Fashion, News

Avoid Fascinator Fright With Our Dos and Donts for Melbourne Cup

It’s racing season in Australia, and already the pages of the Daily Mail are littered with images of before and after stunners at the Caufield Cup.  As the Melbourne Cup fast approaching, the potential for a dress-choice disaster is certainly high.  With the increase in businesses who are getting in on the action, asking all employees to dress up, and stopping the workday to televise the race itself, this is no longer just a concern for those on the field.

So is there some etiquette to what you should wear and how you should act in the office for a Melbourne Cup style event?  You want to look glam, and pseudo-day at the races, but you don’t actually want to get your cocktail dresses out by the printer, right?

Here are my 10 Dos and Don’ts to getting the dress-code, style-code and etiquette just right for Melbourne Cup in the office.

  • Do: Get in on the action. It’s not often that I say it’s good to conform, but nothing is worse than everyone else in the office being dressed in their finery, and you have either forgotten, or simply are being bah humbug 2 months early.  Either way, at some point you will either stay at your desk pretending to work as colleagues all around watch the race, or wish that you had gotten involved.  So, put on a party-ish frock and conform!
  • On that note, though, don’t forget your hat or fascinator! However, in the same vein as above, looking like you are attending a bad funeral is not to be suggested.  Lara will almost certainly have had some weird face imprint upon taking this contraption off…
  • Do: Keep it classy, and wear a dress or skirt that is at least marginally lower than mid-thigh, and that doesn’t resemble your underwear. Whilst Paris may get away with wearing underwear as outerwear, she was young and stupid.  For the ladies,combine a fitted shirt with a beautiful a-line skirt, heels and a fascinator.  This is a timeless look that creates the illusion that you are focused on your job for the other 7 hours of the day, whilst allowing you to secretly be vicariously at the races.  Remember to have a Stop The Gape handy to make you look sleek, confident and fabulous.
  • Don’t: Wear a fascinator that will bring on a headache for either yourself, or everyone else around you. Examples of bad racing day wear are all too familiar to the pages of the Daily Mail.  Or any millinery worn by Princess Beatrice or Princess Eugenie.



  • Do: Remember that you are, albeit in setting only maybe, still at work. Everyone can forgive the transgressions at the Christmas party, but if you are the talk of the town for Melbourne Cup, it takes a year for someone to supercede you.  Think Hannah Montana, rather than Miley Cyrus.
  • Don’t: Fake tan up to rival The Trump. Whilst a bit of a tan can be great to make you look and feel fabulous, turning yourself into the equivalent of a Halloween pumpkin isn’t quite as awesome.  Even The Donald has had to tone down the old orange factor, and you wouldn’t want to be out-styled by him, would you?



  • Do: Get involved in the sweepstake, and if one hasn’t been organized, then organize it! There is no point being involved in the race, if you can’t get involved in the race!
  • But, on that note, don’t over-celebrate. Even if you have only purchased tickets at your sweepstake, if you inner-competitor just cannot wait to get out, try to curb your enthusiasm a little.  No inner shrieking about being rich.  Or quietly crying in the corner because Horse 3 was winning the entire race, and then fell 20cm from the finish.
  • If you are organizing the bash, this race has been going on for literally decades. So do try something new, like having a theme – everyone must wear white, or wear your favourite horse’s colours.  Although your colleagues will undoubtedly complain, sometimes loudly, about a themed event, the same people will also have a full Pinterest board of potential looks within 10 nanoseconds of the theme being announced.

So that’s it.  Enjoy the racing season.  Dress well and dress with confidence.  And, if you are wearing a shirt or a blouse, feel confident by knowing you are not showing, with a Stop The Gape clip.  We’ve got your back. You can bet on it.

Till Next Time,

Stop The Gape

Recent Posts