If you adore equestrians, stomping the divots, and hats with brims so wide they deserve their own zip code, chances are you're on your way to the Kentucky Derby this weekend. But what to wear to your Kentucky Derby party? In terms of southern style, there is no greater event for people watching than the Derby, where mint juleps are as plentiful as floral dresses and Stuart Weitzman wedges. For Derby attendees, the sartorial rule is go big or go home, but why should only those headed south have all of the fun?
Whether you love horses or simply enjoy any chance to sample Macallan scotch, a Kentucky derby party has something for everyone — especially those enamored with traditional southern belle style. But how should one dress when the Derby shindig is hosted in New York City's Meatpacking District or in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park? The fundamental rules still apply, including the necessity to sport a hat and bring out your finest pearls, but the rest is sheer creativity. If you're finding yourself at a loss for what to wear on this most festive of occasions, scroll through for four perfect ensembles to encapsulate your sporting spirit this weekend.
1. Patterned Black And White
Chevron Splits Maxi Dress, $33, Lookbook Store / Do Not Disturb Hat, $435, Eugenia Kim / Pearl Convertible Earrings, $23, Eloquii / Zip Closure Clutch, $73, Charles & Keith / Keri Sandals, $295, Zappos / Audacious Lipstick in Lana, $32, NARS
Channel your inner prima donna in a black and white chevron-striped ensemble complete with a hat that says it all: Do Not Disturb.
2. Pretty Woman 2.0
Faddism Women's White Straw Sun Hat, $19, Overstock / Majorica Rain 6MM-9MM White Pearl Charm Bracelet, $110, Saks / Crossbody Flap Closure Handbag, $30, Target / Double Decker Perf Jute, $55, Keds / Scoop Neck Polka Dot Bow Pink Dress, $15, Romwe
Indulge in a Pretty Woman meets Taylor Swift ensemble with a twee polka dotted dress, white perforated Keds, and a string of pearls at the wrist.
3. Blue Roses
Crop Top, $49, Long Tall Sally / Blue Floral Pleated Midi Skirt, $50, Chicwish / Jenna Wedges, $295, Alice + Olivia / Scala Flower & Feather Sinamay Hat, $27, JC Penny / Estee Lauder After Hours Lucidity Translucent Pressed Powder Compact, $40, Bergdorf Goodman / Chain Metallic PU Leather Tote Bag, $32, Zaful
A periwinkle crop top, pleated floral skirt, and white wedges lend this ensemble ample southern charm, and what belle would step outside without her flowered hat and pressed powder compact?
4. Nouveau Hepburn
Mini Chevron Print Cigarette Trousers, $70, Topshop / Miss Selfridge Halter Waffle, $32 / Sheinside Black Brush Pointed Toe Flats, $11, Sheln / Tory Burch T Lock Mini Flap Cross Body Bag, $395, Shopbop / Lip Lustre Lipgloss, $10, Lorac Cosmetics / Janessa Leone Vera Fedora, $165, Bazaar
If the thought of sporting a winsome floral dress to a preppy Derby gathering makes you physically ill, opt for an Audrey Hepburn-inspired ensemble of cropped cigarette pants, a simple black halter, and a black fedora with a vibrant cross-body bag to boot.