Style Inspiration: What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby

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!


Claire Sulmers is the publisher and founder of Fashion Bomb Daily, the #43 most influential style magazine in the world.

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