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The Fashion Trends You Need To Know About To Be Ahead Of The Melbourne Cup Curve

With the season of spring racing nearly upon us, we decided to ask a professional for her best fashion on the field tips.

The Melbourne Cup Carnival calendar is jam-packed with race days that each come with their own specific style traditions -- from the sleek monochromatic looks of Derby Day to the vibrant fabrics you'll see on Cup Day.

We sat down with Amanda Jessup from 10 Styling -- an expert on all things ~fashion~ to help us understand how to adhere to the Carnival style conventions while still finding a way to stand out from the crowd.

READ MORE: 14 Melbourne Cup Looks From The Noughties We'd Like To Bring Back

"Melbourne Cup week is as much about the fashion as it is about the racing so people want to be on-trend, they want to be fashion-forward," Amanda told 10 daily. 

"It’s that time to dress up and get a little bit out of your comfort zone and maybe explore a different style that you haven’t tried before."

Let's dive in!

Derby Day
Snezana Markoski, Laura Byrne and Kate Peck at last year's Derby Day. Photos: Getty.

"Derby Day is black and white so it’s stylish and monochromatic," Amanda said, adding there's still a way to create an individual look, even though you're limited to wearing two tones. 

"Some women go for all white or all black or they’ll incorporate the two. I think if you’re wearing something bold, like a bold pattern -- that’s how you stand out," said Amanda. 

The style expert mentioned prints, large checks and gingham as a way to have fun with black and white if you're normally a bold, colourful dresser.

Photos: Getty Images.

And for men? It's totally acceptable to wear a grey suit if you want to "stand out in a sea of black".

"Pinstriped shirts are really big for men, too so they could do a nice bold kind of pinstriped shirt. Vests are big too for men, made in the same fabric as the shirt. That’s a big trend. "

Cup Day

"Cup day is about colour, fun, bold bright hues," said Amanda, adding that "neon, cobalt blue and purple" will really pop this year. 

She added that "the trend of sequins and shimmer can be incorporated" as long as your outfit doesn't end up looking like it belongs in the evening wear section. Sparkles, but with springtime energy!

Oaks Day

Oaks Day (Ladies Day) is all about having fun with "playful, feminine florals" proving to be an enduring trend. You can keep an eye out for anything with ruffles or something "floaty and romantic" if you're wanting to dress up for the day.

Amanda said Oaks is also an opportunity for men to be a bit more fashion-forward and "embrace their softer side".

Shaun Hampson and Megan Gale nail the Oaks Day brief. Photo: Getty Images
Stakes Day

Stakes Day is all about the two Ps, according to Amanda: Polished and Practical! It's the perfect day to bust out those '70s vibes with some "earthy rich hues, paisley prints, rusty oranges, turmeric yellows, and clothing with crochet details".

For men? Field jackets, lots of pockets and relaxed suiting.

To Fascinate Or Not?

Wearing something on your head is a time-honoured tradition at racing carnivals around the world and your race day hat is just as important as your actual outfit.

Whether it's a traditional chapeau, a floaty fascinator or a bejewelled headband, there are plenty of options to consider, Amanda explained.

"I think you still get your more traditional women that will gravitate to that headwear and then you will get other women who will be a lot more fashion-forward and [their look] will be dictated by what the trends are," she said. 

Amanda explained that with '70s-era fashion making a comeback, we could see a few fedoras making the jump from the runway to the raceway.

"I think you'll see a lot of hair clips too," she said of the trend that celebs including the Hadids, Alexa Chung and Olivia Culpo have been sporting this year.

"They’re accessible from high-end stores to lower-end stores. You can do embellished clips, with lots of layering and beautiful little diamante clips with your hair tucked behind your ear," said Amanda. 

Or if you'd prefer a little more coverage, you can go for a comfy newsboy cap, another relic from the '70s that Amanda's a fan of. 

"They can be done in soft leather or people do them in the same fabric as their outfit -- like cord," she told 10 daily. 

Also on Amanda's list? Bucket hats in printed florals, padded headbands, and caps with crystal embellishments to add that "little bit of sparkle".

Shop Sustainable And Go Vintage
Photo: Getty Images.

Amanda noted that a very clever way to look different from anyone else, and take a more sustainable approach to fashion, is to shop vintage.

"If you can do vintage, you’ll always look individual," she said, giving 'Neighbours' actress Eve Morey a shout-out. 

"Her Logies dress was vintage. She was very upfront saying, ‘I don’t want to wear something new, I’m all about sustainability'.

"And she looked beautiful. "

Main Photos: Getty

Network 10 is the official broadcaster of the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival.