As it turns out, you don’t have to own thoroughbreds or even know how to ride one in order to enjoy the Kentucky Derby. The pageantry, pomp, and circumstance transcend the sport, and the event’s popularity stems as much from the spectacle as it does from the two minute race. And just as the jockeys must battle in their best silks when they tread upon Churchill Downs, so must the patrons don their very best ensembles as they mingle in the grandstand or the infield. That goes for Kentucky Derby parties, as well! Don’t show up to the neighborhood soiree in jeans and expect to have your pick of the mint juleps. If you’re going to partake of Derby hospitality, you’d best dress for the occasion.
So welcome to your fashion guide to the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Derby parties. We’ll tell you the dos and don’ts, and we’ll generally put you through your paces (horse metaphor intended!), but first, as tradition dictates, it’s time to get in the mood with a little “My Old Kentucky Home.” Hit it! (or click here to skip ahead to the Kentucky Derby clothing collection).
Wow. That was quite moving, actually. Not a dry eye in the house (nor any empty cup, for that matter!). You might have noticed more fascinators than you even knew existed, and we were happy to catch more than a few bow ties on some of the dapper gents in the audience. But no cargo shorts in evidence. INTERESTING.
Speaking of fascinators, you might as well brush up on your vocab while you’re here.
Basically, any piece of headwear you see at the derby is likely some species of fascinator. While we don’t sell them, we do HIGHLY encourage you to wear one if you intend to attend the actual race. For Derby parties, we go with a fascinator-optional policy. If you have one, great – just don’t drop it in the refreshments.Now that everyone’s in the mood for bourbon drinks and finger sandwiches, let’s see some highlights from the 2018 Kentucky Derby. If you look closely, you might even see a horse or two.
Still with us? Excellent! Let’s talk about CLOTHES.
Over the years, we’ve seen winners at the Kentucky Derby, and we’ve seen more than our share of losers (and we’re not just talking about Barbaro…yeesh). We’ve broken it down (poor word choice?) to a few key takeaways. We’ll start with the ladies.
On the ladies’ side, we even have another helpful video for you. We didn’t make this particular video, but we think she knows what she’s talking about.
On to the gents! You might think there’d be fewer rules when it comes to men’s Derby fashion, but wouldn’t you know it – there are the exact same number!
Now that you know the general rules, let’s see how some of our favorite and not-so-favorite celebs handled their own day in the limelight. We’ll leave you to make your own judgments, but you can probably guess our inclinations. Spoiler alert: Jamie Foxx wins.
So now you have our expert tips, straight from the horse’s mouth (ahem). Remember, if you have any outfit anxiety, mint juleps are your friend, and if you’re in the market for the perfect ensemble, we’ve got you covered. Check out our Kentucky Derby Collection below, and thanks for reading.
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