You’ve spent hours researching the latest collections, trying to draw inspiration from the best designers, to find the most perfect dress for the Spring Racing Carnival. You’ve tried on and tried on and tried on until you can’t try on anymore and finall…you have a dress. It’s beautiful, it’s elegant, it’s the shade of the season….it’s nude?

While nude, soft pastels, dusty pinks, creams and beiges might be one of hottest trends for this Spring/Summer, they’re not the easiest shades to accessorise with, and if done incorrectly, might have you looking like a mismatched mess rather than a stylish fashionista.

Adopt the suggestions below to ensure you’re looking as classy as ever this carnival season.

Shoes: Often the wrong shoe choice can completely ruin an outfit. It doesn’t matter how fabulous your dress is to begin with, if it’s overpowered by your shoe choice, the outfit is ruined.


Avoid black unless you plan to accessorise with black throughout, or unless there’s already some black on the dress. Choose a neutral colour that will complement your dress rather than take away from it.The platform is this season’s must-have and will ensure your feet aren’t sinking in the grass. The very feminine wedge is also a great choice. Keep it simple or slightly embellished and you can’t go wrong. For a bolder look inject a bright colour to contrast; red, purple or pink, then choose your headwear to match.

Bag: Again, avoid black, and keep it small. You don’t need a heavy strapped shoulder bag at the races. A little clutch or purse is perfect for holding the essentials.

Jewellery: If you plan to wear a necklace and earrings with your dress, first check to see if you really need both. Work out what your feature piece is going to be. If it’s going to be your headwear then maybe choose smaller earrings or just a necklace. If your dress already has lots of beading, or sparkly features, don’t over-do the bling on the rest of your body. Less is best.

Headwear: If you’ve done the fascinator thing for a few years now, perhaps it’s time to upgrade to something different. Enter Pillbox style hats with netting that incorporate fabric flowers, and jewelled trimmings.  Keep it tonal with only a few bursts of colour for a more stylised look or work in with those brighter coloured shoes for a high-fashion finish.


  • Experiment with embellishments
  • Choose a fabulous, larger than life headpiece if you want to stand out
  • Choose a wedge or platform shoe over a stiletto heel to avoid sinking into the grass


  • Mix multiple patterns or colour palettes with your dress, keep it simple
  • Wear heavy jewellery if you have a soft feminine dress
  • Overmatch: shoes, bag, headwear, lipstick all in the same colour might be a little too much

Check out these great pieces to get you started…

1.  Mimco Debutante Heel – $299

2. Sina Nude Shoes – $89.95

3. Alannah Hill Mad As A Hatter Headpiece  – $39

4 Alannah Hill Stop and Stare Fascinator – $149

5. Mimco Goddess Headband – $229

6. Mimco Inheritance Stud – $99.95

7. Anna Campbell Sparkling Dreams Dress – $449