Hands up if the only place you consider donning headwear for the sake of fashion rather than sun safety or covering a bad hair day involves horses and bucket-loads of champagne.

It will probably come as no surprise you’re not alone. Even the most die-hard fashion lovers are lost when it comes to hat-wearing outside official Spring Racing season.

Victoria’s Secret model Georgia Fowler framed her face with a hat at Spring Champion Stakes Day in Sydney
Credit: Getty Images

But given GRAZIA never shies from an excuse to add another all-year-round accessory to the style mix, we spoke to Sydney-based Nerida Winter – who’s famous for her fusion of haute couture and race-wear and counts Princess Mary, Kate Waterhouse, Jesinta Campbell and Miranda Kerr as customers – after a pop-up event in Sydney called The Streets of Barangaroo.

Here are her trend-driven tips for wearing hats or headpieces at Melbourne Cup celebrations anywhere this year and beyond.


Australian model of the moment Roberta Pecoraro wore Nerida Winter to Spring Champion Race Day
Credit: Getty Images

TIP 1: DRESS FOR THE WHOLE DAY “Choose a look that will take you from ‘trackside’ right up until dinner,” says Nerida Winter, who founded her namesake business years ago and has been official milliner to the Australian Turf Club since 2003. “More casual headwear styles such as bows and turbans work really well for this especially if it’s a Cup day luncheon.”

Alessandro Michele’s Gucci Cruise 2018 runway show kickstarted the current turban trend
Credit: Getty Images

TIP 2: LAYER YOUR HEADWEAR “You can create a new look or update a classic you already own by layering a bow or headband with a boater to create a modern look and frame your face beautifully,” Winter explains.

TIP 3: DON’T BE AFRAID OF BOLD COLOUR “Matching your dress, accessories and headwear by colour is a traditional race wear look, but given the amazing array of eclectic fashion at the moment, don’t be afraid of clashing prints, textures and colours,” suggests Winter. “Add bright pops of colour on Cup day that complement each other and have fun with embellished styles like our sequin turbans and pearl bows.”

TV host Carissa Walford had fun with a silk bow-tie headpiece at Royal Randwick during Spring Carnival
Credit: Getty Images

TIP 4: EXPERIMENT WITH SOMETHING UNIQUE “It’s supposed to be fun!” she says. “Try something new. For the day, the Italian Silk Bow-tie Headscarf is a classic you will wear all year round and is perfect for a daytime setting and even poolside glam.” 

TIP 5: PACK A FEW BOBBY PINS “You never know when you might need them to help fasten or reposition your headwear in changeable weather conditions,” Winter points out.

Winter dresses a model, wearing Rachel Gilbert from David Jones, in a bow headscarf at Blown Lux in Barangaroo
Credit: Supplied

The Streets of Barangaroo is hosting a series of exclusive pop-ups, installations and collaboration with artists, designers, and makers in Sydney until mid-November. To find what’s on this weekend visit its website.