What to Wear to Melbourne Cup Day & Oakes Day

The countdown to the Spring Racing Festival is well and truly on in Melbs.

Even if your interest in the races only extends to the Melbourne Cup Public Holiday or you live outside Melbourne, this time of year has plenty to offer all of us in the fashion department, with the all fabulous frockery and accessories in store right now.

So whether you’re off to the races, just love fashion or planning your outfits for the fast approaching silly season, today’s post has a great round up of dresses and accessories, drawing on the fashion codes of Melbourne Cup Day and Oakes Day.

When it comes to Melbourne Cup Day, it’s all about bold colour and statement prints and headwear. Think bright citrus hues, neon, fuschia and hot pink, cobalt and navy blues, emerald and apple greens and post box reds to turn heads, all of which also translate perfectly to Christmas parties, milestone birthdays, weddings and other soirees if you sub in a great pair of statement earrings for the headwear.

ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Hankerchief Hem Dress, $149.95 from Witchery; Delicate Leaf Headpiece, $89.95 from Seed Heritage;  Cut Out Shoulder Dress, $99.95 from Dotti; Serena Wedges in Soft Gold, $119.95 from Witchery; Perspex Clutch, $119 from Tiff Manuell.

How fabulous is a bright pop of citron? This on trend hue looks the business with gold so I’ve paired these fab dresses – different variations on the same theme – with this gold headpiece and picked up the gold again in this fab perspex clutch from Adelaide’s Tiff Manuell.

A gold stiletto would also work here but I’ve opted for a soft gold wedge instead for all day comfort – ideal for a day spent on the green or a night spent on the dancefloor. The espadrille wedge also picks up the textural detail of the clutch.

This next look is a modern take on classic races styling, incorporating two flattering shift dresses with a more traditional style of fascinator.

ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Cuban Circles Dress, $149.95 (on sale) from Marcs; Nancy France Hat, $89.99 from Review; Martha Dress, $160 from Boden; Erasmus High Sandals, $99.95 (on sale) from Jo Mercer; Avah Clutch, $99.95 from Olga Berg.

If you’re looking for a dress to wear to the races that will happily transition to your work or after five wardrobe, both these frocks are great options. Pair with a high navy sandal for the races and a lower, mid tan block heel for work.

This fab Olga Berg clutch picks up the red in the Marcs dress and fascinator but if you’re looking for a more work or everyday friendly bag for this mini capsule, the Toulouse Bag from Boden is perfect.

I’ve put together this final look with Oakes Day in mind. Oakes Day is all about traditionally “feminine” styling – think pinks, pastels, creams and pretty florals. Modern expressions of this dress code include metallic details, lace, structured tailoring and on trend blush pink.

ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Irina Ruffle Dress, $209 (on sale) from SABA; Melody Flower Crown, $59.99 from Forever New; Caitlin Twist Fascinator, $49.99 from Forever New; Isobel Dress by Emily & Finn, $179 from Birdsnest; Lucie Nude Patent Sandals, $169.99 from Jo Mercer; Margot Clutch, $50 from Colette Hayman.

I love the tasteful simplicity of this blush pink SABA frock which is complemented by a floral crown, metallic clutch and practical but pretty nude patent heels. It’s a knockout look which would also work well for Christmas parties and engagement parties, sans the crown.

For a more traditional Oakes Day approach – which would also work beautifully for summer weddings and day time soirees – your best bet is a pretty floral dress. I love the pink tones of this Emily and Finn dress but if you’re looking for a more budget friendly version, this Ruffle Tie dress from Target is also a winner.

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Which outfit is your pick?