What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby (or a Derby Party!)

derby outfit ideas

It’s that time again….Derby time! Last year, I got to make my dad’s dream come true by taking him to the Kentucky Derby. It was truly an experience of a lifetime. The moment I saw him walk into Churchill Downs is a memory I will cherish forever.

I won’t be attending the event in person this year, but I will be going to a party at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate. With the big day just around the corner, I started looking for Derby outfit ideas only to find that there aren’t many resources out there. That lead me to this post idea, where I thought I’d share exactly what to wear to the Kentucky Derby.

Whether you’re attending in person or you’re heading to a soirée, these classic looks are sure to be a hit. And if you are going to the actual event (you lucky bitch!), I hope you have so much fun. There is really nothing quite like the roar of the Kentucky Derby crowd, so soak up every minute and enjoy a mint julep for me!

Derby Outfit Ideas

Brightly colored dresses and statement-making fascinators are two staples at the Derby each year. Here are some that have caught my eye…

Riley Pink Dress
Floral Puff Sleeve Dress
Katerina Mini Dress
V. Chapman Lily Ruched Dress
Bubble A-Line Dress
Davina Jumpsuit
ASTR Syah Dress
Anthropologie Tie-Neck Dress
Hobbs London Carla Fascinator
Hobbs London Victoria Fascinator
Hobbs London Ottilie Fascinator

Tip: Hobbs London makes authentic hats for the Kentucky Derby, but there are tons of cute and more affordable options on Etsy. Find some of my faves below!

What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby

Need a quick do’s and don’ts list? Here’s a roundup of what to wear, what to bring, and what to leave behind.

  • Do wear comfortable shoes. I can’t express this point enough. It’s a trek to get from wherever you park to the racetrack, so be sure your shoes are comfy enough to walk in.
  • Do wear a comfortable hat! I saw some women wearing hats that you could tell were so uncomfortable, and trust me, you don’t want to make this mistake. Keep in mind that the hat you choose will be on your head all day.
  • Do bring a clear poncho in case it rains. It poured when we were there and I was SO glad I brought a $15 poncho from Amazon.
  • Don’t worry about dressing like everyone else. One of my favorite things about attending the Derby was seeing how people expressed their personality through fashion. Choose an outfit that you feel comfortable in.
  • Don’t forget to bring an external phone charger. With so many cell phones in such close proximity, your battery will go quick!

Hi! I’m Erika and I live in Sonoma County with my high school sweetheart and two kids. Follow along to find home inspiration, delicious recipes, and the inside scoop on all things wine country.

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