Kris Smith Spring racing carnival 2013

The Men’s Guide to Dressing for the Races

They say in fashion rules are made to be broken, but the Spring Racing Carnival is definitely the exception. With all the heritage and style that comes with a day at the races, not to mention the strict rules for members’ areas, this is not a time to mess around with suiting conventions. So to ensure you nail it in the style stakes this year, here’s our guide to getting suited and booted for each day. From dos and don’ts to choosing the right flower for the day, we’ll make sure you avoid any style slip-ups.

Dos and Don’t s

Do show a little shirt beneath your suit cuffs.
Do wear a dress shirt with cuff links – this isn’t just a day at the office!
Do add a buttonhole flower for each day. For Men, this is a must!
Do make sure everything you wear is smart and neat, with no rips or tears.
Don’t forget to consider your socks with your overall look, as they’ll show when you sit down.
Don’t fasten the bottom button on your jacket or waistcoat.
Don’t wear a rain jacket, but do pack an umbrella if it rains.

Kris Smith Spring racing carnival 2013

Myer Ambassador Kris Smith knows a thing or two about men’s styling for the races and he encourages racegoers to play with colour and to not be afraid of mixing prints,

“To stand out from the pack, don’t be afraid of colour and mix up your patterns for a modern look. You can never go wrong with a pocket square to match your tie and smart shoes are important to finish off your look”

AAMI Derby Day

Official Flower: Cornflower

Arguably the easiest dress code to master, Derby Day’s black and white theme sees the races go monochrome. But just because black and white may seem simple, that doesn’t mean you can’t show off your sartorial skills. Without the distraction of bright colours and prints, all eyes are on your suit and shirt so make sure they are crisp, well-pressed and perfectly tailored to fit your frame. Interesting details like black cufflinks and textured tie bars show you’ve made an effort to stick to the dress code without going overboard.

Myer Spring Racing

LEFT: Italia Collezioni suit jacket & pants, Blaq slimfit shirt, Ben Sherman tie, Brooksfield pocket square.
RIGHT: Jeff Banks Ivy League suit jacket & pants, Jeff Banks business shirt, tie, pocket square available in selected stores.

Emirates Melbourne Cup Day

Official Flower: Yellow Rose

Bright prints and electrifying shades rule the races at Melbourne Cup Day so don’t be afraid to go bold. You don’t want to get there on the day and wish you’d dressed up a little more. A lighter, softer suit is perfect for the day, especially as the weather heats up. Try shades of pastel blue or cool grey, offset with tonal accessories and light brown shoes. If you’re wearing the same suit for more than one race day, that’s fine, just adapt it to Cup Day with a pastel shirt and bright bow-tie and pocket square. Mix and match these with paisley prints, checks, spots and stripes.

Myer Spring Racing

LEFT: Calvin Klein suit jacket & pants, business shirt, tie and belt with Brooksfield pocket square all available in selected stores.
RIGHT: Aquila blazer, chino, shirt, tie, pocket square and shoes all available in selected stores.

Crown Oaks Day

Official Flower: Pink Rose

It may be Ladies’ Day but that doesn’t mean the girls get to have all the fun. The dress code for Oaks Day calls for all things feminine; with pastel colours and whimsical accessories, which can be a hard one to interpret for the fellas. So opt for lighter colours like royal blue, pastel pink and yellow for your shirt and accessories, and fun prints like florals and polka dots for your pocket square and tie.

Oaks Day Myer

LEFT: M.J. Bale suit jacket & pants, shirt, tie and pocket square all available in selected stores.
RIGHT: M.J. Bale suit jacket & pants, shirt, tie and pocket square all available in selected stores.


Emirates Stakes Day

Official Flower: Red Rose

Traditionally family day, Stakes Day has a relaxed, garden party atmosphere, which makes it the perfect time to show some personality with your look. Why not be adventurous with your suit by opting for a classic check or three-piece style? Refined and with a nod to the heritage of the races, they’re sure to make an impression on the day. Quirky pieces like two-tone brogues and a dapper trilby hat are also perfect for Stakes Day.

Stakes Day Myer

LEFT: Blazer jacket and trouser and business shirt.
RIGHT: Brooksfield jacket, chino, shirt and pocket square available at selected stores.

Shop our Spring Racing Menswear Edit online here.

7 thoughts on “The Men’s Guide to Dressing for the Races

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