In two weeks’ time you’ll either be waking up fresh as the day or wondering why your fascinator is still attached to your head.
Yes Stylers, the race that stops a nation is off and runnning in under two weeks.
Are you planning to be at trackside at Flemington in Melbourne, at a fancy lunch or at a low-key gathering with your girlfriends?
If so, this post is for you.
This post is also for two SY readers who both wrote asking for some Cup Day fashion advice.
My friends and I tend to enjoy the fun of Cup Day at a big fancy lunch, with a fashion parade, some champers and of course the fun of sweeps and the race. Now they have included “fashions on the field” and “best fascinator”. Oh dear, the stakes have been upped. I don’t feel confident enough that I would actually win, but heck, I would really enjoy being in the running. – Lesley
I am losing sleep and spending too much time on websites trying to solve my spring racing fashion outfits. My dilemma, I am a size 18 (oh ok, probably closer to a 20) and 43 years old. There doesn’t seem to be much out there this year. For racing I like something tailored (without looking menopausal or mother of the bride) or edgy. Past racing seasons have seen great luck from brands like Trelise Cooper, Nicola Waite, Euphoria, Moss Design. Part of the problem is it seems many things around aren’t dressy enough or seem to be a reprise of years past. – Marika
In my former life, I spent many a race day judging fashions on the field.
It was a task that had plenty of highs and way too many lows.
The highs came from witnessing women who had put a lot of thought and planning into their outfits and who were polished to perfection. The lows came from women who may have planned their outfit but hadn’t planned to keep away from the champagne tent before judging.
Which leads me to my 10 style tips when it comes to how to dress for Melbourne Cup Day.
10 Melbourne Cup Day style tips
1. Keep it classy. Race days are steeped in tradition and that tradition should be honoured. It doesn’t mean a dowdy approach to your race-day outfit but it does mean that your dress shouldn’t be mistaken for a top. And it does mean staying relatively sober should you be entering fashions on the field.
2. Plan your outfit starting with the dress. I once had to find the outfit for a client to work back with a hat she’d fallen for (hello Sue, I love that you’re still getting wear out of that outfit BTW!). It can be done but it’s a whole lot easier to find the dress and then buy the hat (or have it made) to suit.
3. Headwear is a must. A hat, fascinator or headpiece … it’s not a race day outfit without one. If at a function indoors, err on the smaller side so as not to knock out the person sitting next to you. Trackside? Go to town on the size factor and make a statement with it.
4. Invest in a one-off piece of millinery. This isn’t a possibility for everyone but if it’s a statement you want, then this is the way to go. Ask around for recommendations or contact your local TAFE to see if there are any student milliners near you whose work is cutting edge yet undiscovered. Want more wear out of your head piece or hat? Opt for a design in a neutral base but with coloured adornments you could have changed later for a different race day outfit.
5. It’s spring so your outfit should reflect that. Traditionally Melbourne Cup Day fashion is associated with a whole lot of colour. If you’re doing the entire Spring Racing Carnival in Melbourne then by the time Cup Day rolls around you will have already trotted out your black and white for Derby Day and have an ultra-feminine number ready for Oaks Day. Outside of Melbourne, you can definitely get away with a Cup Day outfit that is monochrome or girlie – just make it fun and fabulous with your own spin on it.
6. Match but don’t match. You want all the elements in your outfit to complement each other but you’re not going for a matchy-matchy scenario. Your bag doesn’t have to match your shoes and your hat. Your bag might pick up a colour from your dress and your shoe colour might feature in your hat but they don’t all have to be the same hue.
7. Choose your footwear wisely. It’s never a good look to leave a Melbourne Cup Day function – or the races – barefoot and carrying your shoes in your hand. Wear shoes you know you can go the distance in. This isn’t so much of a consideration if you’re just going out to lunch and then doing the school pick-up but it most definitely is if you are trackside.
8. If buying a new dress, buy something that you know you’ll wear again. Ideally you already have an event or occasion coming up during the party season where you know you’ll be able to trot it out without the headwear. And if you work in an office, maybe it’s something that this time next year will join your work wardrobe. Thinking of a dress purchase this way means that if it initially costs more than you would normally spend, its value will be in the distance it goes in your wardrobe.
9. Book in with your hairdresser. If you haven’t already done this and are planning attending a fancy Cup Day function, stop reading and make the call. Your headwear might look best with an up style – or you may just need expert help in securing to your head so it lasts all day.
10. Your makeup should go the distance. Primer is your friend, as is a long-lasting foundation, smudge-proof mascara and either a gloss you can easily re-apply or a long-wear lippy. Get it right at home and all you’ll need in your clutch is a lip colour and maybe some pressed powder. Oh and if you’re at the track or spending the day semi-outdoors, pile on the sunscreen.
So tell me, do you have plans for Melbourne Cup Day? What are you doing? What are you wearing?
PS. More Melbourne Cup frock inspiration can be found today over at Style and Shenanigans.
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