18 of the best-dressed men from the Portsea Polo

Can horses swim? Punters nearly found out in real time over the weekend as the annual Portsea Polo suffered through bouts of torrential rain.

But the show must, and did, go on and the fashion set once again trekked down to the Mornington Peninsula for the first major social event of the year.

Despite the looming threat of a wet afternoon, there was no shortage of folk determined to dress like it was a perfect summer day, damn it.

But it was almost prophetic how nautical-inspired themes of blue and white (right down to the Breton stripe for some) became the unofficial uniform of the day at the event's two prime marquees, Stella Artois and Alfa Romeo.

By the seaside

Whether it was an ubiquitous blue blazer teamed with white pants, an all-white ensemble or the finishing touches of a navy accessory – there was clearly a style memo sent out before the big day and the guys did their best to put their personal spin on it.

Actor Ben Mingay turned the volume up to the maximum with a scene-stealing polka-dot jacket while The Loop host Scott Tweedie showed you can rarely go wrong with old-school plaid. Model Jarrod Scott kept it cool in all-white linen.

Down the way at opposing team Alfa's digs, scion to the Garnaut Private Wealth firm and Insta-celebrity Elliot Garnaut was one of the few to embrace the event's Italian heritage with unstructured tailoring and oversized shirting.

Statement jacket

But not everyone abided by the nautical trend, and those that didn't soon found their way in the day's Fashion on the Field where the winning look involved a floral-printed blazer.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop may have made her triumphant return to the event after missing out last year amidst the expenses scandal, but it was perennial plus one David Panton's interesting choice of blazer that had people talking.

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What originally looked like black-and-white camo from afar was instead revealed to be a print of vintage cars.

A relaxing of the guard

It could have been simply due to the weather, but it was hard not to notice a distinct relaxing of style in comparison to previous years.

Loafers and boat shoes were swapped out for sneakers, chinos replaced with jeans and plenty of blokes forwent the urge for any type of jacket at all.

Maybe this is a flow-on effect from the runways finally making its mark, with fine tailoring contrast with streetwear being the ultimate statement of mixing style with comfort.

Model Sam Wines, stalwart of over-dressing for the occasion, was even seen sans tie and double-breasted blazer.

Horseplay

But it's not all snappy blazers and a chance to flash your knack at accessorising. The polo is a thrilling game to get behind.

As a player for the Stella Artois team and the beer's Brand Manager in Australia, Juan Uranga is understandably excited to see a growing interest in the sport.

"Australia has done a fantastic job in providing the spectator a great and entertaining experience beyond the sport in itself," says Uranga.

"People love coming to the Polo because of the social aspect of it. Friends get together, dress up for the occasion and enjoy a few drinks while watching the splendid display of the horses in the field."

Assessing the local scene

The Argentinian-born Uranga says that, despite still lacking the sport's prominence that it has back in his home country, polo in Australia is just as exciting in a different way.

"With respect to Polo in my home country Argentina, we are proud to say we have the most important tournament in the world based on players' handicaps.

"In Australia, people come for a whole day and the event is organised around what the spectator wants. I would say this 'entertainment aspect' of it is what really makes the Australian polo such an outstanding event!"

Welcome back Stella

This year also saw the triumphant return of Stella Artois as key sponsor of the event.

The Belgian beer's marquee was the place to be having secured the day's premium star wattage in the forms of local supermodels Jarrod Scott and Abbey Lee.

With cold beer on tap, tempered by a smartly curated selection of healthy canapes, it was easy to forgot the unfortunate turn of weather and just embrace the moment for what it was – pretty darn fun.

Check out the gallery above to see some of the best dressed men from the Portsea Polo.

The writer was a guest of Stella Artois.