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The race that stops the nation does exactly that! Even if you’re at work. A lot of people would love to take the day off to celebrate somewhere, while others just really don’t mind. If you’re the boss and want to keep the team happy but still need them at work, then why not inject some spring carnival fun in at the office? If you’re not the boss and reading this, keep reading for some fun race day fashion tips at work.

The Office Event Format

So how do you still get involved at work while keeping productivity up? Simple. Work as you normally would and put on a late lunch or afternoon tea that includes a fashion competition to coincide with the race! Boost staff moral by offering all the elements of a race day, minus the alcohol. Some companies can even benefit by hosting an event open to the public or to customers by drawing more people to 

them. A local real estate business is perfect for this! Then there are the small businesses with only a few staff that can join in on events by neighbouring companies.

Office Fashion Runway

This is the most exciting part of the day for the ladies! They get to plan an outfit as if they really were doing Flemington. The best part is it’s at the office, so you can have some fun with it and not get too serious if you don’t want. Forget race day fashion etiquette and perhaps make the fashion comp prize the “most creative” which has nothing to do with the strict judging rules of fashions on the field. Let the girls do this in the lead-up to the race and of course, get some fabulous photos in the process. Below are some nice ideas on dressing for the occasion at work.


The dress: Spring carnival season traditionally makes way for lighter dress options, but for the office party choose any trend you like to channel through your dressing. A traditional midi-length floral dress cinched extravagantly with a harsh metal belt. Or perhaps hourglass dressing, with the mod classic shift dress or peplum waist detail. Sportswear might be off limits on race day; however athletic luxe can be a subliminal message in the form of sheer fabric details and laser cut-out styles – it could be a winner in your workplace culture.

The hat: The team may only want to go as far as having a fascinator competition. For the crowning glory of your race day outfit, it’s less about trends and more a matter of personal opinion. Millinery offers many avant-garde fascinator options, as well as classic styles to suit every face. Spring style staples include the chic wide-brimmed floppy hat and floral headpieces as seen on songstress Lana Del Rey.

The accessories: Body adornments shouldn’t be detangled from the jewellery cabinet and thrown on as you race out the door. As well as complimenting the outfit colour code, accessories should be an element of fun. Think outside of the square with a special touch such as cat eye sunglasses, oversized bangles or a statement ring.

The shoe: If you LOVE shoes now is your time to wear your best pair, regardless of how much they hurt! Let’s face it, you’ll probably be at your desk most of the day so who cares. For the smart wearer shoes with a thick platform are the easy option, as is the resurgence of the kitten heel. Or maybe you could all wear your best pair of kicks to go with your race day get up.


If the workplace is more male-oriented then why not hold a fashion comp for the guys? If the men don’t usually dress up then here’s your chance to show them what they’ve got!

Streamline tailoring: Suiting takes on an athletic approach with slim silhouettes and fitted suiting ensembles. Charcoal grey and jet black suits remain to charm all year round, retaining a sense of traditionalism with double-breasted jackets or two-buttoned suits. If you want a lighter hue, try camel as white just gets dirty way too easy. Check prints are also a fine way to make a casual statement.

Pop art: Dress shirts take cues from works of art, modernising the classic suit with bursts of pink, purple, red and green. If you prefer a crisp white or blue, then it’s all in the details. Perhaps the winner could be based on the best way to don the company’s branding colours.

Shoe style: The final fashion requirement is a pair of race day shoes that balance style and sturdiness. Revered fashion house Prada presented tasselled loafers and polished brogues in their runway collections this year. An office full of Prada boys would be cool. Men’s racing fashion will always be about tradition but in your work culture on Melbourne Cup Day, anything goes! Gentlemen, we can be certain that women won’t only be betting on the winning horse this year. Now is the perfect opportunity to express your unique style skills. 

Fine details: When it comes to standing out on the field, the small touches make all the difference. A silk pocket square channels old-world charm, while geometric prints and paisley patterns are popular spring carnival tie choices. Another option presents itself when releasing the top shirt buttons and adding a crisp and colourful neckerchief – the uniform-look neckerchief will be a big hit in the office!

Responsible Gambling

In the past, people used to get a staff member to run down to the local TAB to put their bets on but now with online betting, this removes any issues from responsible gambling connected to the workplace. Also, holding a sweepstake is enough for most at work and a safe way to pick a winner. The prize can be whatever you make it!

Get Race Day Festive

After a productive half a day, let the staff unwind early arvo and enjoy some big screen time. Get a big TV or projector in and watch a few races leading up to the big one to get in