Race season Down Under is one of the most prestigious dates in a gentleman’s calendar. With the stakes already high, the style stakes are even higher. After all, the real competition is the suiting game. Serious racegoers need to plan ahead, so here’s how to dress sharp for the races this spring and win each way.
Race day is an opportunity to dress to impress and nothing hits the mark like suiting. A formal suit adheres to the dress code and looks exceptionally smart. Embrace the best of spring with lighter shades like grey, blue and camel or consider the classics in the form of navy and black. While their success is down to simplicity, the new word in tailoring is the bolder the better, and check fabrics will help you stand out in the best possible way. Keep in mind that Derby Day is on during spring racing which is a strictly black and white affair – go black or go home.
Sartorial suiting and a crisp white shirt go hand in hand. A white shirt has attained the status of being a wardrobe essential with its pointed collar, smooth fabric and fitted finish. When perfectly ironed, it complements every colour, style and pattern of suit. If you decide to go for something louder, like a striped or floral shirt, quieten down the rest of your outfit with a plain block colour suit. As for short sleeved shirts, avoid them at all costs. This is a classy event and only long sleeves will make the cut.
Dress shoes are a no brainer for spring race suiting. As a rule, you should wear shoes that are as dark as your suit. The first shoes a man should look to are black Oxfords, polished to perfection. They’re understated and timeless, and when worn with a matching black suit, offer a no-nonsense look. One of the most obvious colours for suit shoes is brown. Contrast your dark brown Derbies with similarly rich colours: navy, grey, and checked suits. Alternatively, burgundy shoes convey an interesting vibe and give an ostensibly traditional grey or navy suit a contemporary edge. We highly recommend them. As there’s a chance you will be stepping over grass, switch out suede for leather, especially if loafers sans socks are an option.
Accessories are an easy way to set off your suit. Whether you go for a lapel pin, tie bar or pocket square, it’s all in the details. Just don’t wear them all at once. Once you have perfected your Windsor knot, upgrade it with a tie bar. It may be simple but can bring an entire outfit together. If your tie is loud enough, a lapel pin might just be what you need for finding finesse. If that’s not your thing, look to a fine silk pocket square as a delicate way of introducing colour to your blazer. Just remember accessories need to work with the rest of your outfit.