So you want to dress up and look fab come Melbourne cup but don’t want to splurge?
These 6 simple tips might help.

1.       Ditch the fascinator and opt for a flower clip or a nice headband instead.  I went to a polo game one time and wore my pearl cat ears headband (before everyone got one) and it was a conversation magnet. You can get some decent hair ornaments for less than $10 from shops like Colette or Diva or if you’re the creative type, make your own.

2.       When buying a dress, remember to work with your body. Look for a dress that flatters your body shape.  If a certain cut looks good on you, stick with it, you don’t necessarily have to follow trends. You can also go for spring or summery prints if you’re going to be wearing a simple headpiece.  These days you get some really nice dresses from around the $30-40 range.  You can go shop for affordable dresses in Target, Valley girl, Alley, Supre, Temp or online via ASOS, Forever 21, Boohoo.

3.       For the shoes, I say be a bit more daring and go for colourful pumps or funky looking heels. I am a fan of peep toes but strappy sandals are also pretty.  Make sure you pick a heel size you’re comfortable with coz you’ll be standing on your feet for a few hours.  Online shops like Ozsale or Fiebiger have nice shoes on sale for around $20-30.

4.       Clutches or purses are also an essential.  Pick a colour from the print of the dress you’re gonna be wearing or go neutral.  Colette or Diva sell nice clutches for less than $20.  If you prefer to bring a bag and you can fit a spare flat shoes, even better.  When you’ve been wearing high heels for hours, slipping into comfy shoes later on the day can feel like heaven.

5.       I would also suggest doing your own hair and makeup. Depending on the head piece, or the style of your dress, you can decide to wear your hair long or up in a bun, whatever flatters you most. But best practice doing your hair and make-up days before the Melbourne cup.  There are gazillion hair and make-up tutorials online that can show you how.

6.       Lastly, the ultimate way you can save is by working with what you already have. I know it’s nice to wear or splurge on designer stuff or even non-designer stuff from time to time but remember that you can wear designer from head to toe and still look tacky. Looking neat and having the right attitude and flashing your most sincere smile, I think are key to looking fab all the time.


This is what I wore last time I went to the races here in Perth.  Whole outfit was less than $100 but a photo of mine got featured in an online news company in Melbourne 🙂