What to Wear to The Melbourne Cup

Of course, we know that horse racing is only one part of the Spring Carnival. Arguably, what makes the spectacle such a coveted event is the fashion. The who’s who of domestic (and international) relevance will descend upon Flemington Racecourse in their best getups, and the Melbourne Cup is the biggest race day of them all.

In a year that celebrates its 160th anniversary of the Melbourne Cup, the day is notorious for its colourful and playful dress codes and festivities. Beyond all, it really is the “race that stops a nation.” In the fashion stakes, you’ll find both men and women dressing for the occasion in a sea of colour, pattern and styles.

While the dress code for the Melbourne Cup is a little less formal than its Derby Day counterpart, #CupDay is all about embracing the true notion of springtime
colour; it’s the day to play with colour themes and explore a variety of tones, fabrics and patterns.

Here is a quick guide to nailing Melbourne Cup style ahead of this year’s Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.

The Suit

On Cup Day, we can’t stress enough how relevant it is to play with colour; if you’ve ever
wanted to embrace a loud get-up, now is your chance. In the suit department, lighter tones, such as your pastel blues and olive greens, will work really well, as will beige, terracotta and rust colourways form a great foundation for earthy tones.

Single-breasted suiting options will work best on Cup Day. As we venture further into the spring season, don’t be surprised if the weather is quite warm for the occasion. It’s also a great opportunity to explore our range of soft tailoring. Opt for unstructured suiting in technical fabrics like linens and cottons simply because they will feel (and look) great on. It’s about finding that perfect balance of functionality and style, but you also want to be comfortable on the day as it can be a long one!


The Shirt

Here’s the deal: if you’re going for a more conservative look in terms of suiting, why not explore some pattern and/or colour with your shirt?

Striped shirts are a good option, and we love to throw in a little colour, too. Don’t match the colour of your shirt to the colour of your suit, however. It’s about contrasting looks. If you’re donning a navy suit, why not go for a sky-blue stripe shirt? Red and green stripes also work a treat, too.

Opt for a cutaway colour for a modern shirting staple and French cuffs aren’t a necessity, either.


The Accessories

It’s important not to over-accessorise on a day like Melbourne Cup.

Pick key accessory pieces that will form the focus of your look. For example, a woven wool or silk tie has a lovely texture to it but can also be quite bold, so consider your entire palette, you don’t want it subtracting from the rest of your look. A plain pocket chief will finish off any look especially if you are going for a bolder tie. Bolder pocketsquare can help punctuate more understated looks.

The Melbourne Cup is a great day to explore different footwear styles. Honestly, if you’ve pieced together a winning suit-shirt-tie combination, crisp white sneakers won’t look out of place.

If you want to stick with the formalities, the answer is unequivocally a pair of penny or tassel loafers in dark brown or black. Easy-wearing, comfortable and a timeless style that will never look out of place, these footwear staples will finish off a look in immaculate style.

If you’re a stickler for formalities, a nice pair of leather Derby dress shoes - or even Brogues - would work a treat, too.