Personally, I love a themed race day. Although the dress code can pose a challenge by narrowing down your choices, the element of restriction can really get the creative juices flowing.

It’s fun having to find new ways to incorporate colours or shapes into an outfit and you just have to take a look around to realise that a dress code does not mean everyone will arrive wearing the same thing. Far from it!

Take Stradbroke Cup for example, the theme was black and white with a touch of red. Not one fashionable lady looked alike.

stradbroke cup day black white touch red

Let’s take a look at some popular race day themes and how women have incorporated it into their outfits.

The Ever Popular Black and White (e.g. Derby Day)

Derby Day in Melbourne is such a fantastic day for people watching. The diverse and creative ways in which women interpret the theme of black and white, showing up in such beautiful ensembles is a joy to see.

Derby day black and white

Derby Day What to wear

Image Credit: On Track On Trend

Ways to approach the black and white theme:

• All white
• All black
• A mixture of black & white
• All white with black accessories
• All black with white accessories
• A printed black and white fabric

When you are limited to black and white, you can add detail by varying your textures. Choose a textured fabric, like leather, baroque, lace, or a fabric with an interesting finish.

Or use beading, feathers, an unusual trim to ensure your outfit stands out!!

Click here for a more comprehensive guide that includes 22 different ways to wear black and white.

A Touch of Colour (e.g. Stradbroke Day)

‘A Touch of Colour’ themed days are fun and easy. With so many accessories to choose from, it’s not hard to find an interesting way to incorporate an extra colour into an outfit.

a touch of colour theme day
touch of red colour themed race day

Although some women use the extra colour as the main event, some judges frown upon that so it’s safer to adhere to the ‘a touch of’ rule.

For Stradbroke Day I made my own red brooch and sewed it onto my dress. I also wore red lipstick, as did almost every woman there!

Ways to add a touch of colour:

• Clutch
• Gloves
• Shoes
• Belt
• Millinery
• Coloured fabric
• Trim
• Sleeves
• collar

A Touch of Metallic (e.g. Doomben 10,000 Day)

What a great excuse to wear SEQUINS!! It’s no secret, I’m all about sequins and a strong believer that there’s no reason why they have to be limited to nightclubs.

Worn the right way, sequins on a bag, a crown or a trim can look super chic at the races. But that’s me, your idea of ‘a touch of metallic’ might be something totally different.