Menswear during spring racing is the ideal time to embrace the double-breasted jacket, fess up to your love of linen, and don a pair of suede summer loafers for the coolest look at the track and this side of European cities like Rome and Florence.
Aimed squarely at a fashion forward gent who is ready to stand out, the double-breasted jacket is carries confidence and owning your '80s throwback image. The season's keenest draw card combines a dash of young James Spader meets Al Pacino in Scarface in one – brooding, charismatic and instantly noticeable move.
A leaner look
The key difference this season is teaming the broad silhouette of the jacket with a tapered pant. Opt for a pair quality trouser or chinos depending on which side of the Birdcage you're standing. This trend is as close to European cool as you can get at the races.
Brands like Trussardi Elegance [a new line within the trusted heritage Italian brand] offers a Prince of Wales double breasted suit ideal for the races while Lardini is a mix and match brand where you can team double-breasted jackets with any trouser that works back with the hero piece.
Let your lapels out
According to Group General Manager for Myer, Karen Brewster, men are ready for the double-breasted suit jacket like never before.
"It's been around on the runway and sits nicely in the luxury end of menswear and now it's gone mainstream," says Brewster.
Menswear tailor Dom Bagnato agrees. He says the season focuses on wider lapels, but keeps the look modern. Always keep the length cropped for optimal fashion cool.
"What we saw at Pitti Uomo in Florence over the past two years is now finally becoming a global trend in menswear," says Dom Bagnato of the abundance of colour creeping into men's suiting.
There's plenty of blues and greys, but it's time to think of embracing Italian spirited shades of pomegranate, light sky blues and dollops of avocado green.
Team tradition with trend
When it comes to footwear, the key look for the track is suede loafers. Without them you'll be left behind. Try to find those with a touch of embellishment and you'll be a FOTF favourite.
The double monk strap is still a popular choice, but the European loafer in summer suede will have the fashion world bowing at your feet – only keep in mind, the age-old rule of socks hasn't changed.
According to VRC's Executive General Manager of Customer Engagement, Caroline Ralphsmith, for now, the no socks no entry rule for Members and Birdcage areas still apply.
"The VRC Members' Enclosure dress regulations in regards to dress shoes and socks have not changed," says Caroline Ralphsmith.
"Men are required to wear dress shoes with socks…We encourage racegoers to have fun and experiment with their racing style, whether it be a brightly coloured sock, patterned tie or pocket square."
The print for spring
Shirts are the easiest way to bolster up your look for a race ready spirit. This year it's all hail the floral shirt. Forget paisley and polka dots for now [they're more popular in casual wear], if you really want to be a step ahead at the races, reach for a floral or abstract print, complimented by a floral tie and floral pocket square.
Just keep an eye on your proportions and avoid overloading your floral ambition – it's not Woodstock, it's Flemington.
Look for linens
Myer Menswear Ambassador Kris Smith says linen is back for summer and it's sturdier than ever as many suits now use linen combinations that prevent unwanted creasing.
"Linen is easy to wear and a breathable choice for the spring racing carnival," says Kris Smith.
"It gives you a softer look overall, but you can still be tailored," he says.
Last word on the details
While it might be the season to let your jacket do the talking, Dom Bagnato says you can still have fun with shirts and accessories.
Gold and silver pins applied to the lapels will reign supreme and be in favour of feathers this time around.