Ultimate Style Guides

Melbourne Cup Fashion and Dress Code for 2019

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Customer Happiness Team

September 4, 2019

Model (left to right) wearing Pasduchas – Dynasty Waterfall Midi, By Johnny – V Neck Bow Shoulder Dress, Rebecca Vallance – Sienna Jacket, Talulah

The countdown is on to the fashion event of the year! If you’re wondering what to wear to the Melbourne Cup, look no further. We’ve got all the Melbourne Cup fashion rules right here to help you pick out an outfit that will turn heads for all the right reasons. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the Melbourne Cup dress code for 2019.

What to Wear to Melbourne Cup and Dress Regulations

Members’ Areas

In keeping with the prestigious nature of this historic race, the Melbourne Cup dress code for the members’ areas demands a high standard and is strictly enforced. You should make sure that you avoid wearing any of the following:

Although not on the official list of forbidden fashions, strapless dresses, and those with straps less than an inch thick is traditionally avoided. Note that you are expected to wear a fascinator or hat to the event.

Corporate Hospitality and Dining Areas

While not subject to the strict dress code of the members’ enclosure, if you are attending a corporate hospitality or dining area, you will still need to maintain a suitable standard of racewear attire. Be sure to dress tastefully and smartly. If in doubt, you won’t go wrong by following the rules for the members’ areas.

General Admission

There’s no formal dress code for the general admission area, so you can really put some imagination into your 2019 Melbourne Cup fashion – but once again, keep it tasteful and classy. Fancy dress, rips, lots of bare skin, denim, or casual wear is still not acceptable.So – we’ve covered what you can’t wear to the Melbourne Cup. Now let’s talk about what you can wear!

How To Wear The Top Fashion Trends For This Year’ Melbourne Cup

Fabulous Florals

Florals are hot this season, and there are a few key rules to remember to ensure you get the most out of this feminine springtime look.

Model wearing Talulah – Cloud Nine Midi Dress

Pretty Pastels

Spring and pastels go together hand-in-hand, and this delicate trend will be sure to make a seasonal splash on Melbourne Cup day.

Model wearing Bec and Bridge – Velveteen Dream Slip Dress

Pop Of Colour

The Melbourne Cup is the perfect race to make a bold statement with a bright splash of colour. This trend is so easy to wear and combine with a variety of other trends like ruffles and florals.

Model wearing Rebecca Vallance – Sienna Jacket & Moss and Spy – Ciel Skirt


Add some feminine flair to your race day look with ruffles and frills. These are a great way to add movement and structure to your outfit.

Model wearing Talulah - Fuscia Delight Mini Dress

Top Off Your Melbourne Cup Look With On-Trend Millinery

Your Melbourne Cup fashion adventure isn’t complete without the season’s hottest headwear! But do you choose a fascinator, a full hat or a headband? Check out our guide to selecting your perfect race day headpiece. Before you pick your ideal Melbourne Cup look, here are a few things to consider:

Choose a headpiece that suits the shape of your face

If you have a long face, a fascinator or button hat worn to the side will help to add balance. If your face is round, opt for long lines and asymmetrical brims that slant away from your face.If you have a square face, choose round, soft lines or flowers and feather trims to soften your look. If you’re lucky enough to have an oval face, then almost any kind of headpiece will suit you!

Matching your outfit

Don’t be tempted to try for an exact colour-match, which is hard to achieve, and near-misses will be obvious. Instead, opt for a complementary colour, or a common theme that ties your headpiece, your clutch and your shoes together, like a tone or a metallic detail.

Consider your hair

What style will you wear, and how will your headwear sit? Your hair colour is important, too. A dark headpiece will be lost against black hair.

Your headpiece should harmonise with your dress

A large, structured bow or dramatic crown of flowers will look great with a dress that has a simple, clean lines. Wide-brimmed hats work particularly well with longer dresses. If you have a bold dress with lots of textures and colours, keep your headpiece small and simple There you have it – your guide to Melbourne Cup fashion for 2019. If you’re looking for more spring racing inspiration, check out our full collection of on-trend looks for this season. One last thing: don’t forget the most important Melbourne Cup fashion rule – have fun!

Watch our Spring Racing Edit 2019

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