What to wear to the races at Ellerslie Racecourse

Dressing up for the races is no new phenomenon - from the olden day tales of women putting ostrich feathers in their hair in order to attract a suitable husband out of the crowds, to model Jean Shrimpton's legs that stopped a nation at Australia's Victoria Derby Day in the 1960s, right through to current day where the likes of Instagram is flooded with searches for racewear inspiration coming out of major events such as Royal Ascot or the Melbourne Cup where the Royal Family & celebrities alike dress up & enjoy the occasion of a day spent trackside.

Racedays at Ellerslie are no different - racegoers are warmly encouraged to get dressed up for the occasion, no matter where they may choose to spend their day on course.  

Ascot (Members) Stand 

Smart Casual

  • Most people will be in raceday attire, i.e. suits and dresses (with headpieces on major days), and a high standard of dress is encouraged in this stand

  • Strictly no shorts, singlets, jandals or collarless shirts will be accepted in any area of this stand 

  • No jeans or denim is permitted on Level 2 of this stand & it is discouraged elsewhere in this stand, particularly on premier days such as the Boxing Day & New Year's Day Races, Karaka Million & Auckland Cup Week where a high standard of dress is expected

  • Traditionally guests into this stand have dressed smartly for the occasion & this tradition continues to current day, especially so on our major racedays such as Melbourne Cup Day, the Christmas Carnival, Karaka Million & Auckland Cup Week where suits, ties & headpieces are most common. A more smart casual dress code (as above) is more regularly adopted on smaller racedays

ALL Hospitality Areas - Whips n Spurs, Silks, Cuvee, Garden Party, The Enclosure, Martini Henry Lounge, etc

Dress to impress 

  • Strictly no shorts, jeans, denim, singlets, jandals or collarless shirts will be accepted in any shared hospitality area on course - while we hate turning people away, this will enforced 

  • Most people will be in raceday attire, i.e. suits and dresses, and a high standard of dress is encouraged in these areas

  • Headpieces of some sort (hat, crown, headband, fascinator) are not uncommon in these areas, nor are suits & ties   

  • As we typically only open shared hospitality options on our bigger racedays, we suggest guests to rise to the occasion and take advantage of the opportunity a day at the races presents whereby it's completely acceptable to really dress up! 

General Admission - Ellerslie (Public) Stand & public lawn areas including the Infield Family Entertainment Zone & The Paddock

Tidy casual dress 

  • While there is no specific dress code in general admission areas and The Paddock on Boxing Day, tidy dress is expected & please take note of the after-race activity dress code guidelines if you intend on joining in , along with the guidelines for other areas on course if you plan to go to them too

  • On major racedays (such as the Karaka Million, Auckland Cup Week, Melbourne Cup Day and the Christmas Carnival), guests in general admission are encouraged, but not required, to wear raceday attire i.e. suits, dresses, headpieces

After-the-last-race activities  

As per Ascot Stand

  • If you are staying on course after the last race to continue the fun, you must be suitably attired as per the above "hospitality areas" dress code to ensure you can be admitted to any post race activity. A high standard of dress is expected. 


While we want you to have a fabulous time while you are oncourse, there are a few items that you should avoid wearing:


  • No denim on Level 2 of the Ascot Stand or in any hospitality area

  • Ripped clothing

  • Jandals

  • Sports shoes

  • Casual Shorts (suit shorts are acceptable in some areas such as Whips n Spurs or the Garden Party)

  • Shirts without a collar

  • Parkas, windbreakers, tracksuit tops, golf and yachting weatherproofs, bomber jackets, denim jackets, leather jackets, anoraks or zipped jackets

  • "Costumes"

  • Safari suits or tracksuits

  • Peaked caps or beanies

  • All clothing should be tidy and presentable


Dress Code

If you're coming racing, get excited!  Racing & fashion go hand-in-hand, offering you one of the best opportunities to get dressed up and make the most of an occasion like no other. 

A dress code applies to certain areas on course & entry may be refused if this is not adhered to. Please remember your responsibility to ensure both your attire and that of your guests meets the required standards.