The countdown is on to the fashion event of the year! If you’re wondering what to wear to the Melbourne Cup, look no further. We’ve got all the Melbourne Cup fashion rules right here to help you pick out an outfit that will turn heads for all the right reasons. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the Melbourne Cup dress code for 2019.
What to Wear and Dress Regulations
In keeping with the prestigious nature of this historic race, the Melbourne Cup dress code for the members’ areas demands a high standard and is strictly enforced. You should make sure that you avoid wearing any of the following:
- Casual footwear, including anything with a strap between the first two toes
- Untailored pants of any kind, including leather
- Pants tucked into socks or footwear
- Shorts, or short jumpsuits/playsuits
- Clothing with tears or rips
- Midriff-revealing tops or dresses
- Leggings, unless underneath an acceptable dress
- Casual or non-tailored jackets of any kind, including rainwear
Although not on the official list of forbidden fashions, strapless dresses, and those with straps less than an inch thick is traditionally avoided. Note that you are expected to wear a fascinator or hat to the event.
Corporate Hospitality and Dining Areas
While not subject to the strict dress code of the members’ enclosure, if you are attending a corporate hospitality or dining area, you will still need to maintain a suitable standard of racewear attire. Be sure to dress tastefully and smartly. If in doubt, you won’t go wrong by following the rules for the members’ areas.
There’s no formal dress code for the general admission area, so you can really put some imagination into your 2019 Melbourne Cup fashion – but once again, keep it tasteful and classy. Fancy dress, rips, lots of bare skin, denim, or casual wear is still not acceptable.
So – we’ve covered what you can’t wear to the Melbourne Cup. Now let’s talk about what you can wear!
How to wear the top fashion trends for this year’s Melbourne Cup
Florals are hot this season, and there are a few key rules to remember to ensure you get the most out of this feminine springtime look.
Spring and pastels go together hand-in-hand, and this delicate trend will be sure to make a seasonal splash on Melbourne Cup day.
Pop Of Colour
The Melbourne Cup is the perfect race to make a bold statement with a bright splash of colour. This trend is so easy to wear and combine with a variety of other trends like ruffles and florals.
Add some feminine flair to your race day look with ruffles and frills. These are a great way to add movement and structure to your outfit.
Top off your look with on-trend millinery
Your Melbourne Cup fashion adventure isn’t complete without the season’s hottest headwear!
But do you choose a fascinator, a full hat or a headband? Check out our guide to selecting your perfect race day headpiece.
Before you pick your ideal Melbourne Cup look, here are a few things to consider.
Choose a headpiece that suits the shape of your face.
If you have a long face, a fascinator or button hat worn to the side will help to add balance.
If your face is round, opt for long lines and asymmetrical brims that slant away from your face.
If you have a square face, choose round, soft lines or flowers and feather trims to soften your look.
If you’re lucky enough to have an oval face, then almost any kind of headpiece will suit you!
Matching your outfit
Don’t be tempted to try for an exact colour-match, which is hard to achieve, and near-misses will be obvious. Instead, opt for a complementary colour, or a common theme that ties your headpiece, your clutch and your shoes together, like a tone or a metallic detail.
Consider your hair
What style will you wear, and how will your headwear sit? Your hair colour is important, too. A dark headpiece will be lost against black hair.
Your headpiece should harmonise with your dress
A large, structured bow or dramatic crown of flowers will look great with a dress that has a simple, clean lines.
Wide-brimmed hats work particularly well with longer dresses
If you have a bold dress with lots of textures and colours, keep your headpiece small and simple.
There you have it – your guide to Melbourne Cup fashion for 2019. If you’re looking for more spring racing inspiration, check out our full collection of on-trend looks for this season.
One last thing: don’t forget the most important Melbourne Cup fashion rule – have fun!
Watch our Spring Racing Edit 2019
For more inspiration, visit our Melbourne Cup page here.