Derby Style

by Victoria | 2 Comments

The Kentucky Derby, happening today and tomorrow at the famous Churchill Downs racetrack, is well-known for its popularity, history, and fashions (that means you crazy, floppy hats!). Here at Julep, our excitement about the race is greatly exceeded by our anticipation of the Southern belle-inspired styles seen throughout the stadium. From the elaborate hats to the ladylike dresses, women’s fashion at the event is full of frilly, colorful, and dressed-up fun. Get inspired to add some flirty sophistication to your look!

No Derby-influenced outfit is complete without a hat. While hats at the racetrack are famous for being eccentric and over-the-top, we prefer a more understated look. A wide-brimmed straw hat makes for a chic spring and summer accessory that doubles as a sun shade and fashion statement. A fascinator, the headpiece made famous by Kate Middleton, is also a cute option.

Kentucky Derby Hats

As for the rest of the outfit, think refined glamour. Back in the day, women used the Derby as an excuse to break out their best dress and show off to the rest of society how fashionable they were. An elegant and pastel-colored dress of a modest length is a popular option. If you choose an outrageous hat, make sure to pair it with a more toned down dress. Chiffon and silk are great fabric options to ensure you stay cool in the sun.

Kentucky Derby Style
Kentucky Derby Style by julep featuring alexander wang



We love the refinement exuded from the pairing of a summery dress, nice heels, a casual hat, and a trustworthy bag. If you want to stand out from a sea of girly dresses, a light-colored pantsuit is a great substitute for a dress and will add a playful boyishness to your look. Whether you are head-over-heels for the Kentucky Derby or completely neutral towards it, feel free to take advantage of the fun Southern-inspired fashions to create new outfits for Spring!

Are you excited about the Kentucky Derby? Have any suggestions for other Derby-inspired looks? Feel free to share in the comments section below!




  • Miriam Marcus

    I live ten minutes from the famous racetrack and enjoy going on Thanksgiving more than the Oaks ( the day before the Derby) . But I have been to the Derby in every possible way: the infield as a teenager with a crazy group of friends, Millionaire’s Row as the guest of the Governor, the guest of AMEX, the guest of ABC sports, and the most fun of all the guest on the backside where all the Jockeys, tTrainers and family of the horse trade party while they see the race from the back, which often is where it starts: the most critical part of the race.

    • Victoria

      Hey Miriam that’s awesome! I’m so jealous you have gotten first-hand experience with the Kentucky Derby! I ride horses and I love them but I don’t really know how racing works.