What To Wear To The Kentucky Derby

What To Wear — And Where To Go — For The Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby, also known as America’s Race, has been around for 137 years. This annual springtime sports party brings thrilling horse races to millions of Derby fans.

However, this May 5th, the horses won’t be the only ones captivating attendees and catching eyes at the Kentucky Derby. You can turn heads, too, by following a few Kentucky Derby outfit guidelines. Yes, this include ladies who will be watching at various viewing parties throughout Scottsdale, including Bourbon Steak at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess and the Saguaro’s Derby Dandy Party (details are down below).

Showstopping hats

As you might have already guessed, a large part of this event is the fashion, especially the ostentatious hats. The bigger, the better as there are no rules when it comes to what you can put on these fun and, at times, zany hats.

Fruits, flowers, birds, feathers, gems — you name it! With such a creative accessory atop your head, you’ll need an understated yet still bright and cheery outfit.

Channel your inner Southern Belle or locate the perfect touring hat with the selection of hats at ladydianehats.com or Mumbo Jumbo Boutique.

For those with long hair, I suggest putting it in a side ponytail or braid while wearing one of these creations to both frame your face, and let the hat do the talking.

Dressing to impress

What To Wear To The Kentucky Derby
Two-piece suits in pastel shades of pale yellow, pink, light blue and cream are perfectly acceptable and will give you a preppy-chic look. If you’re willing to be bold, dresses with floral prints à la Lilly Pulitzer are a great choice too.

Balancing act

Whatever your choice, be sure to maintain balance between your hat and the rest of your outfit. If your hat is the creative kind, try keeping your outfit simple. If you opt for a classy, understated hat, then you can choose an outfit that’s a little more out there.

Men, this includes you, too

What To Wear To The Kentucky Derby

Men, of course, are not to be left behind. The typical Derby outfit for men consists of seersucker suits, a light-colored collared shirt made from breathable material, loud and flashy ties or bows. A sports jacket in a neutral color such as navy blue, brown, tan, grey, cream or white and a pair of mismatched trousers, also in a neutral color, can take the place of a suit.

As for hats, men can join in on the fun with derby hats made of straw adorned with a colorful ribbon. Fedoras are also common.

The Kentucky Derby has always been famous for its distinct fashion. Bright, fun colors, larger than life hats and intricate fascinators are all part of the Kentucky Derby experience. Overall, think semi-formal-Southern when getting ready for the Kentucky Derby, and let the race begin!

Where to Go:

Kentucky Derby Brunch at Bourbon Steak

“The most exciting two minutes in sports” will be celebrated at Bourbon Steak, located at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. Brunch and frosty mint juleps will be served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 5th. This fun-filled event will allow fans to view the races on plasma screens at 2 p.m. PST.

7575 E. Princess Dr.
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Bourbon Steak’s Kentucky Derby Brunch is $69 per person.
RSVP at (480) 513-6002

Derby Dandy Party at the Saguaro

The Derby-ists can enjoy a Derby Dandy Party on May 5th from “noon ’til whenever” with prizes for the best dressed, table-top horse racing, a “betting” booth and $5 Juleps.

4000 N. Drinkwater Blvd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 308-1100

Where to Shop:

Vera Bradley
2502 E. Camelback Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(602) 956-2500

Pink Saguaro
Arizona Biltmore Resort
2400 E. Missouri St.
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(800) 950-0086

Mumbo Jumbo Antiques, Boutique & Haberdashery
34505 N. Scottsdale Rd., #E4
Scottsdale, AZ 85266
(480) 575-5858

Brooks Brothers
Biltmore Fashion Park
2502 E. Camelback Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(602) 957-2061