How to: dress for Melbourne Cup without breaking the bank


You don't need a tonne of cash to look a million dollars this Race Day.  Here are our tips to dress well on the cheap this Melbourne Cup Day.

Raid Your Wardrobe

Before running out and buying a new dress, suss out your current wardrobe.  Keep in mind that structured dresses automatically look more expensive and polished, while a midi length is associated with elegance and money, thus also appearing more expensive than a minidress.

Is there anything that can be updated?  

Adding lace panels or cutouts are great ways to add interest to a plain dress, or bling up the neckline with beads and sequins.  Cheap and cheerful jewelry from Lovisa (or Diva back in the day) lying around unworn?  Remove any cool beads or diamantes that can be repurposed to amp up a plain dress.


Shop Online

Can't bring yourself to rehash the same dresses?  There's still time to buy online!  We love ASOS and The Iconic for pure range and great returns options. 

The great thing about online retailers is how quickly they can get a runway trend to your door.  

For example, lace is huge this season and we love Alex Perry's red lacey number from Myer (left)... but can't justify parting with $1700.

Pretty Little Things do a red lacy option (pictured right) that comes in at a sweet $70.  Bonus: with the shorter sleeves and lighter shade, you'll be less Wintery than the original.



Popsugar has compiled a great list of dresses under $250 here.  As well as structure, we're looking out for bright colours and off-the-shoulder designs to be on trend come November 1st.

If  you have a little more cash, our picks are Ted Baker and Review for beautiful structured dresses in pretty floral prints.



Get Creative with Headpieces

Simple elegance from Who Loves That Blog (pictured right) - you won't believe how easy this is!  Or if you have a friend handy, experiment with weaving foam flowers into braids for a whimsical look.

Spotlight also sell DIY fascinators - pick up a few flowers, feathers, sequins, whatever takes your fancy and go crazy.  You can be certain no one else will have the same design!

Or dig out that old boater hat and do like Jessica Gomes (pictured below).  You can even add some bright feathers - if not on Melbourne Cup Day then when?



Mix and Match Accessories

It can be easy to get caught up in trying to match your shoes, bag and headpiece - this is where some of us can come undone.  Don't be afraid to pair shoes you already own - especially in neutral colours that complement the outfit.

Check out It-Girl Gigi's appearance at the Cup in 2014 - how to mix it up with multicolour shoes, clear bag and gold/pink head piece! Crazy!



If you're planning to go to the races, maybe invest in a pair of on-trend block heels to avoid sliding into the grass.  Opted for stilettos?  No problem, pick up a pair of Starlettos to protect your precious heels.  


And remember if you need any extra cash to get your look perfect, we've got you.  Apply here for up to $1900 in your bank account for Melbourne Cup Day.