What to Wear on Melbourne Cup Day & Oaks Day

Melbourne Cup Day is always a big thing around these parts, whether or not you’re into the races.

Some head in to Flemington, while others catch up for a Cup day BBQ.

Some escape the big smoke for the long weekend while others just fang down the highway for a day trip.

Others – and yes, yours truly is included here – might just go to a races themed do and are looking for any excuse to wear a fascinator.

But, as I know not everyone is heading to the races, these outfits are also designed to give you ideas and options for the races and beyond, whether that’s upcoming Christmas and end of year do’s or an upcoming wedding or party.

So whatever your plans, in today’s post you’ll find three fab outfits – two inspired by Cup Day and one for Oaks Day as the major days of the Spring Racing Festival having a distinctive dress code. (You can catch up with Derby Day outfit ideas here).

I’ve also included headwear and shoes that won’t sink into the turf too but if you’re on solid ground, feel free to sub in a stiletto. Similarly, if you’re not off to the races, just loose the headwear.

Let’s begin with Cup Day where bright colour and bold patterns are de rigueur. What’s not to love about that?

What to Wear to the Melbourne Cup - Navy

ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Gregory Ladner Fascinator, $89.99 from Myer; Cassie Body Con Dress by Very Very, $239.95 from Birdsnest;Elke Tassel Earrings, $69 from Gorman; Olga Berg Clutch, $79.95 from Myer; Villa Mid Heels, $149.95 from The Iconic.

I do love a modern floral and this oversized floral printed dress is a winner in my book. It’s the sort of frock that would also feel at home at a wedding, Christmas Day and eventually work – just change up your footwear.

The navy and fuchsia are a beautiful, bold combo too and while I’ve picked up the fuchsia for the accessories, navy would also work if that’s more your thing – just add a bold dark pink lip to add some contrast.

I’ve included a fascinator here because it suits this style of dress but if you’re looking for this year’s hottest trend – the floral crown – check out the fab ranges at Mimco and Alannah Hill and the more affordable options at Forever New. There are some beautiful interpretations made with lace, crochet, leather, metal and artificial flowers.

This second combo packs a big punch in the colour department too.

What To Wear to Melbourne Cup - Orange

ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Max Alexander Headband, $69.99 from Myer; Rococo Lily Tee Dress, $299 from Gorman; Morgan & Taylor Textured Bow Clutch, $89.99 from Myer; Lipstick, $17 from Sephora; Lavish Micro Wedges, $59.99 from Birdsnest.

How stunning is this new Roccoco print from Gorman? I absolutely love it and I reckon it’s a great option for the races and beyond if you’re looking for a dress with versatility. Add flat sandals or an espadrille wedge for a weekend lunch or a stiletto for a party.

I’m also loving this tee dress with it’s tie waist for it’s relaxed approach and flattering shape. It also provides some arm coverage so there’s less chance of getting sunburnt if it’s warm and more warmth if it’s cool.

I’ve paired it with a bright orange headband to pick up the print but you might like to opt for a fascinator or floral crown in either black or aqua.

A simple black clutch and heels would also work here or go for a statement clutch like the one above for some extra interest.

For more printed dresses from florals to spots, you might also like to check out the following:

– the mid price point options at Portmans, including the pretty Aurora Floral Strapless Dress.

– the great range of frocks over at MarcsReview, Mister Zimi and Alannah Hill. You’ll find some pretty block coloured options at Saba if that’s more your style.

If you’re off to Oaks Day, the order of the day is pretty, luxe and old school “feminine” – think pastels, oysters and creams, florals and self patterned fabrics.

Opt for a block coloured dress and colourful accessories, such as an on trend floral crown, statement clutch or printed shoes, or try a printed dress with some understated but complementary accessories, with textural and metallic details.

What to Wear to Oaks Day

ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT TO RIGHT: Lara Lace Pom Pom Dress, $189 from The Iconic; Runaway Senorita Headband, $89 from Alannah Hill; Janie Clutch, $29.99 from Colette Hayman; Envelope Patent Clutch, $39.99 from Myer; Nicole Fendel Studs, $39.95 from Birdsnest; Top End heels, $169.95 from Styletread.

This pretty pink frock is all sorts of gorgeous and the perfect canvas for a statement floral crown. It’s also the perfect frock for a garden party, wedding or high school formal.

With so much going on, I’ve simply added nude accessories with metallic accents but metallic accents would also work beautifully here.

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Are you off to the races? Or a races themed do? Or just love a frock?