Maker pant and cami, available on Level 2 at Macquarie Centre

Aje Downing blazer and pant

Aje Downing blazer and pant, available at on Level 2 Macquarie Centre.

Article by Jessica Wilkinson, InStyle Magazine