My List of Dos & Don’ts – Spring Racing Carnival Outfit Planning

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If you are going to the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival this year, no doubt you have already started to think about what you are going to wear. What I love most about going to the races is planning my outfits and getting all dressed up. It's not every day that I get to wear a headpiece!

Planning outfits for the races isn't always a fun experience for some. To help you, below are my Dos and Don'ts when it comes to planning your outfits for the Spring Racing Carnival.


  1. Don't have more than 1 hero piece.
  2. Don't feel you have to wear a suit or a dress. Separates (a blazer with chinos or skirt and tops) are great because you can get more wear out of them after the Carnival.
  3. Don't feel like you have to match all your accessories in the same colour (e.g. a yellow tie worn with a yellow pocket square or shoes, hairpiece and bag in the same colour).  Mix complementary colours into your outfits instead.


  1. Do follow the dress code set for the particular racing days, especially on the following race days:
    • Derby Day - stick to monochrome. Take your stunning black and white outfit out (all white, all black or a mix).  Gentlemen can get away with a charcoal/grey suit.
    • Melbourne Cup Day - Go bold and be extravagant! You'll see the most striking headpieces on Cup Day.
    • Oaks Day -  Feminine colours and patterns.
    • Stakes Day - go for a more relaxed look when you plan your outfit.
  2. Do inject your personality into the outfit. For men, accessories like pocket squares, ties and cufflinks are one of the easiest ways you can do this.
  3. Do pay attention to the shoes you wear. They need to be comfortable enough to be worn for the whole day. Gentlemen, polish your shoes, check that there are no scuff marks on them and do you need to replace your shoelaces?
  4. Do have a hero piece (your headwear, dress, tie or shirt) that you build the outfit around.
  5. Do read my blog on spring fashion trends for some inspiration.
  6. Do have fun planning your outfits.
  7. Do consult Styling by Lumiere to get the best advice on the outfit that makes you feel great on the day.

You can read the dress guidelines set by the Victorian Racing Club here.

What are some of your Dos and Don'ts when it comes to planning an outfit for the Spring Racing Carnival? Comment below.

Here are some outfit inspirations for you. John is one of my clients who gave me the challenge of creating 15+ racing outfits for last year's Spring Racing Carnival. There are a few pictures of me from over the years as well.

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