What Is Proper Attire for the Kentucky Derby?


Quick Answer

Typically, women wear spring dresses or suits in pastels and bright colors, with matching headwear and accessories, while men wear brightly colored blazers with dress pants for the Kentucky Derby. Outfits can vary depending on the individual's personal style and on how they plant to spend their day at the derby.

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Full Answer

The founding father of the Kentucky Derby, Colonel M. Lewis Clark Jr., wanted the environment surrounding the derby to be luxurious and comfortable, so men and women had the chance to dress up when attending this event.

The most popular item of clothing for women is the hat. It is recommended to keep the dress simple as to not detract attention from the hat. Women can choose to adorn their hats with flower accessories, ribbons and lace. A fascinator is a trendy alternative to the hat. Dress shoes, most likely with heels, a purse and nice jewelry are perfect accompaniments to elegant hats.

Common choices for men to wear for the Kentucky Derby include sports jackets or blazers paired with a polo or button-up shirt. For accessories, bright ties or pocket squares add an extra pop of color. Men can finish the look with light, breathable pants and a pair of dress shoes. Boat shoes are an alternative to traditional dress shoes.

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