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Dressing in Spring Carnival Fashion

Home > Melbourne > Fashion | Festivals | Melbourne Cup
by Archie Ward (subscribe)
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Fascinator Melbourne Cup

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At the Melbourne Racing Club, the fashion is already flying in full flair. If you're visiting one of the remaining events in the Spring Racing Carnival, surely, you want to look sharp with smartly casual dress, but how do you dress smartly casual? Dressing smart for this event means that you should dress to be comfortable, for the occasion and weather, and, above all, to look your stylish best.

Whether your dress is for enjoying a relaxed race day, the Melbourne Cup itself or the BMW Caulfield Cup Day, you certainly want to get into both the tradition and spirit of the race wear. Let's take a look at the fashion highlights for this spring's raceway carnival.

Women's Race Wear:

Elegant Racewear
A Hat to Match

Photo Credit: Mahalia Brown

Ladies, striking headpieces are a sure way to capture the fashion spotlight. The classic but exquisite, wide brimmed and floppy-wide brimmed hats are the in thing for a gorgeous chic look. The British Boiler or pillbox hats embellished with wedding bow veils, flowers, ribbons and feathers make a dashing, stylish, fashion statement. Included in the parade of hats might be a tear drop shape in lizard-skinned embellished with high standing feathers, Victorian Touring ladies' hats, and hats fashioned in the style of the men's Fedora. The right headpiece can finish off your outfit with a stunningly stylish look and is a must for your appearance at the raceway. Arriving without a headpiece gives the impression that you simply are not dressed for the occasion.

Photo Credit: Javier Ayala

A well-tailored pant suit that avoids the corporate look just might be the sexiest of outfits for the raceway. The pants should flaunt the wide-leg cut, and the look should radiate with the fascination of the 1930's with a coordinating blazer. Another approach you might take is to add a kick of the sophistication of the 70's with slender pants adorned with flared legs and stiletto heels to add a sexy look.

If dresses are what you prefer, watch for styles that are either vintage-inspired from the 60's and 70's or an ultra-modern design.

Pastel colors and soft fabrics with elaborate details and cool feathers will be a leading trend of this year.

Black and whites in geometric stripes, blocks, or polka dots are hot this year so mix them up with different patterns.

Floral prints in full bloom with bright colors such as violet blue, yellow or orange as well as on intricate prints of animals, birds or futuristic graphics.

Also, a popular trend will be head to toe pastel colors, white or cream.

Accessories besides headpieces include subtle jewelry and a stylish clutch bag.

Some helpful tips:

Do you like to be fun, quirky or classic? Decide and wear what suits you.

You should always check the weather forecasts and dress appropriately.

You should test your shoes before the raceway. Painful shoes will definitely ruin your day.

Keep in mind that you are not going to a night club. Appropriate dress for the race track is a dress that is no shorter than two inches above your knees.

Men's Race Wear

[Photo Credit]: Conor Clinch

You don't want to look too business like and dull; nor do you want to sport a look that is vibrantly over the top. The look you should portray is a balance of the two.

The key for men is quality. Your apparel should be well fitted as well as well-made but doesn't have to have an exorbitant price tag. The most important thing is that a suit always fits you correctly.

Men's suits for spring are best in light colors with cotton, linen or super wool fabric. If you're less than 6 feet tall, pinstripes are best for you since they will visually lengthen your height.

Grey and blue colors are in this year with all shades of blue a leading trend. However, you should avoid navy since it is just too common.

An accessory such as a colorful pocket handkerchief, a fedora or a flower pinned to your lapel are smart options if your suit is plain in color.
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Why? To be part of the glitz and glamour of Australia's biggest racing carnival.
Where: Melbourne
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