Your guide to being the best-dressed bloke at the races

Trends come and go but great style at the races is still timeless. But in case you're scratching your scalp trying to figure out what suit to wear on which day, Executive Style has crafted a fashion form guide to get you over the line.

The Everest

October 19

Sydney's racing gala is hot on the heels of its Melbourne mates. The Everest is a circled date save-the-date for the fashion set, and its dress code calls for a touch of blue and white. Enter pastel shirts, linen blazers, and lightweight suits.

All white isn't off the cards - but bring your best blue steel. "Why not add a stitching detail in blue or even a blue lining," asks says Harrolds MD Ross Poulakis. Aquila's David Longo says "a woven loafer with a belt to match or try a loafer with a tailored pant and linen blazer to suit the coastal vibe."

Caulfield Cup

October 19

Caulfield is the time to mix and match with cool separates. Key colours include pinks, blues, burgundy, tan and a hint of green, says David Jones' menswear GM Chris Wilson. 

Blazers paired back with chinos and loafers will be a popular look. Opt for a lightweight, unlined suit in a relaxed style or find a bold coloured blazer with contrasting textures - think linen, cotton and wool blends. "The double-breasted suit is making a comeback in a fun way," says Wilson. Geometric and floral prints are also a hit.

Derby Day

November 2

A grey morning suit and matching top hat certainly won't look out of place under the strict black and white dress code at Flemington's most traditional day. 

Advertisement

But it's also time to take some risks, VRC official stylist Elliot Garnaut says. 

Garnaut encourages men to find a wider leg pant, pleated trousers and, if you can handle the peacock factor, aim for a higher waist. Harrolds' Poulakis says a Dior double-breasted runway piece or Thom Browne three-piece suit allows for fun while meeting the dress code.

Melbourne Cup

November 5

This is a chance to make a splash and have fun with some colour. That means clashing shades and bold prints with stylish care. Don't be shy, slap on a patterned tie and pocket square; pop on a bold sock and pair colours that you normally wouldn't says Garnaut. Fashion is meant to be fun.

Myer's menswear buyer Justin Ng says "We are seeing a lot of greys and charcoals to complement everyday shades of blue [suiting], with a bright pop of colour - especially yellow to match the Melbourne Cup flower, plus reds, rust and oranges."

Oaks Day

November 7

You'll need to be a step ahead when you turn up to Oaks Day wearing a hat. Think panama or trilby matched with pastel linen and cotton fabrics. VRC's Garnaut says Louis Vuitton's runway was littered with hats, in full bloom transporting us to the gardens of France. Take this as your cue lads. 

Myer buyer Evangaleah Armen agrees. "Oaks Day is a time for guys to embrace their softer side. As the carnival days go on, men tend to go slightly more casual. From softer fabrics like linen, to more pastel hues and brighter colours such as blue, red, rust and pink tones, Oaks is where we see men get joyful and creative."

Stakes Day

November 9

The carnival is over, so you can let your hair down. Think safari chic and field jackets in cream and caramel.

Garnaut says men to have fun with a pocket square - your ultimate outerwear statement. Myer's Ng says casual chic will win so aim for effortlessly smart and a little fun. "Light and bright hues are coming through, along with checks and stripes. For that more casual vibe, we are seeing the cuff turned on pants thanks to the increased wear of loafers with no socks."