PHOTOGRAPHY: Michael Blamey

  • Please note while I love the fashion element of the carnival, I am not endorsing the horse racing element of the cup and do not mean to upset anyone with this post. I adore horses and grew up around horses so I hope we can keep any comments fashion related. 

It’s the most fashionable time of the year! Spring racing carnival hits and Melbourne has more hats than a royal wedding. The shops are flooded with dresses and racewear accessories, but how do you pick the winners? Money does not the stylish woman make. With a bit of research anyone can do the races in style.

When looking for inspiration there are a million photos of the slim set you can find, but if you want some tips on dressing different body shapes, scroll on…

This year botanical prints, feminine frills, embellishments and bold bright colours are in. Combine those with the basic race day rules and we have a starting point.



Race wear rule reminder according to Vogue:

“No spaghetti straps and no strapless, nothing above the knee and always wear appropriate headwear”


While strapless is technically a no-no, the off the shoulder trend has found a way around this. This beautiful linen shocking pink jumpsuit comes in first in so many ways. The fem frills are just the right size that even a busty girl like me can get away with it! The little puff sleeves attach at the sides meaning the frill is broken up and doesn’t make you look as broad as a traditional off the shoulder frill. They can also be positioned to cover any area of the upper arm that you’d rather not show off with a soft elastic that doesn’t cut in! The wide pant is a great option if you have any leg concerns. It’s comfortable, skimming and you’re not standing & sitting with your legs bound together all afternoon.

An elegant headband is still appropriate and I’m bringing the botanical theme to this look with the glossy white, magnolia like petal design and pairing it with these ceramic white blossom earrings. The thicker almost leatheresque fabric petals, elevate the linen to race worthy. Although in Australia Linen is always ok, if you have a steamer, and catch the train!


Elasticised panels in the upper back mean most cup sizes can have a try of this one!


Lace is always a classic and when combined with the botanical theme and bright colour you’re onto a winner. Whether you do this in a full skirt or opt for a more fitted look it remains both elegant and fun. Opt for a thicker lace for the luxe look. The high neckline is back but with this sleeve length and the delicate cut outs to break it up, most body shapes could make it work. The frill around the base comes to life when walking and is a lot of fun!

The trend this year is towards more structured hats rather than simple bows or clips. Let’s be real, why are you wasting your time with a bow anyway? A bit of fabric around a ponytail is not “appropriate headwear” by any stretch and you could be having way more fun! This bespoke take a boater is perfect! The touches of lemon slices are also perfectly on trend heading into spring / summer, where citrus designs will be popular again!


The tie back on this one means that again it can suit a variety of bust sizes! Seems designers are starting to incorporate the sizing hacks busty girls love to find.

Obviously the Spring Racing carnival celebrates the bright summer fashions but Derby Day requires a strictly black and white ensemble. I also wanted to feature a two part outfit for you so again you can get that size flexibility. While I love the chance to wear white I know the uber feminine look isn’t for everyone, so I wanted to give you an edgier combo. This cropped leather jacket makes a bold statement which can be hard when your colour palette is limited. It also keeps you warm and gives you a waist! Teaming the leather with this black lace skirt softens the overall look and the sheer bottom half means were sticking to the below the knee rule but getting a glimpse of leg too.

While the trends have probably moved on from crowns, I wanted to incorporate the metallic gold in rather than expected white head piece. It’s going to take more than a trend alert to take the crown off this princess! I’ve paired it with black tassel earrings because they are still very much in this season.

WEATHER TIP: It’s November and technically Spring but we are still in Melbourne folks, and that means an inevitable downpour. I highly recommend a clear raincoat to keep you dry and warm without covering up all your hard styling work!

So there you have it. Feel free to ask about brands or concepts in the comments below. Happy Styling! And remember whatever you wear…

Be You!

Own it!