Stylish spring racing fashion on a shoestring

Headed to the races this spring? According to research analysts*, the average race goer spends $1287 on each individual visit to the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival, with $53.2 million spent on fashion and beauty across the Spring Racing Carnival.

If you are headed to Flemington, avoid fashion's hefty price tag and make a trip to your local op shop to pick up a stylish bargain.

Below, we've compiled our top op shopping tips to help you find that perfect outfit with plenty of spare change. Many thanks to our models Will and Nina who donated their time to be dressed in the latest racing day finds from our Brotherhood stores.

  1. Be open to shopping around. We have 21 stores across greater Melbourne, with two specialist vintage stores in Fitzroy and the city, so you're sure to find something to suit your needs. 
  2. Be a frequent browser. New stock arrives regularly, so while you might not find what you're after one day, be sure to check back again. 
  3. Accessorise! Spring racing is all about the accessories, for both men and women – from retro sunnies and vintage bag to fedora and bow tie. Our range starts from $2 (see below graphic for a spring racing price guide).
  4. Think outside the box and keep an open mind. Things always look different on the hanger, so be sure to try them on with accessories to establish an overall look. A great hat, belt or bag can make all the difference. If you're handy with a needle and thread you can always make a few changes to a special dress that's just a little too big. 
  5. Dig around. The treasures are not always obvious.

*IBIS World

Our model Nina is dressed exclusively in clothes purchased from Brotherhood Stores.
Our model Will is dressed exclusively in clothes purchased from Brotherhood Stores.
Our model Nina is dressed exclusively in clothes purchased from Brotherhood Stores.
Our model Will is dressed exclusively in clothes purchased from Brotherhood Stores.
Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood