Melbourne Cup 2016

Melbourne Cup 2016: How to always look your best, even when the going gets wet

There's an adage that, on race days, as on wedding days, women cannot feel the cold.

But Melbourne is a fickle filly at this time of year and the weather can do bizarre things. Anyone remember Oaks day 2006?

After a baby bear's porridge of a Derby day – not too hot, not too cold – Cup Day is set to be grey and drizzly. But that doesn't mean abandoning your plans to lead the style stakes, if you take a few small steps to weather-proof your look.

Marina Didovich, who's responsible for styling Myer ambassadors Jennifer Hawkins and Jodi Gordon for this year's carnival, said the most she can think about when planning is the season.

"There's just so much room for error if you start to think about rain or sun. This time of year [the weather is] so on and off," she said.

While the celebrities and VIPs are largely protected from the elements inside the Birdcage – unless a marquee springs an unfortunate and unlikely leak – Didovich had some expert advice for regular racegoers.

"Choose weather-appropriate shoes – not strappy, maybe instead a chic pump. And if it's raining you want to avoid suede or fabrics," she said.

Bad weather – hot or cold – can also make uncomfortable shoes feel even worse, so her advice is to "avoid them like the plague" if they aren't even comfortable in the store.

A blazer worn over the shoulders, sleeves hanging, is a chic way to cover up without concealing too much, she said.

"Hopefully you have something amazing that complements your outfit."

But she advises to leave the cardigans and heavy coats at home.

"You can tell when an outfit has been compromised," she said.

Stylist Lana Wilkinson has also "pulled" nearly 40 looks for a range of celebrities including Megan Gale and Bec Judd this carnival.

She said there are often critical business arrangements linked to who wears what, and the weather is an uninvited guest in that equation.

"Because [my clients] know they will be photographed they want to look a million bucks," she said.

"These people aren't going to throw on a plastic raincoat."

But the Victoria Racing Club is encouraging general racegoers to do exactly that, or more specifically one of the $20 plastic raincoats on sale at the track.

In pink and green sheer plastic, they are designed to last the day and accommodate any sized hat, thanks to the oversized hood.

Wilkinson said racegoers might instead consider a light trench and switching to a closed-toe shoe, so long as it still matches the outfit.

"Don't try and grin and bear it. If you are going to be on grass, choose a block heel over a stiletto, or a wedge. Bring a little make-up kit and upscale the size of your bag to accommodate the extra items you will need."

The forecast for Tuesday is 18 and showers, while the weather is expected to improve for Oaks Day, with a forecast of 22.

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