Expert tips on how men can win Fashions on the Field

Double-breasted suits that hint at '80s power, pants with cuffs and Italian brogues are the go-to attire for blokes entering Fashions on the Field. But what does it take to really make your outfit stand out among your fellow peacocks?

Matthew Keighran from Hugo Boss says it's all about dressing for each race day and interpreting dress codes in modern ways.

For example, this weekend's Caulfield Cup is a chance for guys to relax a little and take a few risks, mixing up suit jacket and pants and for a more individual and vibrant look.

In comparison, tradition rules at Derby Day.

"Derby Day is all about being sharp and elegant. Most guys have a black suit in their wardrobe but it's a chance to opt for a three-piece or double-breasted suit for the day," Keighran tells Executive Style.

"It's interesting what you can do with black, white and grey using different patterns on your suit, different shirt patterns and tie textures," he says. "And you can also add extra interesting accessories too on a day like Derby – and you can even take a coat as you never really know with Melbourne weather."

Stay abreast of trends

The Bespoke Corner founder Miles Wharton says preparing a winning outfit comes down to fit and knowing how to curate a look that appears effortless.

"Made-to-measure is the way to go to ensure you're not wearing a similar suit to anyone else," says Miles Wharton.

Wharton spends the year travelling abroad inspecting menswear trends in Europe and says FOTF entrants should choose lighter colours in suiting and opt for deconstructed jackets – a big trend right now.


"Go for linen or wool blend when it comes to fabrics," says Wharton.

"A separate jacket and pants will be a heavy hitter this year as we are inspired by the European white trousers with sports jackets and tassel loafers all the way," he adds.

Lighter and brighter

Fashion, travel and lifestyle blogger Chris Burt-Allan is a former FOTF winner, taking out first place at Randwick in 2014 and a runner-up at Flemington last year. His advice is to go against the grain.

"This is your chance to stand-out from the guys just wearing the same charcoal or navy they wear to the office and go for lighter colours," offers Burton.

"Light colours are more season appropriate," he says of what judges are looking for this year.

Keighran recommends going bold if you want the gold: "Go with a jacket and contrast coloured trouser," he says.

"Every guy should have a good white trouser in his wardrobe and mix it back with a blue jacket or red."

Winning advice

Last year's menswear winner, and one of this year's judges, Pepe Sithiphon Siyavong says he only put his winning look together a month before the big event. That said, he had already organised his double-breasted custom-made suit and had sorted his accessories – it was just a matter of putting it together at home.

His winning look was a hounds-tooth double-breasted suit, which was a modern take on a '80s silhouette. He made sure to add personal touches of blue (in keeping with the cornflower tradition of Derby Day) and a nod to black and white (the traditional colours for Derby Day) with his socks. He chose cuffed trousers and a more relaxed fit in keeping with European menswear trends.

"I can't recommend enough the importance of a custom made suit. It's all about detail and fitting you perfectly," says Siyavong.

"I am sure we will see more double-breasted suits this year, but I would like to see three-piece suits too. Cuffs are a must as are collar pins to hold ties in place. I am sure we'll see lots of off-white and linen this year."

Siyavong says French cuffed shirts are a must while cufflinks will be inspected closely by the judges. "I think you can win FOTF with accessories – it's about having an eye for something different but that compliments the race day's theme," he says.

Fifty shades of grey

According to Chris Wilson, Myer General Manager and judge for FOTF's men's category, the big trend for a winning look this season is all about the pocket square, cufflinks on shirts and he'll be looking for men who match belts to shoes. Particularly on more traditional events like Derby Day.

"Derby Day is a traditional day," he says. "It's all about black and white but I think the grey suit craze will be big and I'll be looking at traditional attire this year."

Pre-registrations are now open for the 2016 Myer Fashions on the Field Women's and Men's Racewear competitions. Visit for more information and to pre-register.