Derby Party Fashion – Kentucky Derby Week

Kentucky Derby Fashion Tips

While April showers indeed usher in May flowers – the colorful blooming buds of spring also announce the annual sports/fashion extravaganza known as the Kentucky Derby. Every year, the first Saturday in May, thousands of horse racing fans flock to Churchill Downs in their finest Derby attire while others use the occasion to sip on mint juleps, play dress up and throw a watch party at home. Before you R.S.V.P. to the ultimate Derby bash – you will definitely want to brush up on proper “Run for the Roses” party wear.

Ladies Derby Fashion “Dos”

Ladies – when it comes to fashionable Derby duds – there is one absolute “must have” and that is an appropriate hat. Whether you choose to go with the traditional straw hat with feathers or more of a trend setting statement – adorn your head with “chic and classy” not “grandiose and gauche”. While you want your hat to get some oohs and aahs – you don’t want to have to bend your head sideways to go through a door. Derby fashion experts recommend color coordinating your hat with your outfit while mixing in a bit of whimsy in your headgear design.

Colorful sundresses with matching heels or flats are the traditional Derby attire – along with the always classy polka dots and pearls. Since your hat is literally the life of the party – choose a dress that doesn’t over shadow your lovely topper and isn’t too body-hugging.  Fashionistas also recommend keeping your jewelry simple and understated allowing your crowning glory to take center stage.

Gentlemen’s Classic Derby Duds

Guys – no hat? No problem! While you might see a few of your ilk sporting a dapper 20s-style hat, it’s not a critical accessory for you. But, if you want to dress to impress at “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports” spring fling – choose bright colors, a bow tie and seersucker! A Derby party is the perfect gathering to unleash your inner peacock. A crisp seersucker or linen suit accented with a whimsical bright yellow or pink bowtie – might just win you the award for best dressed man.

If you are bringing a date – do your best to coordinate your looks so you don’t wear clashing colors.  For example, choose a kerchief and tie that matches the color of her hat. Don’t be afraid to experiment with contrasting patterns such as plaid pants and a striped tie. Choose light color shoes – this is not the time for your standard black business shoes. Finally, to be absolutely Derby dashing – make sure you are perfectly groomed. Mussed hair and scraggly beards are definitely “Derby Don’ts”.

Derby Attitude

Last but not least, remember you are going to a party – so don’t let a case of “dress-stress” keep you from having fun. Do the best with what you’ve got – wrap your hands around a cool mint julep, make sure to stay hydrated with FIJI Water, sit back and cheer your favorite horse on to victory!