We’re welcoming Derby with a warm embrace, and because it’s just a few weeks away, we wanted to make sure everyone is as prepared as possible for Kentucky’s most fashionable events! We all know that Derby week is about the hats, but in recent years, it’s become so much more.
We wanted to give you the best fashion advice possible, so we solicited the expertise of our beloved stylist Tracy Varga of Tracy Varga Group with model and blogger Nicole Green of What Nicole Wore. We also turned to the fashion gurus at Rodes For Him | For Her and Merci Boutique to provide today’s gorgeous Derby looks all shot by Leila Grossman of Grannis Photography.
SB TIP: If you’d like some extra help finding that perfect Derby look, head to Rodes on April 18 for their Derby Divas event benefiting Norton Healthcare’s Derby Divas Breast Health Center. Now, without further ado, here’s what to wear to for Thurby, Oaks and Derby.
What to Wear for Derby Week 2019
It’s the new day for the locals! This low-key yet super-fun day at the track is when Louisvillians get to celebrate all the flair Derby has to offer without the massive crowds. Grab the gang, a mint julep and your favorite frock. Let the races begin!
What to wear + Tracy’s style tips: “Dresses are the go-to track attire for Derby week, and the formality of your dress depends on the location of your seats,” says Tracy. “You will see everything from casual sundresses to more formal dress suits. Jumpsuits have also become a trend. Your best bet is to wear layers as the weather during the first weekend in May can be in the 80s down to the 40s. Thursday is traditionally locals’ day at the track. Hats are optional, and the attire has a more casual vibe. If you do decide to go for a hat, go big or go small, but have fun and be creative with your headpiece. There are so many options available at every price point.”
RELATED: The Smart Girl’s Derby Guide
The Kentucky Oaks
Think pink! Oaks is the day to don your favorite pink dress and accessories — and make sure your fella’s bow-tie is pink too. It’s all in honor of breast cancer awareness, which makes this day extra-special.
What to wear + Tracy’s style tips: “Friday, Kentucky Oaks day, is dedicated to the fillies. Churchill Downs does a ‘pink out,’ and guests are encouraged to incorporate pink into their outfits to bring national attention to the fight against breast and ovarian cancer,” says Tracy. “Most women will wear a hat or fascinator. Bring a handbag with a strap. A strap will allow you to hold a drink, pen, racing form and purse at the same time! Keep in mind that handbags are restricted to a maximum of 12 inches in any dimension, but you are allowed two bags. Overflow supplies can be brought in a clear Ziploc plastic bag.”
The Kentucky Derby
And they’re off! The greatest two minutes in sports is also the most stylish. When it comes to the Derby, the bigger the hat or fascinator, the better. While it’s still about the outfit, the hat is the star of the show.
What to wear + Tracy’s style tips: “Saturday is Derby day and the time to bring out your best dress and hat,” says Tracy. “Many women wear red in homage to the run for the roses, but you will see a wide variety of colors and prints. Bonus points if you color-coordinate with your date! The most important tip I can give is to wear a pair of comfortable, well-tested shoes. By comfy, I mean shoes that can be worn for more than eight hours. Bring some flip flops in a Ziploc bag for the walk to the car. Even the most comfortable shoes can hurt after a long day at the track. Your feet will be so happy in your cozy flip flops as you watch the rookies hobble in their high heels to the parking lot.”
Go, baby, go in style this Derby season!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
- To our boutiques, Rodes For Him | For Her and Merci Boutique
- To our photographer, Leila Grossman of Grannis Photography
- To our stylist, Tracy Varga of Tracy Varga Group
- To our model Nicole Green of What Nicole Wore
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