Melbourne Cup 2016: Weather Bureau warns of wet racing day; Men also look for perfect hat

By @vitthernandez on
Rainy Melbourne
Women cover themselves from the rain as they walk through the paddock area before the first practice session of the Australian F1 Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne March 16, 2012. Reuters/Daniel Munoz

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) warns of a severe morning thunderstorm and hail in parts of southeast Queensland which could mean heavy rains on Tuesday for the Melbourne Cup races. But the weather bureau says the rain and storm possibly would hit Melbourne in the afternoon.

However, storms to the west of Amberley have been recorded before 8 am, while light rain was drizzling in the central business district. If the severe storm hits southeast Queensland, the main impacts would likely be damaging wind gusts or wind gusts in excess of 90 kilometres per hour, Brisbanetimes reports.

Vinord Anand, BOM meteorologist, says the chance of one of the storms would be severe is fairly small. Chances of rain in Brisbane is 70 percent, in the Sunshine Coast 80 percent and on the Goldy 60 percent. Because the weather in Brisbane is on and off this time of the year, Marina Didovich, responsible for styling Myer ambassadors, says there is too much room for errors if people going to the Melbourne Cup think about rain or sun.

Although VIPs and celebrities are inside the Birdcage, the rest of the audience at the race are the targets of Didovich’s tips to weather-proof their racing day look, Sydney Morning Herald reports.

For shoes, avoid suede, fabrics or straps, but wear instead a chic pump. Cover up a bit by hanging a blazer over the shoulder so ladies can leave their cardigans and heavy coats at home, says Didovich.

For stylist Lana Wilkinson, avoid using the $20 plastic raincoats at the tracks or risk being photographed using one. Avoid wedges or stilettos, wear rather a block heel. Include some makeup kit and use a bigger bag to accommodate extra items needed for race day.

RTXA7Y4 Judges watch participants in the Fashions of the Field competition before the running of the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne November 4, 2008. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas (AUSTRALIA)  Reuters/Mick Tsikas

Besides the horses, the focus of attention on Tuesday is the hats since Melbourne Cup is the busiest time of the year for milliners and men’s hatters in Brisbane.  Kim Fletcher, a milliner, points out that without the Melbourne Cup Carnival, they would not survive. She estimates at least 80 percent of her income for the year comes from the carnival, ABC reports.

Tess Ebinger, acting manager of the landmark City Hatters store in Melbourne, agrees with Fletcher that the days around Melbourne Cup are the biggest earners for the shop. However, it would not just be women looking for fancy headpieces, a growing number of men also come to the store to look for the perfect hat.

A study of the 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival’s economic impact by UER for Victoria Racing, a research company, says that more than 375,000 individual fashion items were sold during this period, including 75,000 hats and fascinators worth $31.4 million worn at the Flemington Racecourse.