My Cart


Getting Derby Ready

Ty Hendrickson

Posted on March 29 2018

Getting Derby Ready


Spring is here, the flowers are blooming, the weather is warming up, and it’s almost Derby-time in Kentucky!

The Kentucky Derby® is more than just a horse race. It’s an annual fashion event. People from all around the country - and world - tune in to see who is wearing what and what hats take the stage.

So whether you are hosting a Derby party or attending the event yourself, here are some tips to get Derby ready before Saturday, May 5 arrives.

Your Outfit

You want to think comfort first. Yes, you want to look fashionable, but you want to be comfortable. Knee-length dresses are most common, but you can also opt for flowy dresses and skirts, rompers, pants or even dresses with a more tailored fit. It’s Spring so think Springtime colors - pinks, violets, blues, greens. However, keep in mind if you are actually attending the Derby, the weather. Also, make sure your outfit is something that will match your hat.

Your Hat.

This long-established - and famous - fashion was started with Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr.'s vision for the Derby as an event that the high-class would attend, similar to European-style racing events, which mandated full morning dress for men and women. The event quickly became just as much about the fashion as the racing.


The extravagant hats that have become associated with the Kentucky Derby® did not really become a focus until the 1960s, when social fashion norms loosened up and the presence of television gave women a reason to stand out. The hats became larger, brighter, and more extravagant.

Be creative, but also be practical. Your hat should flow with your outfit but also protect you from the sun if it’s a sunny day. Some say the bigger, the better, but it’s up to you!

Your Shoes.

Again, think comfort! Whether you are at a party or the actual Derby itself, you will hardly be sitting down. If you know that standing in high heels will absolutely kill your feet, then opt for wedges or flats. There’s no need to sacrifice your feet and comfort for style!



So what will you be wearing for this year’s event on May 5?

To see Derby fashion through the years, visit the Official Kentucky Derby site here.

For tips on what to wear, see what the Derby itself says here.