As with any event, there’s a certain kind of etiquette that goes along with dressing for the big day. When it comes to the Kentucky Derby, well, of course you’re expecting to see pastel colors and fancy hats because that’s just how you dress for a day at the horse races, you know? But, are men supposed to wear hats to the Kentucky Derby, too? You better believe they’ve got a dress code of their very own.
You can find a guide for exactly what both men and women should wear on the Kentucky Derby official website. I wouldn’t say that these are hard and fast rules as much as they are simply clothing guidelines. The website suggests men wear bright colors, pastels and fun prints and encourages lads to try out fashion trends they wouldn’t normally wear. Bow ties are recommended in favor of ties. I’m telling you, they’ve really thought of everything here.
“For the complete Kentucky Derby look” they recommend men top off their ensembles with a fedora or a bowler hat. Channeling the 1920s is a good choice for men in terms of headwear, the website states. Where outfits can be fun and patterned, hats are generally solid in color. So, gents, there you have it. You’ve got to tip your hat to this fashion guide because how would you ever know exactly what to wear to the derby without it?
1. Brightly Colored Fedora
Ne-Yo had the right idea going for a bold, solid fedora.
2. Southern Style
Of course, there's nothing wrong with adding an extra bit of southern style with a wide-brimmed option.
3. Striped Accent
A striped accent keeps the look fun and festive.
4. Fancy Feathers
Why not go all out? It is the Kentucky Derby, after all.
5. Father & Son
Going all matchy-matchy with your hat can make for the cutest father-son moments.
6. Classic Bowler
Yep, this perfectly fits within the derby dress code.
7. Top Hat Stylin'
Going a little over the top can't hurt, right?
8. Flower Crown
When in doubt, add roses to your look. You can't go wrong with florals at the Kentucky Derby.
9. Bahama Style
Beat the heat like a true gent.
Man or woman, including a hat in your outfit is the thing to do for getting derby style just right.