Hats Off For Cup Day

Buck tradition with these five non-hat style ideas for Melbourne Cup Day - and where to wear them.


Hats have been pretty standard fare for Melbourne Cup Day since Phar Lap became the darling of Australian horse racing. Read: a very long time. In 2019, though, a day at the races sometimes calls for a little more experimentation in the style department.

So, whether you will be on the field down at Flemington this year, or enjoying a fashionable feast over at Fred’s, we are rounding up the best non-hat style ideas for this Melbourne Cup Day.

Hats off to you!


1. The Headband

Headbands have long been synonymous with sixties screen icons and Lewis Carrol adventures, but in 2019, this particular hair accessory has become the subtle answer to modern power dressing. Seen everywhere from Chanel to Simone Rocha, the headband is a firm favourite for Melbourne Cup Day as well – from Totti’s to the field.

2. Flower Crown

Even if you’re celebrating Melbourne Cup by the beach this year, there’s no reason why you can’t take the field with you. For an ocean view setting at Coogee Pavilion, for example, we recommend taking an au naturale approach, with wildflowers woven through your braids. Alternatively, you could go all-out with a handmade flower crown.

3. A Statement Barrette

Barrettes may bring back memories from the school playground, but they have been all over the runways from Paris to New York this season. Whether yours is jewel-encrusted, high-shine in metallics or studded with pearls, the barrette has very much grown up by now – and it is ready for its photo finish moment on the deck.

4. The Veil

If you’re feeling particularly bold for Melbourne Cup lunch at est., then take a cue from the stables of Kate Waterhouse and opt for a mini veil – sans fascinator. Waterhouse wore a black veil with a white dress to the 2018 Melbourne Cup Announcement at Flemington, instantly making a case for this mysterious approach.

5. Sculptural Earrings

Who says that it’s only what’s on top of the head that counts? If you don’t consider yourself much of a hat or hair accessories type, then opt instead for a statement earring – and let the jewellery do the talking. After all, an ear party is sometimes the best bet for a rooftop party at ivy Pool Club.


Play it bold with Merivale this Melbourne Cup Day.

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