Decoding the dress codes

Written by Garden City Personal Stylist, Peta Preston.

There are occasions where dress codes can do more to hinder a good outfit than help it.  The Spring Racing Carnival however, is an occasion where dress code provides the exact right amount of direction and guidance we need.
With hundreds of fresh trends to digest and endless headwear options, the age-old sartorial guidelines might even be considered handy when considering your race day outfit.  Calling for all-out glamour and sticking to the rules presents a fun chance to embrace outfit and accessory options we'd usually forgo.
Dramatic headpieces, bold beauty looks and scene-stealing accessories.  When else can you really frock up like this?!  Embrace it and leave the midriff, denim and cut out waisted dresses for the nightclubs.
To decode each day's specific dress code - and to make sure you look chic while following the rules, here is a quick break down to get you trackside ready!


With black and white being the only colour palettes, attendees usually take this opportunity to turn the spotlight to structure and accessories.
Whether it's an expertly tailored suit, a cut-out dress or something that embraces volume, gravitate towards bold shapes and clean lines to make the most out of a limited colour wheel.


When it comes to Melbourne Cup, the race that stops then nation, so should your outfit!  It’s all about putting your best fashion foot forward.  Bold colour choices, larger-than-life hats and gravity-defying silhouettes will all be on the menu for the attendees.  If saturated hues are not your thing, a more low-key take is to combine both colour and texture in one.  Think tweed or boucle.  These fabrics give a bold dress an extra sense of elevation.


If you’re into floral patterns, floaty fabrics, delicate lace or feminine spring colours, consider Oaks Day as the Spring Racing Carnival fashion event for you!  Oaks Day (aka Ladies’ Day), celebrates femininity with a dress code that’s gloriously girl-glamour, Spring florals, exaggerated sleeves, lace, ruffles and statement shoulders are the order of the day.

Image via Forever New.