As Flemington fever takes hold, and the raw excitement of Spring Carnival whips us all into a frenzy, it can be easy to forget about some of the race day essentials that take us from racetrack rookie to style stallion. To help you master your Cup Day style, we've revisited our race day checklist to create a comprehensive guide for this year's Spring Carnival.
Spring Carnival Suave: The Suit
Spring Carnival is the time the men of Australia come together to celebrate bold sartorial design and test out their sharpest threads. While the dress codes vary from race to race, an essential piece for the races is a striking suit. This goes double for those lucky enough to set up a perch at the prestigious Birdcage.
Amp up the Australian tradition of sun-smart tailoring and take a punt on bigger, bolder and brighter fabrics. Broad Windowpanes are a welcome addition to statement suiting, while complex patterns like Prince of Wales or Chalk Stripe suits can offer a more elegant alternative. Classic colours like charcoal and rich navy are still a big player in this season's proceeding, however for the punter primed to make waves, opt for louder marine accents and pattern clashing combinations.
The Invaluable Inbetweener: The Shirt
Often overlooked but never undervalued - your Spring Carnival shirt is an essential piece for tying your look together.
The aim of the game is to create balance between your upper and lower layers. For those living it up in louder patterned suits, take a step back with a clean broadcloth or oxford fabric. A subtle contrast in colour can help to make your shirt pop, and not get washed out by dominant checks or stripes. Fan favourites for this Spring Carnival calls for deep charcoal suits worn with mint or magenta shirts.
A Man-datory Must Have: The Tie
In recent years, ties have become more of a fashion accessory than a nine-to-five noose, seeing the men Australia starting to have a lot more fun with their neckwear. While the single-tone tie will stave off the bouncers at the Members area, consider splashing out on some silk with a bit more colour to it.
For the classic race day combinations, start with a gutsy stripe tie. For effortless pairing, be sure to choose hues that complement the primary colour of your suit. Button up with a Cutaway collar and opt for more voluminous knots, like the half or full Windsor. For the statement centrepiece, try instead a punchy paisley design that contrasts your suit's main palette.
Stomping Grounds: The Shoe
Picking the right shoe can make all the difference when stepping up to the plate. From the humble Derby to boisterous Brogue, avoiding the potential pitfalls, and matching colour for colour can be a simple solution to finding the perfect pair.
Black shoes should almost exclusively be worn with all spectrum of black, from charcoal to midnight. For lighter shades of grey and almost every other colour, stick to earthy browns, blondes and tanned leather to liven up your look.
While you may be taking your look trackside, it important not to neglect the state of your shoes. Be sure to keep those kicks clean and do a full spit and polish the night before. Not only will they look great, but this will help create a protective layer against mud, dust and debris.
The Flemington Flourish: Accessories
If the devil's in the details, then Spring Carnival is the devil's playground. From lapel pins to pocket squares, from cufflinks to socks, the simple addition of a single accessory has the power to make or break a winning ensemble.
The first rule of accessories is to keep it as simple as possible. Stick to the code of threes and keep your embellishments to a minimum. While Spring Racing gives you full access to our sartorial arsenal, going overboard could lead to dangerous comparisons to Mr T.
Pockets and lapels are prime real-estate for race day style, so be sure to utilise this opportunity with a colour rich pocket square or lapel pin. For those wanting to show their punting prowess, up the ante by matching your accessories with each race day's iconic flower.
Saddle up for spring carnival and explore our curated collection of race-ready