Hooray! Hooray! The sun is shining. The weather is warming up. Spring is finally here. Let’s ditch those winter woolies and gallop into spring.

And nothing says “Spring” like SPRING RACING!

The Sydney Spring Racing Carnival officially commenced September 7 and will run until November 9. The headline acts are the $14 million event - The Everest (1200m) - at Randwick on October 19 and the newly-created $7.5m Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill on November 2.

Now that we all sound like we know what we’re talking about, let’s get to the important stuff ….. FASHION! There is always a strict dress code for the races. Dress regulations vary from one turf club to the next, however as a rule denim, shorts, playsuits and midriff bearing ensembles are a definitive no-no.

In addition, there are four fabulous days a year where the dress code is further defined.

DERBY DAY - Thursday 31st October

This is the first official race of Flemington’s Melbourne Cup Carnival. Traditionally, this is the day of monochrome – black and white are the theme of the occasion. ”Monochromatic” by definition means dressing in one tone only, however it is becoming acceptable to mix black and white, and even shades of grey on Derby Day. Think understated elegance, sophistication and old school tradition. It believed that Derby Day attire was inspired by Audrey Hepburn in the movie My Fair Lady. The black and white dress code was immortalised in the film during the Ascot scene.

Whilst fashionistas may feel that being restricted by this limited colour palette is about as challenging as a game of noughts and crosses, behold! There are advantages. By wearing black you have an exceptional chance of returning home in the same state that you arrived in ie no red wine, food or grass stains down the front / back / side of you!

Melbourne Cup – Tuesday November 6

Melbourne Cup Day is the next filly on the field. It is the race that stops the nation and therefore requires the three F’s - Fashion Forward Fablousness!

The mantra for this day is extravagance, grandeur and colour. This is truly the day to make your strongest fashion statement by bringing your a-game to the track and, in the words of the great Captain Kirk describing the Starship Enterprise, “to go where no (wo)man has gone before!” Bold, brave and badass are the order of the day. Think colour blocking and avant garde headwear. Dress in the colour of your favourite jockey, wiggle or muppet, but make it just as fun, bold and colourful. 

CROWN OAKS Day - Thursday November 7 

This event is also commonly known as Ladies Day. Btw I’m still unsure as to the exact definition of “Lady” but anyway … I digress.

In stark contrast to Melbourne Cup, Crown Oaks day is all about ethereal softness, femininity and ladylike vibes. Imagine polo, pims parties and croquet ….. if that’s not working for you (it didn’t for me either) resort to delicate fabrics such as silk, chiffon or lace paired with florals, soft pastels and muted hues which are always an odds on favourite.

Emirates stake’s day - Saturday 9th November

Being the least formal day of the Spring Racing Calendar, and also known as Family Day, the dress code reflects the relaxed feel of finality of filly fever. Youngsters are welcome, and comfort and practicality is key, whilst remaining classic and polished. Jumpsuits, flat shoes and youthful energy is omnipresent.


Elysian Collective has edited the best of your racing ‘mare essentials’ (plus so many EXTRA extras) to ensure you look like the Makybe Diva that you are!


So now you know. Ready, set, go and GIDDY UP!






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