April 9th, 2012
Spring Wardrobe, Style Inspiration, What to Wear
Style Inspiration: What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby
By Claire

Sharmisa writes, “I was invited to attend the Kentucky Derby with a friend and I was curious as to what to wear.. Do you have any ideas to share..?”
Do I! One day I really have to attend the Kentucky Derby because it embodies all I love about being a girl and dressing up. Pick out a large, sun blocking hat, a cocktail dress, and heels. Go for prim, polished, and resolutely pretty.
My first option jumps off with a spring perfect floral D&G number, accented by a pink American Apparel floppy summer hat and green apple peep toes:

Major shades are a must.

Get the look for less with these:

Option 2 incorporates an on trend peplum dress in ravishing red, uplifted by a black and white hat from Fred Flare and coordinating Diego Dolcini black and white Laminated Leather & Ponyskin Wedges:

Tone down the black and white theme with a solid black bag and a pop of red lipstick:

Get the look for less with these:

And Option 3 brings in yet another American Apparel sun hat, but adds a jolt of color with a Carven yellow cotton-twill dress, white gloves, and contrasting purple Giuseppe Zanotti bow sandals:

Incorporate a bit of print with a Dolce & Gabbana Miss Sicily bag:

Get the look for less with these:

I had way too much fun with these (sigh). Would you rock any of the above?
Get further inspiration from these stylish, Kentucky Derby attending celebs:

*Note: Louisville resident Pamela wrote in with the following tips! She said, “I am a lifelong Louisville resident and have attended the Derby many times. While recently googling derby looks for a friend that is new in town, I came across your blog. While I very much appreciate the info and COMPLETE looks (down to make-up), I feel that your hat suggestions are too casual. All seated (as opposed to general admission) KY Derby goers will have far more embellished and elaborate hats that would NOT double as beach sun protection. Your dress suggestions, however, were spot on!”

She added, “In Kentucky, all major department stores carry hats this time of year. Most will also customize them to your dress, which many women prefer to do in order to achieve a “one-of-a-kind” style. In addition, our (believe it or not) craft stores also carry hats during the season and embellish them as requested. There are also local designers that set up kiosk-style “shops” in the malls. Prices range from under $100 to well over $1000, with the average falling between $150-$250.”
Good luck!

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21 Responses to “Style Inspiration: What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby”

  1. Vicky says:

    Oh my goodness Claire! The outfits you put together are so lovely! I would wear each and every one. Actually, now I am dying to go to the Kentucky Derby just to wear one of these outfits. My favourite is the first but I also love the yellow dress. Hmm, what other occasion is there for a gal to look ultra fem, wear pretty colours and a wide brimmed hat?

  2. Myssdee says:

    This makes me want to go to a Kentucky Derby just to wear fancy dress, heels, and big ol hat…lol.

  3. Anonymous says:

    LOVE all the options & would wear any of them! My favorite is the red dress with the black/white hat. Absolutely love this Style Inspiration feature!

  4. Jaz says:

    yep!! I LOVE options 1 and 3. I so want to go to a Kentucky Derby. *adds that to my bucket list*

  5. sade says:

    I love the outfits,my favorite is the red!Now I want to go just from the options,Claire you go girl!!!!

  6. Sharmisa says:

    Oh wow thanks so much! These options are awesome and truly to die for!! I will take all these into consideration..! Again that you for your hard work!! You are awesome..! :) <3

  7. binks says:

    Great options. For the Kentucky Derby think feminine, classic and southern and you are in!

  8. Dee says:

    Wow! Loving the ensembles you put together. My favorite part about the derby is seeing the hats.

  9. cydnii says:

    heyyyyyy!!! I love these looks and lucky me :-) i just so happen to live in louisville, ky and I will be attending the Derby!! I hope you ladies can make one year!!

  10. Sharon says:

    Love the looks!

  11. araspecial says:

    Omg!! Great post and fantastic outfits!! I am in love with outfit number 1. Everything about the look is on point!! I wish the dress wasn’t so pricey. Otherwise, It would be in my closet right away.

  12. Mallory says:

    @ Vicky- Girl wear them to church! (If you are a christian :) I do, and I love it! Just like my momma raised me, I love hats and styling them! But don’t get it twisted, we will praise our hats off in a minute lol!
    BTW great inspiration ideas Claire. Very lovely looks.

  13. katie says:

    Wow, I love number one and two the most. I want to wear these outfits!

  14. Elena says:

    Love all three looks!

  15. Dom says:

    Nice! My fav is the first as well! I love the dress and the shoes!

  16. Sticky-n-Sweet says:

    Sooo…something for AKAs and something for Deltas? j/k I really wanna go, I love mint juleps and tea time and the line dancing parties…

  17. Cherokee says:

    All of the looks are great but the first look is my favorite. Aubrey’s look is also great becasue it is her style. Now I want to go.

  18. Sharde Monet says:

    Aubrey looks so cute!!!

  19. Maddie Gail says:

    Love those big hats that can serve as a sun umbrella.

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