Win the Hat Race for the Melbourne Cup

Yes it’s that time of year again when the racing fraternity goes into overdrive, for not only Spring Racing Carnival, but for one of the biggest society weeks of the year in Melbourne, Victoria.

Racing carnivals are steeped in tradition. It is unforgivable not to follow the dress code for each event, and this means embracing headwear.

The first race day is on Saturday 2nd November, Derby Day.

Don’t be tempted to stray into the world of colour, Derby Day has it’s traditions in black and white, so keep any pop of tint to the makeup palette.

Monochrome is the way to go, and after seeing this seasons fashions on the runway, it shouldn’t be to hard to find something fabulous.

Think Louis Vuitton graphic checker board shift dresses. All clean lines and mod shapes need simple, yet striking headwear.

For this you could try a fab take on a headband, go for structure and silk.

An elegant twist, definitely no frou frou, leave that to Oaks Day or Melbourne Cup.

Melbourne Cup Day, always the first Tuesday in the month of November, is a little more relaxed.

It’s time to have a little fun, but remember, keep it lady like!

I can see flowers being a strong trend this year.

Always steer clear of felt hats for Spring carnival, this fabric is more in tune with Autumn racing.

Bring out the big guns for this meet.

Think of the proportions of your look.

Is a strong masculine style head piece going to work with a floaty dress? Will that extra wide brim cause traffic jams in the members area?

Be practical, the hat that you choose will stay on all day. Ask yourself “do I feel comfortable in this?”

Feeling self conscious in any piece of clothing is a one way ticket to a bad day, so choose wisely.

Phillip Treacy, famous and sometimes controversial milliner is now stocked exclusively to Christine, the divine institution in Melbourne’s Little Collins Street..

Treacy has a strong aesthetic and wonderful eye to detail.

Statement hats for strong women, don’t try these if you are a shrinking violet.

If a hat is to much for you, why not try something similar to the Baroque styling of Dolce and Gabbanas’ headbands, or Louis Vuitton’s mod interpretation.

Or maybe channel Lana Del Rey’s feminine floral look, gorgeous for young fillies.

Lace bunny or cats ears are cute too, just be aware that cute is the operative word here.

I will be harsh and say that there is an age where we need to step away from cute.

Take a long look in the mirror and think carefully about your chapeau. One doesn’t want to look like the old nag!

Oaks Day is traditionally ladies day.

Work a soft feminine look, with lace and pastels. Try the wedge heel, it’s a much more practical shoe when walking on turf, stilettos will seeing you sinking into the tundra.

Try a gorgeous straw hat for this race meet, an ode to spring.

Yellow is a sunny choice, never green it’s deemed bad luck for the track.

Stakes Day wraps up the hottest week on the equine calendar.

Why not go for a pretty print or flirty florals for the final day.

Top your look off with fabulous headwear to make a statement.

Keep hair simple and sleek, this works with most hats or fascinators.

Whatever your outfit choice, make sure the accessories add to the final finish.

It’s one day in the year to embrace the hat.

Go for it, have fun and don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd and come first in the hat race.

CiaoJo Bayley, Fashion Editor, The Culture Concept Circle 2013

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