This Saturday the Ninth of January will see the Jeep Portsea Polo, together with Peroni, meld the natural beauty of Point Nepean National Park with world-class polo and glamour. An event that dominates the summer social calendar, thousands of well-dressed punters will flock to the picturesque location for an afternoon of entertainment, fashion and fun.
When it comes to choosing an outfit, the official dress code gives gentlemen a solid starting point. 'For the gents,' the organisers say, 'a tailored shirt matched with dress shorts or chinos, together with loafers or boat shoes achieves a polished yet casual look for the day'. Here are our suggestions to make sure that you meet it.
The polo is a summer event, so it's important to dress for the weather. Keeping cool is key for surviving the sun, so a suit or sport coat should be lightly coloured and of a lightweight, breathable fabric. Pure blue is a bold and beautiful move, and highly recommended. Likewise, a white linen three-piece will mix comfort with style.
If you do choose a darker option, ensure that the mood is kept light and non-serious with personal flair. A navy blue jacket can casually match with white trousers or chinos, and especially those with a higher hem. Likewise, an unlined and patterned three-piece or double-breasted suit is a safe choice for an urbane gent, especially in burgundy with a bright cravat.
The non-serious nature of the jacket should carry on to the trouser. High hems are a bold yet safe move and can be cut just above the ankle. Chinos in bright colours (white, aqua and light green) will keep you cool whilst adding further depth to your image. Shorts, too, are an acceptable choice, but should be kept neat and formal. Avoid belts where you can, opting instead for a well-fitting trouser that sits well on its own.
A plainly coloured and patterned oxford shirt is a good beginning for the inner of your outfit. Conveying comfort and easy style, a light colour (like baby blue and salmon) will keep you cool and allow your outer clothes and accessories to dominate your outfit. Wear it open-necked or with a silk-knot tie.
A bolder gent can sport a more ostentatious collar, such as a cutaway or button-down, and spice things up with a patterned bow tie. A more casual, streetwear-loving man can opt for a plain tee and dress it up with a smartly cut blazer in a contrasting colour and a neckerchief to tie things off.
Your choice of footwear can make or break your outfit. Just as a stylish shoe can take a casual outfit into the smart casual realm, a poorly chosen set of wheels can ground your style. But getting it right isn't difficult, and the secret lies in the very intent of the day: smart yet casual fun, with a playful sporting flair. Almost regardless of what you choose, a little rakishness will go a long way.
A monkstrap or Oxford that may initially appear too formal can, when worn sockless with an ankle bandana under a high-hemmed trouser or short, can be perfectly appropriate for the less formal day. Likewise, a plain white sneaker when paired with a double-breasted chalk stripe suit can present a bold, style-merging and very in-vogue look.
In our humble opinion, the most stylish option available is the dress slipper (also known as the tassel loafer). Elegant, dapper and beautifully simple, this shoe will naturally draw onlooking eyes down to exposed ankle and add easy style to your step.
If these seem too bold for you, a boat shoe, moccasin or loafer is a safe and comfortable choice. Match their colour with an element of your outfit, or a colour that matches well: brown with cream, green with blue, red with white.
Accessories are an integral element of any outfit, and the Polo is no exception. Portsea's officials even include sunglasses as 'a must-have accessory'. Take this opportunity to be playful with your eyewear. Coloured lenses and daring shapes can round out a look well, adding depth and a positive personal touch.
A solid timepiece speaks volumes about a gentleman too, and should never be absent from an outfit. For the more urbane gents about, an ankle bandana and a waistcoat chain bring a little European moda into the mix, as do wrist beads and bracelets. A hat is a staple choice, and very much in vogue - look for white or tan fedoras or a straw panama. And whatever happens, don't forget your pocket square.
Make sure you #peronistyle on Instagram to check out all the styles on the day.