Melbourne Cup: What To Wear + The Do’s & Don’ts

The Spring Racing season has started and the biggest day of them all, The Melbourne Cup, is just around the corner. It’s one of the biggest days in fashion (ahem and horse racing) in Australia and often outfits are planned months in advance. However if you haven’t given much thought into your outfit stress less! Stay ahead of the style pack with my race day do’s and don’ts. I have also put together three complete looks to suit any style from classic feminine vibes, to the new “maxi dress” (aka the jumpsuit) and lastly the a quirky & fun outfit that is bound to turn heads for all the right reasons.

Don’t: go overboard with the fake tan. If applying fake tan (yes I understand sickly pale can be just as bad as oompah orange) do so several days before so that your tan has a chance to settle and you time to fix any imperfections. Plus by applying several days before you are less likely to leave fake tan smears on your carefully planned outfit.

Do: apply sunblock! It is a must! A fake tan does not prevent you from getting burnt and sunburnt skin is not a good look on anybody (plus the increased risks of cancer).

Don’t: go too short with the hemlines. The Melbourne Cup is all about tradition and class, this means mini skirts are best saved for your next Saturday night out with the girls. Remember you will be standing, sitting, bending etc all day long and nobody wants to see your underwear or you constantly tugging your dress hem down. Choose hemlines that sit just above the knee or lower to ensure you are comfortable no matter what situation you are in during the day.

Do: go with your own true sense of style. If this means ultra fem then go all out! If you naturally like colourful outfits than don’t be afraid to let your true style vibe show! The more confident you are in your outfit the more comfortable you’ll be on the day.

Don’t: take a teensy tiny purse. Not only do you have to take all those necessities (see above) but it is important that you can go hands free. Choose a bag that will fit all that you need and is large enough to tuck under you arm thus keeping your hands free – or better yet choose a clutch that also has a shoulder strap or chain! Now you can place your bets and enjoy a glass of champagne.

Do: enjoy yourself and celebrate your wins (or commiserate if that happens to be the case!) Just don’t go overboard. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, stay classy and fabulous (you don’t want to be that person on the nightly News).

Don’t: wear stiletto heels. For one you’ll be sinking and getting stuck in the grass all day long (plus risk ruining a beautiful pair of heels!) Secondly you’ll have sore feet before the main race of the day even starts & no you are to never, ever take your shoes off! Bare feet and heels in hand at the end of the day is the biggest no no of the Melbourne Cup! (Remember stay classy ladies!) If you want to wear heels go for a block heel – they are sturdy, don’t sink in the grass and are a lot more comfortable – you’ll look fabulous from start to finish! Or if heels don’t bother you choose a strappy pair or flats (Senso make divine ones! My favourite at the Gia or Gabriel.)


Now, do you need some outfit inspiration? These 3 looks are bound to put you on the best dressed list, plus for extra bonus points every look showcases amazing Australian designers.

Look 1: The Fem Fatale

Spring Racing Outfit 1

Dress: Verbena Maxi Dress by Bruug

Headpiece: Crown Floral Headband by Reny Kestel

Clutch: Chloe Studded Fold Over Clutch by Jessica Bratich

Shoes: Mani Heels by Wittner


Look 2: The Floaty Jumpsuit

Spring Racing Outfit 2


Jumpsuit: The Time and Place Jumpsuit by Via22 (available at Clique Arcade)

Headpiece: Star Headband by Love Rocks (available at ASOS)

Clutch: Zane II Clutch by From St Xavier (available at The Iconic)

Heels: The Bomb Heels by Mr & Mare (available from The Iconic)


Look 3: The Risk Taker

Spring Racing Outfit 3

Dress: Deville Shift by Gorman

Skirt: Gold Rush Skirt by Gorman

Hat: Plexus Boater by Reny Kestel

Clutch: DNTMC Clutch by Poppy Lissiman

Heels: Ozi Heels by Sol Sana (available from The Iconic)


Have a fabulous Melbourne Cup!

JB xx

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