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A gentlemen’s guide to spring racing fashion

/ 04 Oct 2018
Christmas has come early for race lovers with the weather slowly warming and the days getting longer, Melbourne’s famed spring racing carnival is just around the bend.

Whether purchasing tickets with friends or being treated to a day at the races on the company dime, picking a winner now runs second to looking like a winner when it comes to a day at the track.

Led by a calendar chock full of marquee race meets including the Caulfield Cup (20 October), Cox Plate (27 October), Derby Day (3 November), Melbourne Cup (6 November), Oaks Day (8 November) and Stakes Day (10 November), it’s not just the ladies that’ll be turning heads trackside this season with a look towards the dapper dos, and the downright dowdy definitely do nots in gentlemen’s fashion all the way from the top end of Collins street to the 190,000 square-metres of Chadstone – The Fashion Capital.

Racing fashion is like no other. It’s not a wedding, it’s not a cocktail party and it’s certainly not Monday to Friday workwear. Spring is the season for colour. A time to be brave and embrace that inner eclectic sense of style that’s been sitting dormant after a long cold winter.

Black is out, and light colours are in. Think blues, tan, terracotta and dusty pink which are tipped to be this season’s hottest colours in men’s fashion as are item jackets, also known as separates. A made-to-measure blazer (not a suit jacket) from Henry Bucks, made from natural fabrics (like linen) with contrasting bottoms ensure a sleek sartorial spring look with in-store and at-home personal style consultations a savvy option.

When considering a look this spring be prepared to be bold. Checks and stripes are safe, and perfectly on trend, but floral shirts are set to be the statement piece of the season. Picking that perfect shirt that’ll leave a lasting impression and have fellow racegoers coming back for a second look is as simple a quick flick through Melbourne menswear brand Jack London’s spring look book, be it subtle sprouts or an overgrown garden print, complete with plain knitted or grenadine tie. 

From the runway to the laneway, shoppers wanting to take it up a level should head to Masons in Flinders Lane. Offering 430 square metres of style with brands such as OAMC, Undercover, Alyx, Marni, Lanvin, Vivienne Westwood, and Slowear and bespoke suiting on site. With its own bar offering a coffee or a whisky the sophistication is complete. 

The key to transforming any good-looking rooster into a fully-fledged peacock this season is accessorising. With no shortage of options to choose, the right lapel pin, tie bar, pocket square, pair of cufflinks and/or piece of man-jewellery to compliment an outfit can put an exclamation point on even the sharpest ensemble. Melbourne's Lord Coconut is the city's only specialty jewellery and accessory boutique with designs exclusively for men.

Just as important as this season’s hottest colours, in-season fabrics or accessories is a trip to the tailor. A perfectly fitting suit can provide that champagne look, even on a beer budget. Guys can't go wrong with handmade suits of Adriano Carbone in Block Arcade, but there are options for all budgets across the city with Melbourne's Italian communities leading the artform. 

Unrivalled in its prestige and tradition, spring racing in Melbourne is more than horses and jockeys. Spring time is the social season, where sport, entertainment, food and fashion collide in a place where being a gentleman never goes out of fashion.


This content can be shared and edited for the purpose of promoting Victoria as a visitor destination. Not for use in paid advertising. Please credit Visit Victoria.


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