With Spring racing now in full swing and ladies busy planning their Melbourne Cup week outfits, I thought it was a great time to share a snippet from my 2019 Spring Racing Fashion Trends Report.

Each year I write a report on what is trending this Spring/Summer race season, covering topics such as popular race day brands, new season colours, trends, accessories and millinery styles.

For the extensive report, download your own copy here: www.milanoimai.com/2019-trends-report/

There is a heap of visual inspiration and examples and talks about each section listed below, in depth.

2019 spring racing fashion trends report comprehensive guide

Popular Racing Fashion Brands

Dressing for the races has its own particular style. Racing fashion is tricky to define as it’s certainly not what you would wear to a night club, or to the bar, it’s not cocktail or evening wear and it’s much dressier than resort or day wear.

Race wear is classy and modest, classic with a modern twist. Tailored silhouettes are preferred, with careful styling that considers all details from the hair right down to the toenail polish.

When searching for race wear, we need brands that meet a certain set of criteria. Elements such as the right length, a unique design, a luxe fabric or stand out print, a beautiful silhouette and the right colours to make us feel like a million bucks at the track!

Here are my 4 top picks for racewear brands to shop:

  • Rachel Gilbert: This brand features on-trend silhouettes, intricate hand embellishments and modern designs that ooze an air of luxury.
  • Roksanda: Known for their elegant longer line dresses, stand out colour blocking, sculptural shapes and full sleeves.
  • Rotate by Birger Christensen: A new brand to Myer, featuring an array of 80’s inspired dresses in simple lines and feminine shapes cut from luxurious materials.
  • Acler: The Acler brand offers a range of dresses and skirts with clean tailoring, paired with volume and bold colours.

Another 6 hot brands that are trending this season can be found on the full Trends Report.

2019 popular racewear brands

Image: Rachel Gilber, Roksanda

trending race dresses blue and yellow dress

Image: Rotate, Acler

2019 Racewear Trends

Every year, new trends emerge from couture runway shows, style influencers and other sash winners. Trends are often carried from season to season, but often with a new twist.

This year, 4 trends we will see are:

  • Voluminous Sleeves: Sleeves are my favourite way to spice up an outfit and big voluminous sleeves are taking centre stage this year.
  • Shorter Hemlines: Shorter hemlines are finally creeping their way into the usually midi-length dominated FOTF stages. The trick to wearing a shorter hemline is to create volume in the outfit (i.e the sleeves/skirt/ higher neckline) so the short length is balanced out.
  • Pleats: Pleats can create such beautiful movement, texture and dimension to an outfit. They have a lovely air of luxe about them!
  • Loud prints; polka dots, stripes and big blooms: Prints will once again be popular this spring, with stripes, polka dots and big blooms stealing the scene.
2019 hottest race day trends Voluminous sleeves, shorter hemlines, pleats

Voluminous sleeves, shorter hemlines, pleats. Image credit: Caroline Herrera, vogue.com, isabelsanchis.com

Bold Print Trends: Polka dots, stripes and big blooms

Polka dots, stripes and big blooms. Image credit: vogue.com

For details and photo examples of these trends, as well as 7 additional racewear trends, check out the full Trends Report.

New Season Colours

I am a big believer that there are no right or wrong colours to wear in your racing outfits. You should always wear what you love and a colour that suits you and your complexion.

One fun trend coming back around in 2019 is neon colours! They are being seen on runways everywhere. Although they can be tricky to pull off, you don’t always have to rock a full neon outfit, you can accessorise with a touch of neon in your shoes, bag, millinery or accessories.

2019 spring colour trends melbourne cup

Images: vogue.com

If you’re struggling to decide on your colour palette, check out this post about popular colour combinations which has 71 photo examples.

2019 Millinery Trends

The races are all about fabulous frocks and spectacular millinery. Your race day ensemble really isn’t complete without a hat, and with so many styles and varieties available, there really is something to suit everyone.

Some popular hat styles this year are:

  • Rear Facing Hats: My favourite trend to emerge this year is rear facing hat styles and bows at the back of the head. These will definitely be popular at the track and are great for those not wanting a large headpiece.
  • Bandeau/ Bonnet Style: Bandeau’s and bonnet styles are a super cute look to try this season. They can be made in an array of different fabrics, embellishments or left plain.
  • Top Hat: A funky option for those on the quirky side of style, top hats this spring are being made in an array of colours, from light straw, sinamay and other fabric styles.
  • Berets: Berets are such a cute little hat, they would suit an outfit that you are trying to keep refined and chic.
Latest trends for millinery Rear facing hat, bandeau/bonnet

Images: Rear facing hat by @clairehahnmillinery, bandeau/bonnet by @cessiahalicemillinery

new hat styles in 2019: pink top hat and beret milliner trends

Images: Top hat by @evetildawn, beret by @peacockmillinery

For an in-depth look at each style plus 13 more styles, download the full Trends Report.


I absolutely adore accessories and thanks to the wide world of online shopping there is no shortage of beautiful bags, shoes and jewellery to choose from.


For jewellery my 2 favourite styles are pearl earrings and chunky metal styles. I love the way they can add glam to your outfit and there are so many beautiful options available online.

Pearl Earrings as seen on the Myer State Final Competition Entrants:

pearl earring jewellery trend with race hats

Images: www.fotf.com.au Kash, Elena, Ellie

2019 race day jewellery and accessory trends

Images: www.fotf.com.au Stacey, Viera, Peta

Chunky Metal Styles:

chunky gold earrings

Images: Net-a-Porter, Shopbop, Shopbop

Check out the full Trends Report to find 4 more trending accessory styles.


There are so many designers out there who create such unique, stand out bags that there really is something to suit every outfit.

This season, my two favourite bag trends are clear and feathered bags.

clear clutch and feathery bag trend

Images: Net-a-Porter

Each year there are so many new designs of clear bags! They look great with just about every outfit!

Feathery bags are a fun trend out at the moment. Feathers add texture to an outfit, so if you have something that is quite plain, a feathered bag could be just the added touch needed to add some pizzazz.

Funky Bags as seen on the 2019 Myer National FOTF Competition Entrants:

unique funky stylish bags for the races

Images: www.fotf.com.au

2019 must have on-trend accessories bags

Images: www.fotf.com.au

2019 racing fashion trend predictions

Images: www.fotf.com.au

For 5 more bag trends, see the full Trends Report.


Heels are always a fun way to spice up your outfit. My two favourite choices this 2019 spring are Slingback heels and mules.

Slingback heels are sassy and a little bit sexy, they have a high fashion vibe about them that I love! Mules suit modern chic outfits, and I love the variation in straps and heel designs you can find.

slingback and mule shoe trends in 2019

Images: Pretty Little Thing, The Iconic

slingback heels and mules shoe trends

Images: Pretty Little Thing, Shop Bop

Fabric covered belts

Fabric covered belts to match the fabric in your outfit is the most popular way to wear your belts this season. Here are a few stunning outfits of late featuring the trend…