• Susie Wilson

Etiquette At The Races

Etiquette At The Races

By: Susie Wilson Leading Expert

Race Day Etiquette


Female Fashion Etiquette

Remember it’s Daytime Dress appropriately and stick to etiquette. Think classy, sophisticated and head to toe style.

  • Do think well cut dresses that fall to the knee or contemporary takes on the classic suit.

  • Don’t wear outfits mores suited for a nightclub. Leave the short skirts, midriffs and sequins for the evening.

  • Do remember to bring a jacket or pashmina to cover up when the sun begins to set. You will be outside most of the day and don’t want to be cold at the end of the day.

  • Don’t be heavy handed with the make-up. The natural light will expose excess application, so make sure you think natural well blended make-up.

  • Stylist Tip – If you opt for a revealing neckline, then the hemline should be below the knee. It’s all about balance when dressing for the races

Fashion by Season

  • Spring – the time to embrace bright bold colours and floral prints. Open toed shoes, wedges and pumps are appropriate shoes for spring and summer, and hats and fascinators incorporating bright colours, florals and sinnamay (straw).

  • Autumn – time for tailored suiting and felt or structural hats and headpieces in muted tones; think black, grey, tan and aubergine. Lay off the fake tan and shoestring straps. Closed toed shoes and booties are appropriate with stockings for Autumn and Winter.

  • Black and White are ALWAYS in fashion!

Ladies, avoid exposing too much skin - think 'demure'.Make sure you follow the specific dress code for the area of the for which you have a ticket.

Ladies, never remove one's footwear, take a little pair of folded ballet slippers in your clutch. (Dr Scholls fast flats). To give your feet a rest from being up right all day. However, never, ever bare feet.!


You might want your headgear to be elaborate, ornate and enormous, but what about the people who have to stand next to and behind you. Can they see over your hat? Do you risk poking someone's eye out with one of your feathers? Be sure to take your fellow race-goers into consideration when selecting a hat or fascinator.


Everyone wants to place their bets, so wait your turn politely and calmly. Pushing your way through crowds will earn you no brownie points.

Keep loud shouting or screaming to a minimum, ( In fact just don't ) and don't turn the air blue with expletives.

Make sure you are not blocking anyone's view of the racetrack. This is everyone's day, not just yours.

At the bar

Again, don't push to the front of the queue, and be aware of who has been waiting longer than you to be served. Pace yourself: one water, one wine/beer/cocktail, one water, one wine/beer/cocktail, etc. This is possibly the most important rule. Over-indulging and getting very sqiffy and horribly drunk is not the way you want to spend race day.


When having a flutter on the horses, it is best to remember these rules: if you lose, don't sulk or become grumpy - accept your loss gracefully; if you win, don't gloat and rub it in people's faces.

Dressing for Gentleman

The modern day man is beginning to pay much more attention to detail.Think about incorporating patterns, a fine pinstripe in your suit, a check on your shirt, a stripe in your tie.

Do pay attention to your shoes, pointed boot and stylish lace-ups might be your thing, but always make sure they are polished and clean and don’t clash with your outfit.

Do match accessories and pay attention to detail. The extra touches can make a great difference with cuff links, belt, watches, ties and ties clips and a hat if you choose to wear one.Do wear a flower in your button hole if the occasion calls. Big carnival days have a certain flower to match the day, for example the Golden Slipper is a yellow rose.

Melbourne Australia Spring Racing Carnival Dates

20th & 21st October 2017 - Caulfield Cup – Spring Racing Carnival

20th & 21st October 2017 - Cox Plate - Spring Racing Carnival

3rd & 4th November 2017 - Derby Day – Spring Racing Carnival

6th & 7th November 2017 - Melbourne Cup – Spring Racing Carnival

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