Derby Day is May 5th, and I don’t know about y’all, but I’m excited! The Kentucky Derby is one of my favorite events of the year. The entertainment is great, the drinks are delicious (if you’re a mint julep fan, you’ll love this post!), and the fashion is extravagant… to say the least. Even if I’m not at Churchill Downs in person, I love getting together with friends for a Kentucky Derby watch party somewhere fancy. Honestly, when else can you wear an ostentatious fascinator hat and unapologetically bright colors without looking like a cartoon character?! If you’re attending a Derby Day watch party this year and need some help with the unspoken Derby Day dress code, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve rounded up five different outfit ideas for what to wear to a Kentucky Derby party in today’s post!
If your Derby Day dress code is black and white, this year’s outfit is for you! Yes, there’s some pops of red peppered in. However, red is a universally acceptable accent color, considering the red Garland of Roses is one of the Derby’s longest-standing traditions. I love this gingham ruffle dress for that very reason. This style– specifically its rose embroidery, chic lace-up back, and ruffle trim– is a shining example of what’s acceptable when abiding by a traditional Derby Day dress code. Oh, and if you’re looking for derby day fascinators online, you’ve also come to the right place! This one is under $15 and comes in seven colors! Head to the bottom of this post for full outfit details, plus four other Derby Day outfit ideas from previous years!
Shop the Look: Rose Gingham Kentucky Derby Dress, $86 | Red Fascinator, $12 | Open Toe Red Sandals, $33 (these look/feel just like the Steve Madden open toe sandals and are available in six colors!) | Black Crossbody Bag, $23 (similar style linked– exact bag was borrowed from Ashley Brooke) | Red Beaded Earrings, $11 (available in twelve colors!)
What to Wear on Derby Day: More Kentucky Derby Outfit Ideas
When it comes to the Kentucky Derby, you can literally never go wrong with pink! I should also mention that this white fascinator served me well for over two years. If you need inspiration for how to wear a derby day fascinator, check out this post to see it styled two ways.
At Churchill Downs, the brighter the outfit, the better. You can’t get much brighter than this sunny yellow halter top dress! Honestly, my favorite part is still the white fascinator. If you need help finding Derby Day fascinators online, check out Amazon. It’s a gold mine for affordable hats and Kentucky Derby accessories, y’all!
Your accessories often make the outfit. That’s true (and magnified by 500) on Derby Day. If your dress is more muted, opt for bold-colored accessories, like a hot pink organza hat!
If you don’t want or have time to find a custom-made Derby hat or order a fancy Derby Day fascinator online, don’t stress. You can still be well within the Derby Day dress code with a casual (preferably wide brimmed) straw hat. Wide brimmed floppy hats paired with well-tailored Kentucky Derby dresses do the job just fine!
Do you have any special Derby Day plans this year? If so, what are you doing? More importantly, what are you wearing?!