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Fashion Trends

Race day runway: The best outfits to wear to your Cup Day lunch

Who needs to be track side?

By Jess Pullar
No matter which way you look at it, the spring racing calendar is always dominated by one, rather renowned event - the Melbourne Cup.
The events that unfold on Melbourne Cup Day are like no other - you'll see some of the most unexpected pockets of Australia stop and mark the occasion, be it by knocking off at 12pm to witness the races unfold, or by hosting a plethora of champagne breakfasts or lunches.
But in these parts, we're thinking about one thing only when it comes to November's biggest day - our outfits.
The spring racing season is a time where one can don their very best garb with the simple justification that it's a race day.
And while the likes of Derby Day, Oaks Day and Stakes Day are all mini-fashion spectacles in their own right, you'll find that none are more fashion-forward than the OG Melbourne Cup Day.
And whether or not you're heading to Flemington Racecourse on November 5 this year, you'll no doubt be looking at the multitude of clothing possibilities.
Jennifer Hawkins knows how to bring race day glam - no matter what the occasion. (Getty)
For many (and especially for those who don't live in Melbourne), Cup Day is celebrated with a grand lunch spread - be it with co-workers, friends or family.
But a certain question plagues us year after year - what does one wear if they're watching the races, but not actually going to the races?
Well, in our humble opinions, a Cup Day lunch sans the racing green absolutely poses the opportunity to be just as glam as if you were there IRL.
That's why we decided it pertinent to unpack the very best styles to wear if you're headed to a daytime celebration away from the track.
Keep scrolling for all the inspo you need to make your race day lunch the fashion-fare it deserves to be.
WATCH: See former Bachelor stars Nikki Gogan and Cam Cranley glam it up at Cup Day. Story continues after video...

1. Put it all on the palette

If there was one rule that we could informally add to Melbourne Cup Day's dress code, it would be simple: All the colours. Seriously, all of them.
While Derby Day has strict black and white rule, and Oaks Day has an unspoken feminine and floral dress code, Melbourne Cup Day gives you all the freedom to go a little wild when it comes to colours.
So with that in mind, your race day lunch can absolutely reflect this. In our opinions, the brighter the better.
Check out our favourite colourful styles below:
Sheike layla dress, $89. Buy it online here. (Sheike)
Showpo vacay ready maxi dress, $79.95. Buy it online here. (Showpo)

2. Hats for days

What would race day be without a humble hat?
Even if you're not headed to a lunch, many an office has been known to encourage a cheeky headwear accessory to celebrate Melbourne Cup.
So whether you've made specific plans for the day or not, a race day fascinator, hat or hair accessory will never go amiss.
Check out our favourite hat styles below:
ASOS Design facinator headband, $24. Buy it online here. (ASOS)
Morgan & Taylor marcella fascinator, $59.95. Buy it online here. (Morgan & Taylor)

3. Not just dresses

While there's no denying dresses are a staple when it comes to Cup Day attire, there are plenty of options that don't fall into that category - and a daytime lunch event poses the perfect opportunity to mix things up.
In fact, we downright encourage trying something different if you're not headed trackside - jumpsuits are chic and comfortable, while heavenly floaty tops can do all the talking no matter what skirt you opt to go for.
Check out our favourite non-dress styles below:
Marks & Spencer floral shirred waist jumpsuit, $129. Buy it online here. (Marks & Spencer)
Forever New vera petite puff sleeve co-ord top, $89.99. Buy it online here. (Forever New)

4. Heel heaven

The great thing about experiencing Cup Day without actually going to Cup Day couldn't be more abundantly clear - you can wear any shoes you want.
Yep, our greatest irk about any outdoor daytime festivities lies in footwear - sure heels look great, but boy do they get old quickly when worn for an extended period of time on a grassy slope.
That's why if you're headed to a lunch, you've got a glorious open door if you're a fan of wearing heels, because we're guaranteeing there'll be seating a-plenty, or at least somewhere easy to store your trusty back-up flats as you indulge in race day frivolity.
Check out our favourite shoe picks below:
Spurr bess heels, $27. Buy them via The Iconic here. (The Iconic)
ASOS Design penley slingback high heels, $70. Buy them online here. (ASOS)

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