Melbourne Cup Hazards

How to look your best at a Melbourne Cup lunch – all day long.

Keeping it simple and being aware of some obvious pitfalls is the way to have a sensational Melbourne Cup Day. Pic courtesy of MCC Guide.

I absolutely love Melbourne Cup Day, and for years I was spoilt when I worked for News Limited and was flown into Melbourne for the event with some other executives to see it in style. It is the ultimate Australian party day, and Melbourne has an energy about it on that day which extends to every person, venue and moment across the city and even the state.

From the minute you wake up in a Melbourne hotel, the champagne is flowing, and the fascinators are out. Everyone is smiling. Helicoptering into Flemington is always entertaining, but so is the train out there – and the ride back is classic as booze-fuelled glamours from across the country and the world party the day away.

Nothing quite beats that moment in the members stand when the anthem is sung just before the big race, and you know you are standing in the very place where the entire country from school kids to housewives and politicians have turned their gaze for this one great moment in time.

A race that has been the pinnacle of the Australian sporting calendar for 154 years, and always will be.

But there are some pitfalls, no matter where you are celebrating and it is important to be ready to avoid these in advance:

  1. Wear comfortable shoes:
    Never, Never, never take your shoes off. It is a long day no matter where you are or what you are planning to do, so wear shoes that are comfortable and that you can leave on. There is nothing more unattractive than a woman in a beautiful dress in dirty bare feet with her heels in her hand.

2) Dress Elegantly:

There are fashion “rules” at every race meet, and if you are attending, you should know them. But even at a Melbourne Cup lunch you should be wearing closed in shoes, no metallic fabrics, nothing plunging or overly short or tight, and no pants. An elegant dress is the order of the day.

3) Layering:
The weather on Cup Day is always a bit all over the place in both Melbourne and Sydney, so be prepared with a jacket or cardigan to keep warm if you need it.

4) Don’t over-tan:
And don’t try and tan at the last minute. There is nothing worse than a beautiful white dress stained with brown self tan marks or orange skin. It’s not even summer yet, so go easy on the self tan and if you haven’t already tanned, don’t bother. Natural is better than a last minute job.

5) Don’t overdo the booze and drink water
It is an Australian tradition to party on Cup Day, and it’s a long day, so drink as much water as you can and count your drinks. Beautiful woman in beautiful dresses soon become very unattractive with too much alcohol.

6) Don’t overdo the make-up

This is a day to be elegant and show off the best version of yourself. Keep eye make-up to natural tones, and blush to a minimum. A great day for natural toned lip gloss, slick black eye liner, brown mascara, and glossy hair under a fascinator.

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Renae Leith-Manos

Editor and Founder of Bondi Beauty

Renae Leith-Manos loves fitness, new beauty products, long chats and long flights. She is at her best when traveling the world writing about luxury hotels and Michelin Star restaurants ( She has had a colourful media career as a journalist inmagazines and newspapers, in Australia and Asia. She spends her time writing, cooking, consulting to new businesses, running and working out.

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