Not that a girl needs an excuse to express her inner Southern Belle, but today is a good one.
Or if thoroughbreds aren’t your thing, let’s go this route: T-minus 10 days ’til the next weekend when it’s socially acceptable and encouraged to get dressed up and day-drink before noon.
Money, horses, hats and time-honored traditions. Oh, and the unofficial start of Seersucker Season. (Hay, boys.) Hell yes. I’m fired up just thinking about it!
While it’s always been a huge event in the world of horse racing, the Kentucky Derby has also become quite a talked-about event in the style realm.
Do you know what you’re wearing for the most exciting two minutes in sports?
Personally, I went with a rose-print skirt, colorful wedges (easy to
stumble walk in) and — of course — a striped hat. I’m not one to shy away from a bold-and-bright ensemble and this one works because I kept it to two colors.
Here’s some advice on what to wear to a Kentucky Derby party or event:
- YOUR HAT: The bigger the better, ladies. I like one with a wide brim.
- YOUR OUTFIT: When you think Derby, think below the Mason-Dixon line. Anything goes — as Carly proves in her cobalt pants — but whether you’re uber-femme or no-frills, keep the silhouette simple.
- YOUR ACCESSORIES: Your hat is the crowning jewel on Derby Day, so there’s no need for statement jewelry. Though a cute pair of crystal-drop earrings never hurt.
- YOUR BAG: Derby veterans actually carry two bags on the day-of. Inside a larger carry-all, they keep sleek clutches for placing bets and mingling on the sly.
If your guy is party-going with you, advise him to wear seersucker, prints and pants in spring-like shades of red, orange and emerald — all perfectly fitting for the occasion. vineyard vines is the official tie maker of the Kentucky Derby, so pull together his look with a sleek neck- or bow-tie. I’m partial to the patchwork pattern.
As for the women’s collection, this season’s selection is lady-like meets laid-back casual. I love how Mackenzie kept her look classic in a pastel dress and metallic flats.
Carly’s horsebit blouse conveys the fun, whimsical tradition people associate with the Kentucky Derby lifestyle. And of course, there’s a lot of stressful creativity related to finding the perfect hat (which comes first — the dress or the hat?), and I love how Jess mixed mint and navy, lightly layering with a jean jacket for a traditional touch.
Now, if you’re heading to your own backyard rather than Churchill Downs (or in New York — to a rooftop or questionable sidewalk situation of sorts) here’s some tips for hosting a themed Kentucky Derby party:
- THE DECOR: Pick up red and white roses for your floral arrangements (a blanket of red roses is placed on the neck of the Derby winner).
- THE FOOD: Serve finger foods to start (like these Instagram-worthy sandwiches), then up the ante with a Southern barbecue spread of classic pulled pork sandwiches, roasted corn and slaw-based salads. Traditional Texas brisket or pork roast with a tasty bourbon glaze do well as main course options, too. If you’re coming to my party, know that we’ll be ordering in. #domesticgoddess
- THE VIBE: I’m more of an Infield kinda girl, myself — which is where you’d head if you’re more interested in a party (and seersucker-suited party-goers, hel-lo!) than the actual race. You with me? Otherwise, bust out your fine china for a spread worthy of Millionaire’s Row, which is the expensive box seats at the race.
- THE DRANKS: Bellinis and Bloodies make for an easy-to-ensemble beverage bar, but of course, you must have mint juleps. Woodford Reserve has a great recipe.
Rebecca Dale Photography | #vvderby14