While race-going women hit the shops to find a unique fascinator and durable heels, many of their male counterparts can be found paying a visit to Double Monk.

Its classic, brooding, bachelor-style store in Fitzroy plays perfect host to the luxurious collection within – particularly its range of high-end shoes sourced from England. “We love classic shoes – shoes that don’t follow any fashion trends,” says Nick. “Our most satisfying customers are guys who come in and have never invested in a quality pair of shoes before, and leave with a pair that will last them a lifetime.”

The Schaerfs are here to help you dress and accessorise for the Spring Racing Carnival, and they start with two basic rules – customise and keep it simple.

“There is a great tradition for dressing up and dressing well at the races,” says Nick. “I think for many gentlemen, it can be a challenge and they have questions, but I think if you follow some basic rules, then you can simplify the experience and make sure you don’t make mistakes.”

Starting with the suit, he recommends a well-fitting single- or double-breasted suit in dark grey, light grey, charcoal, blue, or navy. Once your suit is sorted, it’s time to move on to accessorising – to inject a bit of personality into your outfit. The tie is the first mandatory addition, which can either make or break a races look. The Schaerfs recommend keeping it subtle. “It’s such a simple thing to get right and there are so many beautiful designers out there,” says Nick. “A tie should always complement the suit, and never match the pocket square.”

A thin tie is also a big no-no according to Double Monk – it should be around seven centimetres wide. “You don’t want a tie that’s too shiny, either. I’ve seen those bad silk ones where you can basically see your reflection in it, and that’s no good,” Christopher says.

Next up: shoes. And, once again, the Schaerfs recommend a classic look that is versatile and durable. “We love classic shoes; shoes that don’t follow any fashion trends. For the races, we recommend darker colours. Sometimes you see a tan shoe with a dark suit. That’s not a good look,” says Nick. A black toe Oxford is a popular choice because it can be worn with a suit or with jeans on the weekend. For the more adventurous, velvet slippers complete a dandy look, and hey, who can argue with the comfort factor when you’re standing all day?

Bringing the entire ensemble together before stepping out the door (and invariably winning at life), a boutonnière and elegant cane-handle umbrella are the minor details that make all the difference.

To help the gentlemen of Melbourne look their classiest for the occasion, Nick and Christopher have chosen five distinct looks that showcase men’s accessories when executed properly.

Double Monk
53 Smith Street, Fitzroy

Tue to Fri 10am–6pm
Sat 11am–5pm