Kentucky Derby Fashion 2022
The Kentucky Derby is the longest-running sporting event in the United States! If that's not impressive enough, the Kentucky Derby has not only a grand atmosphere of races but also has vibrant clothing and an energetic social scene. The Derby, and its sister event, the Kentucky Oaks, boasts sports parties that showcase the finest in spring fashion. Before we talk about Derby fashion, let's take a brief moment to learn some fun facts about the Kentucky Derby.
Fun Kentucky Derby Facts
What About the Horses?
Kentucky Derby Fashion
Not that we got that out of the way, let's get on to the good stuff...the fashion! Even though very few of us actually get to attend the Derby, that doesn't mean we can't channel our inner Southern Belle and still celebrate the event. I mean, it is all about showing off new spring fashion anyways and we can do that wherever we are! The good news is there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to Derby style. Ladies typically wear pretty spring dresses, pastel attire, coordinating accessories, and of course hats!
The best advice is to keep it simple and wear something that makes you feel amazing. Go with light and airy neutrals or let the colors of spring inspire you and pick something bright and colorful! Remember that May weather can be rather unpredictable, anywhere from oppressive humidity to pouring rains, so dressing in layers and bringing along a cardigan or jacket to throw over your dress is always a good idea.
Derby fashion doesn't always mean dresses. You can always go with a fun top and a nice pair of bottoms. Again, you can take your inspiration from spring and choose light pastels, brighter hues, or floral patterns to complete your outfit. Tops and bottoms provide you with an even easier way to layer for unexpected weather.
No Kentucky Derby outfit is complete without a great pair of shoes. If you're attending the event, then remember that Churchill Downs can be difficult to maneuver around and the day will be extremely long, so you're going to want comfortable shoes. If you're not attending, then you're still going to want those comfy shoes! Go with neutral slip-on sandals that will match any outfit you end up wearing.
You really want your outfit to shine during this special event, so keep your jewelry understated and simple. No need for bold and extravagant pieces! Some do choose to wear equestrian-themed jewelry, but we suggest just going with pieces that will compliment your outfit without grabbing too much attention. This will allow you to reuse the pieces in your everyday style as well.
Derby Day, or any day for that matter, can involve a lot of walking and running around, so make sure to pack your accessories accordingly. We recommend carrying a medium to large size bag with room to carry a water bottle, sunglasses, sunscreen, a rain poncho, phone, and a smaller clutch to hold your cash and cards.
Last, but not least, because it's the most important part of Kentucky Derby fashion...the hat! From the absolute fantastic to the criminally sublime, there are no limitations when it comes to hats. It's true that you will see some pretty wild and crazy hats during the Derby, but we're opting for some more subtle varieties that won't make your head spin and are a bit more practical.
The Mint Julep
We mentioned that the Kentucky Derby serves over 12,000 Mint Juleps every year. This is an extraordinary feat that requires more than 10,000 bottles of Old Forester Mint Julep Cocktail, 1,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint, and 60,000 pounds of ice! Here is the Old Forester Mint Julep recipe borrowed from the Kentucky Derby website.