FASHION | Matt Anderson's top tips

Three-time Auckland Racing Club menswear competition winner, with host of other sashes to boot, Matt Anderson is undoubtedly one of the best-dressed gents to have set foot on a racecourse.

This year, Matt is making his debut on a judging panel at Ellerslie for our all-new virtual competition - Fashions off the Field.

We had a chat to Matt about racewear and what he hopes to see.


Obviously this is a little bit of a different competition, with fashion being taken OFF the field... how would you make your virtual entry stand out from the rest?

Take a million pictures, find the angle that best works for your body, your outfit and accessories.

I've seen some lovely pictures in a very colourful garden settings, but they can sometime detract from the outfit. I would pick a more neutral setting and let my outfit shine.

Make sure to get the details in the picture - for example, if you're wearing a watch or bracelet, ensure it's not hidden under a sleeve.


With many sashes to your name, how does it feel to be on "the other side of the runway" and now judging for Ellerslie?

I am very, very excited to be judging for Ellerslie and look forward to seeing all the photos!

You obviously have an eye for a winning outfit – what do you think the golden rule is?

My golden rule is “tailor the outfit to fit your body or get it custom-made”.


Sometimes you hear judges say the final decision for them came down to the ‘little things’ or the ‘overall look’ – what is it for you and what are the ‘little things’ or ‘overall’ look that you’re actually looking for?

The overall look for me is looking at an outfit from top-to-bottom and having it look seamless.

You don't want your eye to get drawn to one part that could look out of place or doesn’t go with that outfit.

The little things are all the tiny details to bring an outfit together such as fascinators, hats, clutch, jewellery - in some instances where the competition is tight, it could even come down to the hairstyle and nails.


And lastly, although now is your chance to critique the girls, what would be your advice to guys wanting to get into the racewear scene? Where do you even begin?

I would love to see more guys enter.

My first ever FITF came about after a friend convinced me to enter a week out!

At that time I didn’t own a suit, so I ended up wearing a sports jacket with accessories I already owned and hence pulled a rather casual look together.

At the races I stood in the line-up feeling so nervous, but in the end was runner-up and was told I was missing one detail - a hat. From there I thought I better try again.

I’m a fan of custom-made suits and it’s such fun picking the style, fabric, lining, buttons and so on.

My hats are mostly custom-made in New Zealand and I get my accessories and shoes from all around the world.

For guys starting out I would say give it a go, look on social media and get inspiration - you may even have a winning look in your wardrobe.

I try to find my accessories first. There would be nothing worse than having a suit made which you can’t find the right accessories for.

Don’t miss the details - whether that's a watch, ring, bracelet, hat or even an umbrella if it’s raining.

Try not to go too matchy with the tie and pocket square - you can have the same colour palette with a different texture, pattern or sometimes a contrast also looks great.

Make sure your suit and accessories are not both fighting for attention.

If wearing a two-piece try something different like wearing braces.

Make sure your hat band / trim works with your outfit. I've seen some nice hats but they just needed the band changed to work with the outfit.

My biggest pieces of advice other than have fun, would be don’t do the bottom button up on your jacket or waistcoat and clean your shoes.

It's the little things!


What's next?