Traditional and classy won out over the more flamboyant fashion favoured last year in the Hawaiian Airlines Cup Couture competition at Ellerslie yesterday.

Colleagues Luke Hallsmith and Lana MacDonald were plucked from the crowd and handed a $5000 trip to Hawaii after impressing race day judges - current Silver Fern Maria Tutaia and TVNZ network stylist Clifton Piper - with their stylish outfits.

"We were just looking for poise, elegance, they wanted something classic and classy," Tutaia said. "Last year was quite flamboyant and extreme. We didn't want the same this year."

Mr Hallsmith and Ms MacDonald attended Auckland Cup Day as part of a company outing. They aren't a couple but didn't think that would be a problem on their unexpected holiday.


"It's convenient that I actually like him, so I don't mind standing next to him," Ms MacDonald said.

While Ms MacDonald is a regular racegoer, it was Mr Hallsmith's first visit to a track. "It makes up for the money I've lost on the horses," he said of the win.

Ms MacDonald was already $25 up for the day but the win "made the day a lot better".

Despite not co-ordinating their outfits the pair were perfectly matched, Tutaia said.

"They were totally well matched. The exact same colour [outfits] and you've got his black tie matching her hat."

Last year's winners, Peter Labbad and Stephanie Nobel, finished runners-up.