Boater hat new fashion trend for Melb Cup

Helen Velissaris

(Australian Associated Press)

If you’re looking for some hat inspiration for Melbourne Cup, look no further than a barbershop quartet.

The hottest accessory for the Melbourne Cup is the boater, a straw brimmed hat usually worn by men as a summer accessory in the early 20th century.

The Melbourne Cup Carnival launch on Monday showcased the boater on male and female models, adding to the millinery options for both sexes.

While flower crowns were still popular, the boater gave them a more androgynous and vintage look.

Myer Fashions on the Field ambassador and Melbourne model Stephanie Smith might have been wearing a rose flower crown herself on Monday, but was heaping praise on the boater hat.

“They don’t have to be big – boaters come in all different sizes but you’re definitely seeing a lot more of them than any other year,” she told AAP.

“They’re definitely a standout this year.”

The straw hat might not be as expensive as the highly structured millinery of seasons past, but it does lead to clever colour combinations.

The ribbon that traditionally goes around the hat can be colour coordinated with accessories like a pocket square for men or some colourful heels for the women.

A feather can always be tucked into the ribbon for extra pizzazz.

On trend at the moment are spring colours and pastels, especially pinks and pale blues.

In its 54th year, Fashions on the Field will see thousands battle it out for best-dressed categories on each of the four days during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

The champion of the competition will be crowned on Oaks Day on November 3.



Pinks, light blues and pastel colours

Feminine silhouettes

Lace with long sleeves

Boater hats, flower crowns


Pale blue, grey suits

Pocket squares that match accessories

Boater hats

Ties over bow ties



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