Spring racing season is just around the corner, and even if you are not the gambling type, you definitely don’t have to miss out on all the fun. With many racing carnivals implementing strict dress codes for patrons, especially in the members’ areas, your outfit for the day should be more than just an afterthought. After all, a racing carnival isn’t actually about the horses – it’s really all about the fashion. Whilst women have typically received all the attention in the past, men are beginning to be recognised and commended for their attire. The races are not just another day in the office and thus, there is plenty of scope to be creative and adventurous in your ensemble.

Outer Shell:

Whilst a suit or formal blazer is a necessity for the races, the rigid style rules end there. Recent trends have seen a focus on texture over colour, with materials such as tweed, velvet and linen becoming commonplace in a races outfit. Depending on the theme of the race day, experiment with anything from a burgundy velvet jacket to a pastel pink linen blazer. Instead of being too ‘matchy-matchy’, deliberately pair well fitted separates together to customise your look. For those who prefer to play it safe, a single-breasted, slim fit suit in navy with two buttons is your best option. Do the top button up or leave them both undone for a more comfortable, relaxed look.

Extra Elements:

As you will be parading around in your outfit in broad daylight, every element of your look needs to be strictly composed and effortlessly blended together. Since the races are an occasion to relax and have fun, avoid anything that you would usually wear at your day job and be daring in your shirt and tie combinations.

While you don’t want to go overboard, playing with patterns and prints will help give your outfit a bit of extra personality, and works extremely well with both a plain and coloured suit. Make sure your tie complements your shirt choice, with a range of colours, prints, stripes and knitted varieties on offer. As always, keep the balance between your shirt and tie. If your shirt is busy, keep your tie simple, and vice versa. Moreover, let your sleeves peep out of the bottom of your jacket sleeves and allow your originality to shine with an interesting pair of cufflinks.

Avoid any tacky belts with big designer logos or prints and invest in one of a smooth leather variety in a rich colour. Furthermore, always make sure your shoes are clean and polished and try to avoid shoe styles that are chunky or have a thick rubber sole. Leave the work boots and white Saturday night fever shoes at home. You definitely cannot go wrong in a classic pair of lace-up brogues in black or brown leather. Nonetheless, do not forget to consider your sock choice to avoid any embarrassment when you sit down during the day. A statement pair of socks never goes astray and can be incorporated into the overall theme of your outfit.

Finishing Touches:

Racing season is your chance to put in a bit of extra effort with your outfit an experiment with the finer details. Now that you have your nice new suit, shirt and shoes sorted, let’s move onto the final elements. Be the leader of the pack and add a range of accessories to the ubiquitous race-day look. Each racing carnival has an official flower, which can easily be incorporated into your look. Consider your options of a hat, cufflinks, gloves, pocket handkerchief, belt, tie, sunglasses, watch and a flower in your buttonhole.