Let’s face it, with t-minus four days until Oaks and Derby weekend, the ladies most likely have their outfits figured out. And, I have confidence that if you do not have an outfit at the ready, that you can pull one together in the next few days on your own. (Refer to my post about fascinators, click here, and go from there.)
Men are a different story. They will wear their work suit, their funeral suit or really try to dress like someone they are not. I asked my stylist friend, Andre Wilson (styleiconllc.com), to boil it down for me into four easy looks. Ladies please insert your man into one of these categories and either go shopping or go shopping in his closet. But, please, help your man, he needs it.
First look: The Classic
The classic look is a darker suit with a power tie. These men usually work in a trust-based industry, such as banking, insurance, investments, law. They send a message of professionalism.
Second look: Southern Gentleman
My personal favorite on Derby, this look includes a seersucker or linen suit with a colorful bow-tie and white bucks.
Third look: Distinguished Gentleman
Fourth look: Fashion Forward
Made for a younger generation, this is a slim suit or slim sportcoat. Usually has an open shirt, but if a tie is worn, it is a thinner tie. Jackets are shorter, lapels are thinner, brands are usually European.
Here are some looks I loved that blend from the categories. They add elements of color and linen that work so well on Derby.
“What separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize,” said by Dolly Parton, so wisely, in Steel Magnolias. So, let us jump into the accessory pool of hats, ties and shoes.
The Man Hat
Most women are uninhibited about wearing hats, especially at Derby. The same does not hold true for men. We want nothing more than for our men to channel Don Draper, sauntering in the track in a slim suit and a fedora. But men balk at hats; they need to be convinced. I am noticing a growing trend of men wearing hats to the track. They used to be hard to find, but now are popping up everywhere. I was surprised at the selection from Rodes, Dillards and Macy’s, in both their quality and affordability.
Men’s shoes are getting lighter, more neutral. The current trend nixes a man’s black shoe with the exception of work. Here are some great ideas to start you off on the right foot, literally and figuratively.
FINALLY, Vineyard Vines has a Kentucky Derby Collection. As you can expect, it’s adorable. It is the only way I can get my husband to wear pastels. This collection is only sold, in Louisville, at The Kentucky Derby Museum and at Rodes.
Don’t ask me why, but I keep coming back to this outfit:
This is your opportunity to take a chance. Derby is a costume party, so you are never going to be the most outlandish one there. Never.