The Melbourne Cup Carnival is a world class carnival attracting horses, jockeys and punters alike from all around the world to experience the thrill and excitement of being trackside.   For racing enthusiasts there is nothing quite like a day at the races!

The ES Lifestyle team have compiled some of of our key etiquette tips and tricks to prepare our members for the upcoming AAMI Derby Day and Emirates Melbourne Cup Day.

The Melbourne Cup Carnival comes with strict race wear etiquette for both ladies and the gents. This tradition stems from a formal dress code handed down by generations of racing clubs and their proud members.

David Jones SR3AAMI Victoria Derby Day 
Derby Day at Spring Carnival is the day for classic elegance.  Traditionally, Derby Day is about black and white for the ladies, while men often chose to wear a grey morning suit, peacock vest and pin-stripe pants.

Emirates Melbourne Cup Day
On Emirates Melbourne Cup Day, it is the time to be fashion daring.  This is the day that race enthusiasts take the opportunity to showcase their fashion statement.  Emirates Melbourne Cup Day is is all about COLOUR!


There are four days of racing at Flemington during Melbourne Cup Week, and each race day has an official flower.  Derby Day is a Corn Flower, Melbourne Cup Day is a Yellow Rose, Crown Oaks Day is a Pink Rose, and on Emirates Stakes Day is it traditional to wear a Red Rose.

Kris SmithES Lifestyle Team Fashion Racing Fashion Do’s and Don’ts
Dress appropriately and stick to the racing etiquette, think sophistication head to toe style.

  • Do wear well cut dresses that fall to the knee
  • Don’t go crazy with fake tan, pale tan can be elegant
  • Don’t wear outfits more suited for a nightclub
  • The weather can be variable, do remember to bring a jacket or pashmina to cover up when the sun begins to set
  • Handbag essentials – iPhone, compeed blister pack, lip balm, cash
  • Shoes for the ladies – Open toed shoes, wedges and pumps that will take you from day to night
  • Hats and fascinators incorporating black and white for Derby Day and bright colours, florals and straw
  • Dress code for the gents is strict, so always wear a suit, shirt and tie with leather shoes.  Match your shoe colour or go darker than your suit for the most well-groomed look.
  • Do wear a buttonhole flower or pocket square – bring the colour of the flower into your shirt or tie to create a harmonious and cohesive look
  • Gents have fun mixing prints like wearing a pinstripe suit, with a fine check shirt, a spotted tie and paisley pocket square. They key to mixing prints is to relate the colours, but differentiate the patterns
  •  A hat for the gents can be extremely stylish, whilst also keeping the sun off our face



MJ Bale Spring Racing Fashion