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Horse attire

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Melbourne seems to be the primary spot in Australia for a day out at the races. A quick visit to their websites reveals some interesting facts about racecourses and club membership rules. Take dress code, for example. Would you expect similarities among the various clubs? Would a gentleman be able to hop from one racecourse to the next in the same attire? Would a lady find it easier to do the same without changing her outfit? The conclusion is that both sexes should have no problem, but there are a few interesting aspects of dress code worth mentioning when comparing those of the various clubs.

Attention all men!

Men's

Let us start with men. The Victoria Racing Club in Melbourne requires “a suit of tailored slacks (tailored chinos acceptable), sports coat or blazer, plus tie and dress shoes”. Mooney Valley Racing Club claims to have adjusted their dress code in response to feedback from members. Hence, they established a Traditional and a Relaxed dress code to be worn on “outside summer” Day Meetings and Night or Summer Day Meetings respectively. The Traditional dress code corresponds with that of the Victoria Racing Club, but Mooney Valley Racing Club additionally excludes from this parkas, beanies, boat shoes and any “dilapidated” footwear. Hopefully most members will have the same understanding of what “dilapidated” means.  Interestingly, you can wear your boat shoes under the Relaxed dress code, as long as they are made of leather.

The Melbourne Racing Club lets boys get away with more, as their men’s dress code applies to ages 15 and up while the Victoria Racing Club and the Mooney Valley Racing Club start at 13 years. Other than this, it is quite simple: “A suit, sports coat or blazer plus tie”. The one relief at the Melbourne Racing Club is that jackets may be removed from November until March.

Attention all ladies!

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When it comes to its dress code for ladies, none of these clubs even tries to be specific. Starting with the Victoria Racing Club, how much more general can it be than “…maintain a suitable standard in keeping with the dignity of members’ enclosures”? The less dignified the members, the easier it gets! The Mooney Valley Racing Club has a similar approach along the lines of “…maintain a suitable standard of dress in keeping with the distinction of the members’ reserve”. The less distinctive the members, the easier it gets! The club goes one step further, however, and expressly does not permit any clothing revealing excessive bare midriffs. No doubt there are different interpretations of “excessive” and these can only be clarified by specifying the centimeters, but we can all see how complicated that would become. Imagine club management approaching your girlfriend or wife with a tape measure. “Excuse me madam, I need to measure your bare midriff…it seems excessive but let me check for you…” Melbourne Racing Club makes this one easy by simply excluding any clothing that reveals bare midriff.

As always, ladies get away with much more. We all know how big corporates have a dress code that have men choking under collars while women arrive in sandals and the skimpiest of blouses at boardroom meetings. The same seems to apply to horse racing clubs and other sports clubs. We can all be sure that men are not complaining.

Sources
http://www.flemington.com.au/
http://mrc.racing.com/
https://thevalley.com.au/mvrc/about-mvrc

 

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