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Blog - FASHION

It’s that magical time of year again when the entire nation sits up and takes note of the coolest sport in the world: Derby time! And when our game is the center of attention, racing fans dress to impress.

Whether it’s your very first time at Churchill Downs for the Derby or you’re a regular attendee, getting dressed for the Derby can be a daunting task. Fortunately, your friendly neighborhood ABR photographer (me!) was up to her old tricks of creepily taking photos of strangers at last year’s race, so you can take a little inspiration from some of the chic fans at the 2012 Run for the Roses.

Let’s start with the ladies, shall we? Obviously, since this is Derby, headgear is a must; but whether the lid you prefer is a fascinator or a hat is up to you. The debate over which is correct can be polarizing (akin to whether the toilet paper roll goes over the top – which is correct – or hangs limply from the bottom where it can touch the wall on its way around.)

Anyway, hats! There were some lovely examples of fabulous ladies’ hats, and how to wear them with different kinds of dresses.

I loved how this girl paired her bright print dress with a simple but chic medium-brimmed hat. It’s a perfectly put together ensemble to enjoy a day at the races.

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Similarly, this woman paired a simple dress (in a fabulous color) with a more elaborate hat. Love the stripes!

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These ladies went for a monochromatic pattern with wonderful results. Black and white is classic and makes a great statement.

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I also loved the timeless simplicity of the following looks.

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Of course, there’s nothing wrong with something a little more elaborate! Feathers, flowers, tulle – this is Derby, so it’s a perfect time to add a little whimsy to your hat!

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How about fabulous fascinators? My first example is my favorite; I’m not even kidding, this is the most stylish woman I have ever seen in my life. Between the fascinator, the dress, the lovely makeup and appropriate jewelry, she was the embodiment of raceday chic.

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There were other fantastic fascinators abound. They tend to be a little more youthful that a full-fledged hat and they come in fantastic colors. They’re tons of fun and easy to wear with any kind of outfit.

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For the gents out there, I haven’t forgotten about you! Guys at the Derby tend to break out the bowties, and why not? It’s a very Southern look and goes very well with mint juleps. 

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The guy on the right in the photo below had some fun playing with patterns – love the contrast of the tie and pocket square with the shirt.

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This guy had a great all-around look. From stem to stern, he’s doing it right.

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I also liked this man’s fedora – a very dapper look for Derby Day.

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These guys also looked great – and the best part was how much fun they were having! And isn’t that the entire point?

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Speaking of fun, these guys rocked. I absolutely loved their homemade headgear!

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A day at the races is a great way to express your personal style, so I hope that you enjoy dressing up whether you’re making the pilgrimage to Louisville for the Run for the Roses or attending a viewing party with friends. 

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll be back with my Derby Diaries starting on Tuesday live from Churchill Downs!

Image Description

Penelope Miller

I'm Penelope Miller and I'm the Senior Manager of Digital Media for America's Best Racing. I've been involved with the Thoroughbred industry for most of my life and I want to make sure that the great sport of horse racing is enjoyed by people all over the nation. Please share your thoughts and ideas with me in the comments section below!

Image Description

Penelope Miller

I'm Penelope Miller and I'm the Senior Manager of Digital Media for America's Best Racing. I've been involved with the Thoroughbred industry for most of my life and I want to make sure that the great sport of horse racing is enjoyed by people all over the nation. Please share your thoughts and ideas with me in the comments section below!

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