Manes, Monograms, & Mint Juleps:
Kentucky Derby Day Fashion

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The 140th-annual Kentucky Derby was today, and for those of us who don’t support and/or care about the actual horse racing, the event is the year’s best excuse to channel your inner and most gorgeous Southern Belle. Traditionally speaking, the derby has become synonymous with the luxurious Garland of Roses, the consumption of the classic Mint Julep cocktail featuring Early Times Kentucky Whiskey, and of course, the unwritten competition for donning the most memorable “head of distinction,” which translates to “Who is wearing the best hat?” In my world, which is inclusive of dozens of devout equestrian friends, it’s my favorite day of spring!


This is the first year I wasn’t able to spend Derby Day with S, so I decided to join a group of Junior Leaguers for a charity Kentucky Derby party on the Avenue in order to keep the S&S traditions alive. I pre-ordered a fabulous monogrammed straw derby hat from Marley Lilly, which went perfectly with my Hot Off the Precious lavender tea dress from Lulu’s, and customized it with a black and white sash.



Oh, and my drink of choice? The only appropriate option on Derby Day: the Mint Julep. It’s not a cocktail I’d choose on a regular basis, but it’s the KD classic, and I’m not one for breaking 140-year tradition.



Hats and headbands tend to give me headaches, so I opted to waive the standard clutch accessory requirement in anticipation of two full hands (one for my derby hat, one for my Mint Julep). To finish out the outfit, I opted for gold jewelry, classic pearls, and versatile nude pumps, keeping it classy and understated; the hat speaks loudly enough!


Did you celebrate the Kentucky Derby? What are your Derby Day fashion rules or traditions? Congrats to California Chrome and jockey Victor Espinoza on a fabulous race in front of the second-largest crowd in KD history!
♥ Stephanie


21 thoughts on “Manes, Monograms, & Mint Juleps:
Kentucky Derby Day Fashion

  1. Caroline Topperman

    That hat is AMAZING! I love the ribbon! A milliner friend of mine designed a bunch of hats that were worn at the derby. It's definitely an event I'd love to attend one day (minus the horse racing)


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