The races is one of the few occasions men can really cut loose sartorially speaking, but the results can often be mixed.

It’s always good to stand out when you’re trackside, but it is also easy to go over the top in an attempt to impress. The easiest way to look good and turn heads is to build from a classic foundation and add some flair with well-chosen accessories. Here are a few simple examples,

The dressy suit
The most foolproof outfit any man can wear to the races is a navy or mid- to dark-grey single-breasted suit. This may sound boring but it’s a classic for several reasons: dark tones help to cut a striking figure; it can be combined with almost any colour tie or pocket square; and navy and grey suit all types of complexions.

The sports coat and trousers
This is a combination for those who want to look sharp but move away from the formal or corporate feel of a full suit. Keep the trousers simple. Once again, greys and blues work well, but so do dark browns or creamy-beige tones. You can be more expressive with the jacket; incorporate a pattern or some textured fabric, such as a light tweed. Just make sure the tones contrast with the colour of your trousers.

Linen and cotton
Linen and cotton are great fabrics to wear as the weather warms up, but they also relax a suit without making it look too casual. They are also perfectly suited to lighter tones such as tobacco and cream, which can be too flashy in the more standard wool.

Choosing a tie
Your tie is the best way to inject a bit of colour into an ensemble. An otherwise dressy suit can handle a bolder, more colourful silk tie, while lighter-toned suits will look better with more restrained tones, and textured ties such as silk knits.

Your shirt should be white or light blue.

Remember, the easiest way to look good at the races is to wear a well-fitted suit. A suit that fits well makes a man look taller and more athletic, plus it is more comfortable, which is essential for a long day at Flemington.

Style notes
Chris wears: Navy suit – B&Tailor; Silk tie – Rubinacci; Black loafers – Edward Green; Sunglasses – Persol.

Ben wears: Grey jacket, brown trousers – P Johnson Tailors; Silk tie – Tie Your Tie; Cotton pocket square – Simonnot Godard; Black oxfords – Edward Green; Sunglasses – Matsuda.

Charles wears: Linen jacket, cotton trousers – P Johnson Tailors; Knitted silk tie – Double Monk; Socks – Bresciani; Brown suede loafers – Edward Green.

Ben Silvester is the Melbourne manager at Double Monk, a men’s boutique that specialises in top-tier, heritage shoes and accessories. Double Monk has locations in Melbourne and Sydney.