It's always a gamble entering Fashions on the Field, but when there's $120,000 in prizes up for grabs, the pressure is really on.
The lucrative Myer Fashions on the Field at Sydney's Royal Randwick is a championship racewear event in keeping with "The Championships" on the track, which kicks off with four Group 1 races this Saturday.
All starters have been issued with the same "riding instructions" as to how they should present on the catwalk at the $9.6 million Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival meeting. The dress code is black and white, and choosing the right monochromatic suit to carry off top prize isn't as easy as it sounds.
One common fashion faux pas is men who are complacent about their choice of suit. What happens is they turn up looking exactly like the next guy.
Here's how to stand out at the track and avoid looking like a character from Men in Black.
Firstly, the monochromatic colour scheme comes from a single base hue which is extended using its shades, tones and tints. So your black suit can be highlighted with shirts and accessories that carry a gradual grey theme, and your white suit can blend into a cream tie and pocket square with black finishes.
Plan your look
Map your styling by thinking of something that you would wear to an intimate dinner. Single and double-breasted suits represent traditional dress codes at the races this year, which attract a Royal Ascot nod. Just make sure the suit is on the slim side otherwise you will look dated.
Light and shade
You can invert the classic black suit to white with suiting from Hugo Boss and Ralph Lauren (ie: wear a white suit with a black shirt). Also, show off your skills with quality accessories and shoes and keep your style-o-meter ticking over.
Trifecta of accessories
Your choice of accessories will finish off your outfit so pay close attention to the style trifecta: shoes, belt, pocket square. To really make the ensemble your own, bring in tiny details that resonate with your inner thoroughbred - this could include Y-shaped cufflinks by Bally or a Dunhill lapel pin. The romantic at heart will surely don a real lapel flower.
Hats and all that
There has been an affectionate uptake in headwear for men recently, especially at the races. Consider a fedora, trilby or a pork-pie hat to finish off your stylish look. While there are strict guides for ladies' hats, men are not bound by such tradition. The rule of thumb is to match any hatband to your pocket square, bow tie or lapel flower to keep the overall ensemble in frame.
Given our Australian climate, when autumn can still feel like summer, it's important to choose a fabric that is going to allow you to breath when moving from trackside to bar. Linen, cotton blends and light Merino wool suiting are all available in myriad sizes.
After the last
Black velvet suits are incredibly striking and we would recommend such attire if you plan heading up to Royal Randwick's The Stables bar for a celebratory drop.
Scroll through the gallery above to master monochrome racewear.
Experience within retail trend analysis companies has earned Louise Edmonds cred in the luxury menswear sector. The founder of MenStylePower.com utilises her passion and understanding of fashion to deliver a fresh, edgy take on men's style.