With Spring Carnival season off to a good start and the ‘Big Five’ races right around the corner, the men of Australia ready themselves to duke it out on the field of fashion. To help you punt with panache, our friends at Peter Jackson have created a quick guide breaking down the basics of each race day dress code.
A Caulfield Classic
Whether you dress with conservative flair or crave creative freedom, the Caulfield Cup is the place to be this Spring Carnival. Much like the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield’s dress code leaves a lot to the imagination, seeing many men explore the brighter side of tailoring and experiment with colour and pattern blocking.
A classic of Caulfield, the windowpane suit offers punter’s a refreshing but reliable take on race day tailoring. While you can always bank on blue, charcoal and grey fabrics, make for magnificent combinations when paired with pastel orange and mint green.
While a colourful three-piece combination can be a great way to steal the show, remember to invest in natural fabrics to save yourself from sweating it out on the field.
A Dapper Derby Day
Derby Day suiting is all about stripped back style, separating the boys from the men with a strict monochrome dress code and zero tolerance approach to colour. While going back to black may seem stifling to some, this restrictive set of rules offers a lot more breathing room than you may expect.
For a simple but sophisticated solution, opt for a black suit with a little bit of texture to it. A tightly woven twill suit, paired with a cutaway collar shirt and full Windsor knot can make for a welcome companion to counter this difficult dress code.
If you’ve put black suiting behind you, opt for the renegades alternative and check yourself out in a bold Windowpane or Prince of Wales charcoal suit. Still a member of the monochrome family, grey suiting can bring a lot of gravitas to your race day attire.
Manning up for the Melbourne Cup
Arguably one of the biggest events of the season, Melbourne Cup has long been considered one of the best days to flex your creative muscle and embrace the dapper side of dandyism.
Take advantage of the loosely defined dress code, and explore the more adventurous side of tailoring with a broad Windowpane or Prince of Wales patterned suit. Pair with a matching or contrast coloured vest for a stunning three-piece statement that’s sure to steal the show.
For the pared-back punter, swap out pattern clashing combos and opt for something with a little more texture to it, like a linen blazer. Wear this with a knit tie, tailored chino and contrast pocket square for a flash of colour.
Oaked to Perfection
While traditionally known as Women’s Day, Oaks for blokes calls for a greater focus on floral patterns, with soft grey and blue suiting being key to complimenting your partner’s race day attire.
If you’re going stag, show the jockeys that you’re no shrinking violet and stand out with a blue statement suit, completed with a pastel cotton shirt or linen shirt. Feature with a floral tie in a gutsy Windsor knot or go loose collar with a flashy floral lapel pin to keep on-theme.
High Stakes Style
Contrary to the high stakes environment between the barriers, this day’s dress code calls for a much more low-key approach to tailoring, with lightweight blazers and cotton chinos leading the pack in race day style.
Raise the bar on casual tailoring and introduce a bit of Italian influence into your race day attire, with a soft-tailored linen blazer, open-collared shirt, and crisp white chino – contrast with a punchy pocket square and a suede loafer to finish the Milanese look.