The Spring Races are one of the few opportunities for Aussie gents to show their true style and go all out. This is the time to show your personality, tilt your hat and not be shy with the accessories. You have your tickets ready but your not sure what to wear. Fear not, Samuel is ready with his best tips so you can make a lasting impression this year!
The suit is your canvass. Most importantly, make sure that it fits really well. Even if you only have one suit, make sure that the fit is on point. Bespoke and MTM suits will always be a superior fit to off the rack.
Suit separates are pretty common in Melbourne: usually in the form of Country Road khaki chinos and blue blazer with skinny lapels. Separates like this are stock standard and look boring. If your going down the separates path, choose tailored cream linen or grey wool trousers and a contrasting blazer.
The most popular suits are still the two button single breasted. We’ll be sure to see more double breasted ensembles as their popularity continues to grow. The lapels should be generous in size. Navy and Grey remain the most popular and versatile colour choices.
Keep your eye out for other shades also like brown, biege, green, and tobacco. Pinstripes, Prince of Wales check, glen plaid and windowpanes are also appropriate. Likewise with fabric: flannel, wool, linen, cotton and seersucker are all acceptable. When it comes to fabric, check weather conditions: a heavy flannel isn’t comfortable in 35 degree heat.
Remember to stick to the theme of the day. To be honest, the only themed day that really matters for men is Derby Day (black & white themed) and the others days are all reasonably colourful. An easy way of honouring the theme is to wear the flower of the day pinned to your lapel.
This is the time of year for the three-piece suit. Many of my corporate clients work want something for work, which they can also dress up for sartorial events such as the races. The best tip for this is to invest in a three-piece. It gives you the versatility to choose. You can keep it normal and respectable for the office as a two-piece. And then when the races or a wedding is on, you can light it up with the waistcoat taking your whole ensemble to the next level immediately.
You can never go wrong with a nice crisp white shirt. Keep an eye out for the rise of button down long pointed collars and collar bars this year. I personally only wear reasonably plain white, blue and pink shirts, so they don’t take too much attention. However, if you wear a striped, paisley or patterned shirt, please keep the tie and the suit straight forward in colour and pattern. Otherwise it will look too busy. Hence why you can’t go wrong with a crisp white shirt.
There’s one thing that makes a races outfit look so much better than a regular office ensemble: the accessories. Don’t be shy with the accessorises. This is the time to add a pocketsquare. I’m not telling you to over do the accessories, but if you don’t normally wear a pocketsquare for example, you should at the races. The same goes for socks: don’t be afraid to ditch them. After all, its not the office.
In the members section, you’ll be required to wear a tie, so don’t try and be cool with an open collar. They will ask you to put on a tie or leave.
Depending on your style and your comfort, I recommend considering some of the following accessories: fedora or panama hat, tie clip, umbrella, pocket-watch, cufflinks, sunglasses, watch, lapel pin, tote bag and jewellery such as rings and bracelets. Never underestimate the ability of accessories to complete your ensemble.
Make sure the colours you choose compliment the outfit in some way. Common sense prevails here. Don’t over to it, but never ever be shy with the accessories- especially at the races.
My top recommendations for shoes are black and brown leather or suede shoes. The choice is either a derby, brogue, loafer or monk. All classic choices. I love dark tan and black leather tassled loafers because they’re classic and most guys won’t be wearing them. My top recommendations are Berwick, Loake, Tresmode, and Bared Footwear. Leave the common project sneakers at the door, the races is for dress shoes only. Its very important to look after you’re shoes too. Make sure before the races you brush, wax, shine and polish your shoes so they look their best.
Its very important to get your grooming done. That means a haircut at least one week before the races. The facial hair should be neat and trimmed according to your style and choice. Neck, nose and ear hairs should be trimmed and fingernails clipped. There’s no point nailing the outfit but failing in the grooming department.
Things to Avoid:
Tuxedo, satin or dinner suits
Too much colour or accessories
Your Time to Shine
The Races is the time of year for Melbourne men to shine. Embrace colour, accessories and have fun with your outfit. Don’t be afraid to show your style. Trust me - people will appreciate the effort. Have fun, have respect for those around you and don’t get too drunk.
Get in touch with Sam below to arrange your very own tailored suit today.