So excited for the Racing Queen Pageant that will be taking place both in California and Florida. This lucky girl will win $100,000 as well as the opportunity to represent the horse racing industry by being the spokesperson for the Stronach Group.
Very similar to most pageants, this one contains the traditional areas: interview, evening gown, and swim suit (fitness) ... but most importantly in our eyes, it contains a “Derby Wear” section! And no one knows Derby wear like we do!
We have been asked by the people promoting this fabulous competition to give our advice on proper Derby wear, so here goes:
As many big races have trends, the Kentucky Derby has the most well-known trend: it's all about the Hat!
But bigger is not necessarily better!! Especially for this pageant, ladies might want to steer away from the larger hats. The judges want to see your beautiful faces and, of course, what kind of hairstyle you've matched with your millinery. (millinery = hats, fascinators, etc.) A constructed piece that you tie into your outfit is the perfect Derby hat.
You can do a brimmed piece which is the more “traditional” Derby hat, however girls have taken this trend and molded it into their own over the last couple years ... and so should you! Check out what we have in our store, which is full of one-of-a-kind couture pieces for all types of budgets, like these:
A more couture, constructed piece is better both for this pageant as well as the Kentucky Derby in general, as it will set you apart from the crowd that may be filled with simple, big-brimmed pieces. Don't forget the point of this pageant is to pick a young, motivated, and talented woman to represent horse racing and bring a younger generation to the tracks! So don't put an old piece of millinery on your head!
Get your winning piece at http://www.fashionattheraces.com/store/
Your hairstyle can either be up or down, but it still needs to be put together and clean. You can channel your “Southern Belle” with flowing curls or put your hair in a low bun.
Since many of you may have a stylist along for the ride, treat your hair like an extension of your millinery. Check out our Pinterest with hairstyle ideas: http://www.pinterest.com/fashionatraces
or our hairstyle blog here: http://fashionattheraces.com/hairstlyes-for-headwear/#more-1944
After you've picked out your fabulous headpiece and your hairstyle, you now need to finish off your winning Derby outfit with a great dress or skirted outfit. Here are a couple things to think about when picking out your clothing:
Horse racing is a classic sport and therefore calls for classic fashion. Vintage wear is always a great pick for a day at the races, as you'll never be caught in the same outfit as someone else and you will stand out in a wonderful way. As the Kentucky Derby is always held the first Saturday in May, the weather is usually nice and sunny and calls for beautiful summer colors and prints. If you want to get a bit more literal, the Derby's famous for its winning blanket of roses placed on the back of the Kentucky Derby-winning horse.
You can most definitely incorporate this flower into your outfit somewhere, color, print, millinery, etc.
Since you are aiming for classic, even if you go for a modern feel, make sure your skirt doesn't fall more than two inches above your knees. Maxi dresses are not proper Derby attire but you can have a skirt/dress that does go below your knee but it shouldn't go below four inches above your ankle.
Since it is warmer on Derby Day, keep the sleeve length to short, or wider straps. No spaghetti straps and preferably not strapless. Think classic, with a younger feel!
As for shoes, you want to pick a great pair of heels that ties into your outfit. No stilettos, you need a wider heel and possibly a platform as on a real race day, your feet will last longer in a platform. Wedges are allowed, however, they usually bring your outfit down a level as they are more of a “laid back” shoe. If you do go for wedges, pick a more dressed up pair, no cork or braided bottoms.
Great racewear isn't hard to put together. No short skirts, no stilettos. Make sure your clothing isn't too tight and doesn't look like you're a bridesmaid or heading to the night club. Think classic but make it your own. Remember the weather is warm and you should dress the part keeping that in mind. The Derby is ALL about the hat ... so this needs to be your statement piece.
Although you don't have a lot of time, don't be lazy about your Derby outfit. This will be just as important as any of the categories, maybe even more so since you will be representing the racing crowd!
Here's a few add on's that you can bring to your outfit to try and stand out from your competitors:
- A pair of lace (or leather) gloves
- A statement necklace or collar
- A parasol (umbrella)
- A fabulous clutch or small purse
If you have any questions at all feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will answer you as best as possible!
Mostly remember the Kentucky Derby is all about the hat ... but the hat doesn't have to be a big brimmed gaudy mess! Think constructed, couture, and stand out!
Besides, why should the horses get all the attention?? ;)
Good luck ladies and have fun! Excited to see your outfits come together!