In a little under a month, one of the most anticipated and renowned Australian events will take place at the prestigious Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. Thousands will flock to the iconic race track, including celebrities, influencers and fashionistas alike, to not only witness the world class horse racing on offer (including ‘the race that stops a nation’), but to enjoy the glitz and glamour that is entrenched in the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
Although a week to be enjoyed with friends and family, those serious in attending the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival must adhere to a strict dress code applicable to each specific race day.
In collaboration with seasoned Australian men's outfitter, Dom Bagnato, we have curated a short guide as to what to wear to each particular race day at this year’s Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
AAMI Victoria Derby Day
Derby Day, the most popular race day behind the Melbourne Cup, enlists a traditional (and strict) black & white dress code for both men and women.
This does not mean, however, that you can simply pull out your (first-ever) black suit, white shirt, and Bob’s your uncle. No, as the last few years have seen gents respectively anchor towards a different approach, adding their own individual way of dressing up the typical black and white code, with a stylish spin, raising the stakes on the first day of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
This year, opt for a charcoal or dark grey suit, as opposed to the traditional black. Patterns such as windowpane, checkered, and pinstripe are very much in, and would be a great alternative, adding a playful touch to the conservative nature of the day.
Also, consider mixing texture and pattern to set yourself apart; a black suit jacket with wider lapels, paired over charcoal or grey trousers would look a treat.
Keep your shirt, tie and pocket chief conservative, and invest in a good pair of goodyear welted black oxfords, to see you take the track for many years to come.
The flower for Derby Day is a Blue Cornflower, adding a splash of colour to any black, white or charcoal blazer.
Emirates Melbourne Cup Day
The biggest and most prestigious of all the race days, the Melbourne Cup calls for three things: a public holiday, a mighty horse race, and extraordinary fashion.
As this is the one event to see and be seen, ensure that your outfit it carefully curated to turn heads (for the right reason)!
The dress code for the Melbourne Cup typically calls for colour and flair, but keep the inner peacock at home.
Experiment with colours, pattern, different combinations, and remember to have fun! This year, earthy, neutral colours, such as smoke grey, beige, taupe, cream and brown are in vogue, with linen blends in jackets and trousers proving a popular choice for the warmer days, and a more relaxed, deconstructed silhouette of suiting will be preferred.
Bold prints will ensure you stand out from the flock of monochrome looks, and while colour is to be encouraged, avoid novel accessories, as this can cheaper your overall look.
To note, although the Melbourne Cup is a chance to go ‘all out’, sometimes the best looks are those refined and elegant outfit combinations. Your main priority should be that your suit is well-tailored, and the rest should fall into place (after reading this guide, of course).
Strap on a pair of double monk shoes to finalise your outfit, and you are good to go. Remember, confidence is key for a winning look.
The flower for the Melbourne Cup is a yellow rose, so consider this when accessorising your overall look.
Kennedy Oaks Day
With a new sponsor at the helm of the renowned ‘ladies’ day’, this is the day for gents to showcase their elegant touch to their outfit.
We are big believers in a suit-combination for Oaks Day, with a blazer/chino combo never leading astray.
Opt for a pair of white chinos paired with a light-salmon shirt, and a navy or denim suit jacket on top. A double-breasted royal navy blazer will look mighty crisp, also, with nautical vibes very much in.
Your tie and pocket chief should combine all the elements nicely, however, do not directly match each accessory.
Wingtip brogues offer a lovely alternative to the traditional oxford shoe, so look into finding a tan or chocolate mould you can pair with different outfits in the future.
The flower for Oaks Day is a pink rose, so incorporating a shade of pink or salmon to your outfit is a great nod to the overall theme of the day; Ladies’ day!
Emirates Stakes Day
The final race day of the Melbourne Spring Racing week, Stakes Day in generally considered a ’family day’, meaning, a more relaxed atmosphere; thus, relaxed tailoring is key.
Linen or cotton blazers are highly encouraged, keeping things neutral and somewhat monochrome. Colour is encouraged, but perhaps do so with a colourful, patterned tie and pocket square.
Keep your accessories in the same vein as your outfit - loafers are a grey option, along with knitted ties that offer colour and print.
The flower for Stakes Day is a red rose, to be sure to inject a touch of red to your getup.
The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is a joyous occasion for all involved, and going off past experiences, the main key is not to take yourself so seriously. However, do ensure your style prep and overall game is well-groomed; shine your shoes, iron your shirt, and press your suit, and among all else, remember to have fun!
For those of you still after a little inspiration, feel free have a look at our Spring Racing Editorial below!
This article is proudly sponsored by Dom Bagnato