Fashion

8 Fashion Tips for Kentucky Derby Outfits for Men and Women

8 Fashion Tips for Kentucky Derby Outfits for Men and Women

Whether it’s your first time at kentucky derby or if you’re a ‘Run for the Roses’ regular and might need some new outfit inspiration for this year, we’ve rounded up some fashion tips to help you look the best for your Derby.

Let’s face it, the Kentucky Derby weekend in Louisville isn’t just about the horses, it’s an annual fashion event with few rivals.

Some trends, like hem length and various “it” colors, fluctuate from year to year during the nation’s longest sporting event. But in general, a basic tip stands no matter what year you attend the Kentucky Derby at the historic Churchill Downs Racecourse.

“Wear what makes you feel amazing,” said a Kentucky-based fashion consultant Joe Ross.

Here are some must-have fashion tips and tricks before heading to the Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky Derby hats are essential

Alison Woods of Jackson, Florida watches the races from the MillionaireÕs Row balcony at Churchill Downs during the 144th Kentucky Derby race in Louisville, Kentucky.

Although you can’t wear them at any other time of the year, hats for women and men are a must-have item for Kentucky Derby weekend. There are loads of milliners who specialize in the style of hat worn at spring races, including Jenny Pfanenstiel and Christine A. Mooreboth featured modders for the 2022 Kentucky Derby.

“There’s definitely a nice Southern feel to the way Kentucky racing fans dress for the Derby,” Moore said. “It’s beautiful, elegant, and feminine, but at the same time, it also goes big or goes home. When it comes to hats and fascinators, women in Kentucky like it big and frilly. They dress to reflect the pageantry of the day but in an elegant way. .”

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Consider the weather when choosing your Kentucky Derby outfit

Model Shantay Chandler wears a sparkly off-the-shoulder Frank Lyman dress ($178) during a Kentucky Derby fashion shoot with stylist Jo Ross at Churchill Downs.  March 28, 2019

Once you have your hat, the weather is your biggest consideration.

This is not a joke.

May 7, the date for this year’s Kentucky Derby, could be 85 degrees and sunny or something like 2018’s wettest Kentucky Derby on record when it dumped 3.1 inches of rain throughout of the day.

“If you’re a local, you know that May in Louisville can be hot and sunny, cool and rainy, or somewhere in between,” Ross said. “Having dressed women and men for kentucky derby for decades I can tell you that the best choice is to wear clothes that breathe to be comfortable. So consider natural fabrics like cotton, gauze, linen and silk. And I always recommend that you have a plan for cold or rainy weather.”

What should men wear to the Kentucky Derby?

Guys, you can’t go wrong with a colorful tie or bow tie, a pastel shirt and a light sports jacket. Of course, a Seersucker suit will always pass the test with the Fashion Police.

“Absolutely yes,” Ross said. “Seersucker suits are a tradition at the Kentucky Derby and were originally designed to be comfortable in the heat and humidity.”

And you don’t have to wear a tie. The key is comfort. Going to the races is having fun while looking your best.

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What should women wear at the Kentucky Derby?

Kristina Russ wears a red jumpsuit, light white shrug, fuchsia and pink Frank Olive straw hat and bag by Bramin during a Kentucky Derby fashion shoot with stylist Jo Ross at Churchill Downs.  March 11, 2020

There is a southern charm that inspires the gaze of Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby weekend. You already know that you don’t want to be caught without a gorgeous hat or fascinator made of a lightweight material like straw. Pair your headdress with a beautiful floral summer dress.

Jumpsuits with pants or bermudas are a playful option in 2022. The same goes for jumpsuits and rompers, Ross said.

“Just be sure to choose one in a natural fabric or a blend,” Ross said. “If you’re wearing a 100% polyester suit, you’re going to roast if it’s really hot. »

Choose bright and vibrant colors for your Kentucky Derby outfit

Fashion is front and center with an occasional horse race at the Kentucky Derby on May 4.

We are crazy about color at the Kentucky Derby. As a result, you won’t find many shrinking violets on the trail.

Colors hanging in your closet that will impress on the race track include vivid shades of pink, indigo, orange, yellow and green and various shades of purple and blue.

The color combinations of the spectators are always classic during a horse race. Black and white or navy and white never go out of style – and don’t forget a pop of color in your shoes, handbag or accessories. It’s the Derby, after all.

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Do the couples wear matching outfits at the Kentucky Derby?

Models Aaron Thornton, left to right, Hope Daniels, Shantay Chandler and Josh Frank during a Kentucky Derby fashion shoot with stylist Jo Ross at Churchill Downs.  Thornton wears a black/red floral Tallia jacket ($195), a black Calvin Klein shirt ($29.50), and white Ballin pants ($195).  Daniels wears a Ted Baker Pastel Floral Print Mid-Calf Dress ($315), with a Simply Laura Pastel Straw Boater ($375).  Chandler is wearing Frank Olive Coral Ruffle Hat ($900), Frank Lyman Sparkly Off-the-Shoulder Dress ($178), Marc Jacobs Small Hot Pink Bag ($395) and Daisy Sunglasses ($9).  Frank wears a JKT New York Blue Sport Coat ($300), Floral Bugatchi Shirt ($179), Hot Pink Bugatchi Shirt ($149) and Hot Pink Santorelli Pants ($225).  Everything is at Von Maur.  March 28, 2019

And while we’re on the subject of color pairing, many couples will be coordinating their wardrobes this year.

It’s not about matching suits but rather an elegant and subtle combination of colors and textures. Consider pairing your outfits with accessories like a pocket square and scarf that blend with the colors of her dress and headpiece.

What to know about Kentucky Derby props and footwear

Models Aaron Thornton, left to right, wear a white-on-black Bugatchi shirt ($179), Tostcano Firenze white linen drawstring pants ($85), Stacey Adams black/white straw fedora ($30 ).  Model Hope Daniels wears a black and white Giovanno headband ($395), black and white Brighton sunglasses ($80), a black and white polka dot Frank Lyman jumpsuit ($198) and a small red Michael Kors bag ( $128).  Model Shantay Chandler wears a black and hot pink platter headband ($245), white ruffle sleeve Ted Backer dress ($245), Tory Burch small black belt bag ($228) and black round sunglasses ($110) at a Kentucky Derby fashion shoot with stylist Jo Ross at Churchill Downs.  March 28, 2019

When it comes to accessories, “shoes and the size of your handbag are two things to consider,” Ross said. “Your purse can’t be longer than 12 inches in any direction, it’s a rule of the track, but that gives you enough room to throw a pair of flats or flip flops in there.”

Kentucky Derby Day is a long day on your feet, and in the heat and humidity of a sunny May day, you’ll feel it all the way to your toes if you’re wearing stilettos.

Flip flops or ballet flats are essential for walking from the runway to your car and trust us, you’ll regret it if you forget this fashion tip.

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Have alternate Kentucky Derby outfits picked out and ready to go

Model Hope Daniels wears a black and white Giovanno headband ($395), black and white Brighton sunglasses ($80), a black and white polka dot Frank Lyman jumpsuit ($198) and a small red Michael Kors bag ( $128) at a Kentucky Derby fashion shoot with stylist Jo Ross at Churchill Downs.  March 28, 2019

You should be prepared with three different wardrobe options because we never know exactly what the weather will be like on Kentucky Derby day.

It snowed on Derby day, but heat or rain should be your priority

“The first option is your dress, pantsuit, jumpsuit or romper,” Ross said. “The second option is to add a shrug or wrap if the forecast calls for a drop in morning or evening temperatures – and if you have tickets to an air-conditioned section of the track.”