A day at the races is a perfect time to don your best heritage threads. All the Pimms, polite manners and strawberries are incredibly dapper, and what better excuse to showcase your fashion know-how with true Gentlemen’s style? Think tweed, think tailored, think tremendously posh.
It doesn’t matter how much money you’re gambling or how elegant your evening happens to be (far too much beer and a dreadful hangover), there’s no excuse not to look every inch the proper gent. A day at the races really should be a day well-dressed.
The Melbourne Cup; The race that stops a Nation, is Australia’s major Thoroughbred horse race. Billed as the race for three-year-olds and over, over a distance of 3,200 metres, it is the richest and most prestigious “two-mile” handicap in the world, and one of the richest turf races. Held at around 3pm on the first Tuesday in November by the Victoria Racing Club, on the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, this race receives an international viewing. Thoroughbred’s from all over the world fly into the Victorian capital and prepare for the race of a lifetime. This prestigious and exciting race has been held since 1861 and honours the present record holder Kingston Rule with a time of 3min 16.3sec.
This year, MenStylePower have seen the popularity of the race spike, as men’s fashion and styling comes into light with the recognition of chivalry, gentlemanship and partnership. When it comes to the Melbourne Cup, it’s one of the few events where men can really show off their attire, and not feel embarrassed or too ‘over the top’ with their fantastic suits, ties, shoes and even hats. While many people believe the race days are just a showcase of women’s fashion, the Spring Carnival is quickly becoming a place to showcase the best in men’s race wear. Fashion in the Fields is celebrating this each year, and MSP are seeing a more daring male step to the catwalk to show his prowess.
The fit of your suit is everything and this season skinny is in. This doesn’t mean the suits need to be skin tight but nicely tailored suits which are not as wide as a standard suit are most preferred. Match your suit with great dark leather shoes and a belt. Wear a hat if you’re daring, use a pocket square (or two) to match your tie or your lady-friend’s outfit and drink champagne – Mumm Champers preferred. This is the only time in the year that you can do so and not get slack from your mates.
For those who want to take a bit of a spin on the classic suit look, try little changes such as frayed edges rather than straight seams. Three piece suits are the rave in 2012 with the classic combo raising the race wear standards at the Melbourne Cup. Take a look at our other post ‘Suit Porn’ to get some inspiration for the day.
There are a few ‘safe’ styles to choose for the races. They include the Italiano style of beige in linens, matched back with accessories that colour code to the shade. Remember guys belts and shoes should be matching. So if you have a dark tan belt with your Italiano suit, choose your dark tan shoes. Florsheim shoes are exceptional here if you’re stuck to find anything.
The Tone-on-Tone looks superb when using a dark colour combination. Steel blue suits with a dark shirt and tie look handsome and polished. Make the look a bit edgy with brown or tan shoes and belt. It’s time to bring the pin stripe suit back in fashion! This style looks fabulous, particularly when you layer a pin stripe shirt under your suit. Just make sure that you have the right stripe sizes and spacing.
Don’t be afraid of colour either. There are a couple of ways to add this to your existing suit. On the tie, and the pochette. The best way to check out what’s going to work, is to have a quick look at the charts below.
MSP love hats! And hats are definitely coming back into fashion for men, with gangster styles and tweed and felt trilbies the top sellers in all millinery stores.
Also don’t forget to take your sunnies! If you really want to make a statement at this year’s races, avoid wearing “funny” ties, boxers and socks. Keep the day professional and classy by pressing your suit before the day and adding a lapel flower if you don’t have a pochette. Remember that different flowers are worn at different races. The official lapel for the Melbourne Cup is a yellow rose.
Good luck and have fun having a flutter!