With Flemington's four biggest races right around the corner, we've compiled a quick list of race day do's and don'ts, to help you maximise your punting panache and get the most out of the Spring Carnival season.
Race Day Do's
Prepare Your Race Day Wear
Assemble everything you need the night before. Not only will this help you dominate the field of fashion, but it also ensures you spend less time horsing around and more time kicking back, and enjoying the race day sun.
While you don’t have to go where no man has boldly gone before, Spring Carnival is the perfect opportunity splash out of on something a little more punchy. Create your show stopping statement piece and pair strong suiting patterns with Florals, Stripes and Prints. Windowpane or Prince of Wales Check suiting are our top picks for this racing season.
Mix It Up
Carnival season is about having fun. Infuse you look with a sense of adventure and try your hand at pattern mixing. Work inwards with the largest and loudest pattern on the outer layer (your jacket) and transition to smaller and more subtle patterns on the inner (your shirt). Follow this basic tenant and reap the sartorial rewards.
Have a Drink
Whether it’s whisky, bourbon, wine or beer, a little (emphasis on the little) bit of social lubrication can make meeting race day randoms a whole lot more fun. Just be sure to chase every second or third glass with a splash of water to keep you on your feet.
Have an Exit Strategy
When the horses return to their stables, and the starts to shuffle out the gates, a designated meeting point at a local establishment (say, a bar?) is the perfect place to cool off while roads and trains slowly clear up.
Race Day Don'ts
Forget to Polish
While racetrack conditions can get a little dicey, you should always give your shoes a good polish and buff before strutting past the stables. Nothing spoils a podium finish like a dull pair of Derby's.
Drink Too Much
In Victoria we love the races so much, we made the Melbourne Cup a public holiday. While it may be easy to get swept up in Spring Carnival fever, knocking back one too many brews is a sure way to sour the race day experience for yourself and others. Take a note from the stars on the track and pace yourself with regular refills at the free water stations.
We love our denim, but even on Stakes, race day dress codes dictate that it should be avoided at all costs. For a casual spin on race day ready-to-wear, throw on a pair of well-pressed pair of chinos or neutral cotton pants with a bold blazer or prominently pattern sports jacket.
While the member's section has an air of exclusivity, the dress code to get in is not as dire as you may have thought. Keep to the day's theme and always remember to bring a tie. Forgetting one is knot an option.
It may sound contrary to some of the points previously mentioned, but when mapping out your race-day attire, try to avoid over accessorising your look. Follow the rule of three's, and limit the number of accessories garnishing your trackside tailoring. Any more and you risk the comparison to Mr. T.
For more helpful hints on Spring Carnival couture, race-day dress codes or general menswear advice, check out our most recent features on the Peter Jackson blog.