The Kentucky Derby is coming up quickly, and I know that- like a lot of ladies my age- I want to look my best without breaking the bank. (Especially just after the tax man commeth!)
Since the Run for the Roses is one of the biggest fashion days in horse racing, here are a few looks to rock with at the track or for a viewing party that will let you keep plenty of extra cash in your pocket for betting and mint juleps!
One of the major trends this Spring is pastels. (I know, I know: I too can hear Merryl Streep saying in Miranda Priestly’s best “Devil Wears Prada” voice, “Pastels? For Spring? GROUNDBREAKING.”) But pastels were indeed all over the Spring runways this year, and I put together this look to show a fun way to integrate them into your Kentucky Derby wardrobe.
This lovely vintage-inspired lavender dress is just $50 from ModCloth.com (one of my favorite online stores); I paired it with some $20 open-toe pumps from Unisa. I swear by their shoes: I wear them all of the time, and they genuinely are comfortable and don’t leave you hobbled by blisters. To accessorize, there are stackable pastel bangles from Aldo at $13, faux-pearl earrings from Amazon.com for $10, a $49 WallisFashion snakeskin bag and – of course! – a fun lavender fascinator to top off the look from ModCloth.com for $37. This brings the entire look, head-to-toe, to $179; the price of the mint julep is sadly not included.
It’s not exactly unexpected to wear something with roses when you’re celebrating the Kentucky Derby; that’s why I like this graphic black-and white dress from Forever 21. The split-halter neckline adds to the visual appeal, and at $25 the price can’t be beat. I added a $36 Zara tote bag, a equestrian-inspired bit ring from Fornash for $20, a $23 Forever 21 watch and a $50 pair of Nina pumps. Top it all off with $32 turquoise earrings from Carolee and a show-stopping $32 hat from Amazon and you have your Derby look for $218.
If you’re looking for something a little more sophisticated, I love the pairing of a classic pencil skirt with an eye-catching blazer. This scarlet jacket is $45 from BooHoo.com, and it invokes an equestrian element into the look without getting costume-y. The $49 Dorothy Perkins pencil skirt has a subtle daisy pattern to it, and I matched it with an $8.99 a.n.aCami camisole since the Derby (held on May 3) can get a little toasty! Add a $13 round chain-link necklace from Forever 21, a pair of sunnies from Wet Seal for $7.50, a $30 pair of T-strap Mary Janes from Daily Look, a $29 Dorothy Perkins handbag plus a fabulous ModCloth.com $30 fascinator and you’re ready to go! The entire look comes together for $182.47.
BONUS: Infield Time!
If you’re going to hit up the Infield for the crazy party that takes place every year, you want to dress for comfort as well as style. Here are two looks that you can take to the track: one for sunny weather and one for rain.
I love this laid-back look for a day spent in the Derby or Oaks infield. Skater skirts are all the rage right now, and I love the bold color of this $25 J. Tomson version. I paired it with a $30 gingham button-down from Delia’s – it’s light enough that you won’t get overheated but its long sleeves will also keep you from being scorched by the sun. Closed-toe flats are mandatory: not only are you going to be walking around a lot, but the ground can get pretty chewed-up due to the thousands of people taking in the Infield festivities. These are from Delia’s, and are $35 – plus, they’re going to be useful for a ton of other outfits throughout the summer. The white satchel is $25 from Forever 21, and its gold accents pick up the metal tones of the $37 trilby hat from Accessorize.com as well as the $9.80 Forever 21 necklace. The whole look will run you $161.80.
If it rains, you need to be prepared – and aware. You can’t bring umbrellas to the Infield (they may blow away and end up scaring a horse) so a raincoat is a must. This Old Navy edition is $45, and I paired it with a watercolor dress from Modcloth for $50. Add a pair of $45 Target gum boots, a $26 Aldo handbag, a $16 American Eagle belt and a pair of $12 earrings from JC Penny and you’re ready to go, come rain or shine at just $194 for the complete outfit.