Style Tips

Melbourne Cup Dress Code: What to Wear

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Customer Happiness Team

September 7, 2016

melbourne cup
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The Melbourne Cup dress code is all about having fun with your outfit. Melbourne Cup day usually sees a lot of bright and bold colours and statement headpieces. Try to avoid wearing black, and leave those more darker muted tones for Derby Day. Melbourne Cup day is all about breaking boundaries and taking your creativity as far as your imagination can go! The best place to start is with a bright and eye-catching dress, and luckily we have rounded up 5 of our fave eye-popping outfits that are also available to rent on the day and throughout the spring carnival season. Let the races begin!



This year’s trend is seeing a lot of metallics or neutral accessories to complement bold dresses. For bright outfits such as this gorgeous orange strapless gown by Talulah, instead of accessorizing with brights or colour, try opting for black accessories for a much more subdued and classy look. This also works well for those styles of dresses which can be hard to accessorize or find a complementing colour to accent with.



This neon Maticevski dress is a Melbourne Cup stand-out. Bright, bold and high-fashion, this gown is perfect on its own with a nude heel and clutch. If you are opting for a headpiece, a structured fascinator in black will complement and mimic the dramatic edges and detail of the dress. When wearing brights, make sure that everything else is neutral. On the nails, black nail polish will add a great contrast to this outfit. Keep makeup natural and skin bronzed to ensure this dress pops.




Spring racing carnival season evokes soft & pretty hues and fabrics. A feminine, subtle blush tone looks beautiful on any skin tone and can be easily styled with nude or blush accessories. To glam up this Adele gown from Grace & Hart, try accessorizing with rose gold or gold shoes and jewelry to really embrace this season’s metallic trend and add some vamp to your outfit.




For a classic look, try a sleeved lace gown in a soft powder blue like this beautiful Tryst gown. Make the soft tone pop with gold accessories, or go bohemian with loose, tousled waves and a stylish headband like this detailed gold filagree leaf metal headband available to rent and style with your next spring racing outfit.



Red is always a classic look and is effortlessly bold and vibrant. Give this eye-catching trend a modern mix by opting for this Bed of Roses dress; a two piece with lace overlay. Style with a complementing red headpiece such as this Morgan and Taylor fascinator for a beautiful contrast, or alternatively opt for a slender nude heel and minimal accessories for a chic look.

Melbourne Cup Dress Code: Do’s & Dont’s

Do have fun with your outfit and play with colour! Melbourne Cup day is about pushing the envelope fashion-wide and enjoying yourself. Go for the brightest dress you can find and play around with accessories to find your perfect look.

Do go for a statement headpiece in a matching colour to your outfit. But try mixing it up a bit and opt for all-black or all-metallic accessories for a unique look, especially for those outfits that are hard to style.

Do pay attention to details. Make sure your nails aren’t chipped and makeup is polished and clean. It helps to stash some blotting tissues and a tube of lipstick with you for those mid-afternoon touch-ups.

Don’t wear anything too revealing or skimpy. Also, excessive embellishments such as sequins is best worn sparingly. Remember, Melbourne Cup takes place during the harsh light of day so you want to dress accordingly. This goes for makeup as well; make sure to apply makeup in natural light to avoid ‘cake face’.

Don’t wear anything that is impractical. Yes, you want to look your best, but you also need to think about comfort. If the weather looks like it will be wet or unpleasant, try switching the stilettos for a thick heel or a wedge.


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