Spring Racing, What Can You Wear?

It is Spring Racing time again and most gentlemen are looking for the perfect outfit. But what can they wear and are there rules to abide by?

Through the carnival, gentlemen are required to wear a suit of trousers (chinos acceptable), sports coat, plus tie and dress shoes.

Not acceptable;

Any form of the following footwear: joggers, sports shoes, track shoes, runners, sandals, thongs*, gumboots or slippers and shoes without socks.

Pants not acceptable: Jeans, jodhpurs, shorts, untailored slacks or cargo pants Torn or ripped clothing, even if considered ‘designer’ tears.

Upper body garments not allowed: Open-neck shirts or shirts with no collar Parkas, duffle coats, windbreakers, tracksuit tops, golf and yachting weatherproofs, waist-length jackets including bomber jackets, denim jackets, casual or untailored leather jackets. Safari suits, bright/fluorescent coloured suits, tracksuits, jumpers or cardigans (without a jacket), sporting jerseys (football ,basketball etc). Hat-wise no caps or beanies and Strictly no denim!

Yes, there are quite a few rules but that will not stop you from having fun and dressing up. So let's see the traditional colours the are worn during Derby Day and Melbourne Cup. Then, how to dress a more modern traditional way and a few different.

Derby Day:

Traditionally, Derby Day is about black and white for the ladies, while men often chose to wear a grey morning suit, colourful vest and pinstripe pants. But in the modern day men will steer away from the "morning" suit and more towards a party or sporting suit.


For someone who doesn't want to be too outspoken, a grey suit will suffice but make sure it is a well-fitting suit, go for something with texture or a subtle pattern like this Glen Check (above) and play with a little colour in the accessories or shirt.


For those who want to freshen up their look, a slate blue is a great choice. The slate blue has a few different variations of colour both lighter and dark, so there are many choices. Being a colour not a shade it gives more life to an outfit. Easily paired with multiple colour combinations for accessories.


This last one is splitting up a suit or jacket/trouser combination. If you're confident then go for it, this look can be both classic and wild but that will depend on the wearer. Above is a modern twist on a classic combination, blue jacket, white shirt and grey trouser. Note the subtle check pants against the solid jacket, this can work both ways with the pants as a solid against the patterned jacket.

Melbourne Cup:

This is the day that race enthusiasts take the opportunity to showcase their fashion statement.  Emirates Melbourne Cup Day is all about COLOUR!


When it comes to colour some may be a little afraid to go too bright or outlandish. Green in shades of olive or forest will work perfectly for some colour without the neon signs.


Bring the party with you to the races and combine both colour and pattern. Windowpane suits can come in numerous colours and they definitely stand out from the crowd without "peacocking". I hope to see this look done well whilst at the races this year!


Another version of jacket/trouser combo but with more flair. As you can see the white trouser highlight the red jacket, making it a standout feature. When wearing this combo it is best to keep the "hero" the jacket and not goo too over the top with the accessories.


For those wanting to wear the iconic flowers during Spring Racing, the four are;  Derby Day is a Corn Flower, Melbourne Cup Day is a Yellow Rose, Crown Oaks Day is a Pink Rose, and on Emirates Stakes Day is it traditional to wear a Red Rose.

I will leave on one finally note, let's be gentlemen and leave the pub games at the local and leave the clown suits at home.