This week it is not just the horses you should be taking a punt on. As the racing carnival heats up so do the fashion stakes. The Melbourne Cup Carnival is all about tradition, and whilst style is included in the heritage of the festivities it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take a chance with a mix and match suit or bright shirt and tie combination. So, to ensure you win the fashion trifecta on Melbourne Cup Day, Crown Oaks Day or Emirates Stake Day, here is our guide to dressing for the races.
Emirates Melbourne Cup Day
Official Flower: Yellow Rose
Set the pace with bright colours and bold patterns—Melbourne Cup is the race that stops the nation so your style should match! Try mixing a block coloured pant with a tonal jacket in a daring print, or if your reworking your staple suit, liven it up with a floral shirt and contrasting pocket square. With a yellow rose the official flower opt for hues of blue and grey, or a dash of purple, and if you really want to stand out why not try a bowtie?
Crown Oaks Day
Official Flower: Pink Rose
Pastel colours, floral prints, soft fabrics and romantic notions are not just for the ladies on Crown Oaks Day. Gentlemen it is time to find your inner Jay Gatsby and channel your world charm. Match soft pinks with shades of grey, light coloured suits in soft linen and sharp accessories. If you’re going with a partner complement their outfit by choosing a pocket square or tie that reflects an aspect of their dress but if you’re flying solo don’t be afraid to make a statement.
Emirates Stakes Day
Official Flower: Red Rose
Stakes Day is the perfect farewell song to The Melbourne Cup Carnival. Traditionally Family Day, it has a relaxed atmosphere that continues to hark back to the heritage of established men’s trackside style. So, with the Carnival ending why not tip your hat, quite literally to classically tailored suits, fresh white shirts and accessories that add your own personalized charm. Timeless colours such as charcoal, navy and white will work well contrasted with modern accessories and playful patterns.
How to Dress for the Races
- Do taper your suit – an ill-fitted suit is never a good look
- Do aim for a suit with a modern edge—think thin lapels, double vents and flat front pants
- Do wear a shirt with cufflinks and let the cuff peep out the bottom of your jacket sleeve
- Do consider your sock choice—as soon as you sit down they show and become a part of your outfit
- Don’t forget a buttonhole flower for each day
- Don’t forget to polish and clean your shoes
- Don’t forget the accessories—cufflinks, sunglasses, a tiepin, belt, pocket square, all provide an elegant finish to your look
- Don’t forget this is not a day at the office, have fun and mix it up!
Roger Grinstead is a senior apparel designer for X2U with over 25 years of expertise in the fashion industry. He has expertise in menswear and womenswear trends and product development. When Roger is not designing the latest fashion garments, he enjoys writing about men's fashion, hairstyles, and grooming.
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