Off and racing: Anna’s guide to the Spring Racing Carnival

The Spring Racing Carnival is one of my favourite times of year – it’s the perfect excuse to dress up and bring out the hats and fascinators. Derby Day, Cup Day and Oaks Day come in at the top of my list, and each has its own set of rules when it comes to your wardrobe. Forget about tipping horses and jockeys… my guide to the Spring Racing Carnival is all about making sure you’re a winner in the style stakes.


Derby Day

The first big race of the Melbourne Cup Carnival is Derby Day, which takes place on Saturday 3 November this year. I just love the classic black and white dress code of Derby Day – this sophisticated palette is always in fashion. Enhance this timeless look with a slightly smoky eye or statement lip.


The Melbourne Cup

This is the big one – the Melbourne Cup may be the race that stops the nation, but it’s also one of the biggest days in Australian fashion. Bright and colourful are the signatures of the Melbourne Cup, so bust out your boldest hues and statement headwear for Tuesday 6 November. Don’t be afraid to pick something a little exotic for your headwear because that is all the rage these days.

Oaks Day

Also known as Ladies’ Day, Oaks Day on Thursday 8 November is all about pretty florals and softer tones. Embrace your feminine side with lace, floral headpieces and pastel-pretty makeup. This look from last year’s Caulfied Cup would work a treat on Oaks Day.

Stakes Day

Wrapping up a week of high fashion and high heels is Stakes Day, also known as Family Day. The most relaxed day of the Spring Racing Carnival, Stakes Day can see you comfortably pull off a maxi dress and wedges. On that note, here’s a word of caution for the shoe department from a seasoned race day veteran: opting for a lower heel and a chunkier style will reduce the likelihood of a foot-hangover in the morning.


Spring Racing Carnival beauty must-haves

Protect yourself: whether you’re moving between marquees in the Birdcage or picnicking in the Nursery, sun protection is a must during the Spring Racing Carnival. Use a tinted moisturiser that contains sunscreen for an extra shield.


Clean the day away: at the end of a big day at the races, I double down on the cleansing routine by removing my makeup with micellar pure cleansing water, then using a deep cream cleanser to remove any traces of dirt.


Get your beauty sleep: this jam-packed week can start to take its toll, so before bed I apply a dose of antioxidant soothing eye serum to reduce puffy eyes and dark circles, and a night restoring cream to ensure I’m ready to put my best face forward again.


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