A Woman's Guide on How to Dress for the Kentucky Derby®

Posted by Jaclyn Harris on Thu, Apr 3, 2014 @ 09:04 AM

The Kentucky Derby® is less than two months away so it's time to think about what you're going to bring with you. We are going to help you plan the perfect Kentucky Derby® outfit so when the first Saturday in May rolls around you’re ready.

Take Me to the Derby!

Read on to get an idea of how you should dress for the Derby this year, and don’t forget to bookmark the page so you can come back to it when you’re packing your bags in a few weeks!

The Gentleman's Guide on How to Dress at the Kentucky Derby>>>

It All Starts with the Hat!

First up on your Kentucky Derby® fashion must-have list is an famous Derby hat! Horse racing draws in a unique and high fashion crowd, and since American horse racing is drawn from its British ties, there is a large amount of pageantry aligned with the sport. There is just as much interest regarding who's attending the race and what they wore as there is about the actual race!

So what does this mean? It’s time to bring out your most elegant attire and polish it off with a hat!

Wearing a hat to the Kentucky Derby® will not only add an extra something to your outfit that will help you fit in around Churchill Downs®, but it’s also a great way to show your creativity! All kinds of hats are seen at the Derby; hats donned with ribbons, bows, flowers, tulle, frills and flowers alike can all be seen inside Churchill on Derby day. And remember, the bigger the better!

Not to mention, your hat will work dual purposes to protect you from the Kentucky sun while you’re outside at the track on race day.

Hats at the Kentucky Derby

What to Wear!

Women’s Kentucky Derby® fashion continues to change with the ages and becomes more modern year after year. But with that said, there’s always a sense of class and elegance to the attire to keep with the tradition of the Kentucky Derby®.

Whether you’re in the mood to wear a maxi dress, short dress, flowy skirt, pencil skirt, pants or a romper, they will all be seen at the Derby. However, there are two things to remember when picking your outfit:

  1. Pick something cool and comfortable – the Kentucky Derby® is held in May so the weather is likely to be warm, and once you get to the track, changing isn’t an option. You’ll want to make sure you select an outfit that you’ll be comfortable wearing all day.
  2. Plan around your Kentucky Derby® hat – don’t forget that your hat is your biggest feature at the Derby! Spring patterns are fun, but you’ll want to select an outfit that doesn’t contrast with your hat. When in doubt on whether or not your outfit goes with your hat, it’s safer to go with solid colors.
If you're also attending the Kentucky Oaks®, include the color pink in your outfit choices!
Kentucky Derby FashionKentucky Derby Fashion

Don’t Forget to Accessorize!

Accessories are a big part of dressing for the Kentucky Derby® to complete your outfit! When choosing your accessories, it’s important to remember to compliment your outfit and don’t select anything too loud and draws attention away from your main accessory, your hat.

You'll want to bring small purse to hold your personal items nothing too big that you won't want to carry all day, sunglasses and jewelry! When selecting your jewelry, it should make a statement, but not pull focus.

Lastly you'll want to think about what you want to put on your feet. When you’re seeking an outfit that screams class, it’s natural to want to pair it with your best pair of heels. However, Churchill Downs® is a large track and you’re guaranteed to be on your feet all day long, so search for shoes that go great with your outfit, but also offer comfort. Opt for a pair of flats or wedges that will be kinder to your feet than stilettos. If you are determined to wear those pumps, purchase some gel insoles to add cushion throughout the day. Trust me, your feet with thank you!

You are Kentucky Derby® Ready!

Show Off Your Style at the Kentucky Derby® 2018

Derby Experiences is the only Official Experience Provider for Churchill Downs® for both the Kentucky Oaks® and the Kentucky Derby® offering a wide variety of event packages with unparalleled access to Derby weekend. Derby Experiences' Official Ticket Packages are filled with exclusive extras you cannot obtain anywhere else. From VIP parties to luxury hospitality access complete with gourmet food, premium open bars and wagering stations, you can’t go wrong with any of these packages.

Interested in a specific package and want to hear more? We’ve got you covered. Fill out the form or give us a call at 888.384.7088 and we will assign you to an expert sales rep that can answer all your questions.

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Topics: The Kentucky Derby

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About the Bloggers

Kristen Doolan

Kristen Doolan was born and raised a Florida State Seminole. Making her way from Florida to North Carolina, Kristen achieved her B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing at The University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is an avid traveler, college football addict, beach bum and loves spending time with her family and friends. 

Jazzy Morgan

Jazzy Morgan is originally from London, England and a die-hard Manchester United Fan. She grew up in Connecticut and made the move down south in 2011 where she attended Winthrop University and received her B.S. in Family & Consumer Sciences and a minor in Marketing. Jazzy enjoys traveling, working out, reading her monthly Vogue & Cosmo and keeping up with fashion trends.