The Kentucky Derby, well-regarded in the South as the most exciting two minutes in sports, is also one of the most preppy fashion events of the year. Whether watching the race live in Louisville or attending a Derby-themed party, dressing the part is key!
Kentucky Derby fashion comes with a lot of expectations and is not for the faint of heart. If ever there was an event to express your inner Southern Belle, this is it, so take note and don't hold back when planning your Kentucky Derby wardrobe!
When most people think about the Kentucky Derby, the first thing that they think about, second only to the horses, are the hats! An extravagant (even borderline obnoxious) hat is pretty much a rite of passage, and what entire outfits are planned around.
There are really no rules or limits when it comes to choosing your Derby hat. You can go with the traditional wide-brim in a neutral color, or spice it up by getting a bold color or embellish it with bows, feathers, or flowers.
Another popular trend is the Fascinator, which is smaller than a traditional hat but can be equally as extravagant. This style of hat perches perfectly on your head and is secured with a comb or headband. I prefer these to the more traditional style hat because 1) Um, hello, it makes me feel super British, and 2) You can show off more of a hairstyle instead of having most of your head covered.
When it comes to the outfit to pair with your headwear, the recommended practice is to keep it simple so it doesn't take away from your hat. If you’d rather do a simple hat, you can go for a brightly patterned dress. It's best to either go bold with the hat or the dress, not both, unless you want to make a really bright statement. Jeans are a definite no-no!
If you're in need of look inspiration, see below for my Derby inspired outfit picks! The hats featured in this post are from Amina Marie Millinery, who is based in Kansas City, MO. These hats are currently still available for sale, but may not be for long so be sure to snatch them up while you can!
If these hats are a little too extravagant for your taste- you're in luck! Amina has been working to launch her newest ready-wear line, A-HOOD, a capsule line elevating the femininity of street-style.