I have loved the Kentucky Derby for a long time – I even had my bridal shower on the same day (4 years ago) and had it as a derby theme! Last year my husband surprised me with a trip to the derby for Christmas and we had the best time. I try not to hype things up in my mind too much in fear of being disappointed, but attending the Kentucky Derby was such a wonderful experience that I would recommend to anyone.
If you are not able to make it to the derby, but perhaps are attending a derby theme party to view the event, I have some outfit tips for you.
- Always pick the hat first, not the dress. There are limited hat options but endless dresses, it will be much easier to pick the hat first. I got my hat and fascinator for the derby (hat shown above) from Nordstrom and was really happy with it. Hats are something you need to try on before buying since everyone looks different in different styles, and I was so impressed that my local Nordstrom had so many to choose from! I was worried I’d match a lot of other women, but out of thousands of people at the Kentucky Derby, I didn’t see a single other person with my hat. There are more choices in the store than online, so make sure to check it out.
- After you picked out the hat, the dress will be easier to coordinate. A lot times you may have an existing dress that compliments your headpiece, but if you’d like to get something new I’d look for a fun shift or fit ‘n flare style. Longer dresses aren’t really the derby style, so look for something that hits at the knee or right above.
- Add lady-like jewelry and accessories to complete the look. The whole novelty of the Kentucky Derby is that it’s a nod to good ole’ fashion tradition. There’s nothing sleek or modern about it. Play up the lady-like look with pearls, lipstick, and perhaps white gloves.
A photo from Oaks Day (the races on the day before the derby) last year. We were able to see Kiel James Patrick, our favorite Instagrammer. 🙂 I wore a fascinator to the event and paired it with the pink as is the tradition for Oaks Day.
This is a photo from our time at the Kentucky Derby. We sat second row on the finish line, which was cool because Joe’s snap chat of the finish made the official Snap Chat story that day. 🙂
A photo from inside Churchill Downs.
If you’re attending the derby this year, you probably have your hat and outfit picked out but I do have a few tips that I had previously read online and glad I followed!
- Bring a larger purse. I originally wanted to bring a clutch, but am glad I brought a larger purse. It’s a long day and there are some essentials you’ll want to pack. Bring sunscreen with you as you’re in direct sunlight all day, also flip flops for the walk back afterwards, and cash to make buying items easier.
- Wear wedges if you plan on going on the infield at all or are on the infield. We were on the infield for Oaks day and got seats for the Derby, and I was glad to have comfortable wedges on. You do get tired the end of the day and will be thankful for the flip flops in your purse for afterwards.
- Buy water and make sure you stay hydrated. I would even recommend bringing hydration tablets to put in water to help this process. It will help keep your energy up throughout the day so you have a wonderful time.
This photo is from two years ago visiting Green Dot Stables in Detroit for their derby party. Planning on going again this year!
A derby look from a few years ago featuring the hat I wore for my bridal shower (from Brooks Brothers).
Have you ever been to a Derby Party?
sweater – land’s end / pants – c/o land’s end / shoes – vintage dooney & bourke
Who doesn’t love gingham? The pattern is both classic and fun at the same time, and looks especially great in the navy/white combo. Gingham first became popular post World War II and has really seen a resurgence the past few years with no signs of slowing down. As most preppy styled ladies, I gravitate towards anything gingham and these pants are no exception.
When I first tried these on I couldn’t believe how comfortable they were. Pants are often tricky, and a lot of them can feel uncomfortable after a few hours (at least in my case). The waistband seems to be a little higher and the fabric is thicker, which may be why I can wear these all day and still be comfortable.
My favorite sweater is the Drifter by Land’s End. I had the sleeve monogrammed and I really enjoy that subtle touch. Reminds me of something from the 1950’s you’d cherish for generations.
When styling gingham pants, I also keep the rest of the outfit solid with a little texture (like a cable knit). I’m all for pattern mixing but this pattern is too tiny and would be hard to do so successfully. I look forward to styling these pants with a chambray shirt and red pointed toe flats as the weather gets warmer!
white blazer – c/o land’s end / striped shirt – c/o ll bean / jeans – old ralph lauren / shoes – land’s end / navy leather tote – c/o mark & graham / silk scarf – old ralph lauren / bracelet – c/o kjp
If you have been reading my blog or following me on instagram for any amount of time, you know my love for all things red, white, and blue. The combo of those colors proves to be a classic, all-American look, and I love how well these strong colors go together.
I’ve been on the hunt for a white blazer for a few years after admiring the look for awhile now. It’s such a fresh look for spring that can be worn into summer when the evenings get chilly. This one from Land’s End is perfect! It has tortoise shell color buttons, 3/4 length sleeves, and the fit is perfect. I can’t wait to continue to style it!
I’ve always liked the J Crew Gemma flats, and Land’s End came out with a similar style with their pointed toe bow flats. I got them in my Easter basket this year (yes, I still get one…) and I can’t believe how comfortable they are! They also come in a navy and beige – get them while you can.
This is an outfit I see myself repeating pretty often this year. 🙂
Thank you for reading!
I had a wonderful Easter and was pleasantly surprised by the mild weather we had. I went to church with my husband and friends in the morning, had my family over for brunch, and then spent some time with Joe’s family. It was a lovely day and I’d like to share a few more photos from it! (Scroll to the bottom to see my Easter outfit!)
My dress is the brand Maggy London and a few years old. I’ve always liked Maggy London dresses (sold at Nordstrom) because they have such a nice fit. The subtle two tone pastel with lace was very Easter appropriate, and I topped it off with my Easter hat and gloves.
What did you wear for Easter?
Easter is my favorite holiday, and I love picking out what to wear to church. My friends and I have a tradition where we all take photos after the service and the photos always turn out nicely! Unlike many events in my life, I haven’t bought a dress specifically for Easter in a long time. I always end up wearing a dress I already have and accessorizing it for Easter.
While I love buying new clothes (who doesn’t?), I would rather show you how to dress for Easter from what you already own vs. linking a bunch of dress options. Check out my guide below:
Solid Color Dress: If you have a solid color dress in a bright or pastel, it would make a great choice for Easter. I would make it more Easter appropriate by adding fresh whites to make the color of the dress pop – like white shoes. I’m a big fan of pearls and believe they’re a lovely option to finish off this lovely daytime look.
Solid Navy Dress: I think navy (not black) can look great on Easter when paired with brighter accessories. I would wear it with a colorful statement necklace to really make it stand out.
Floral/Pattern Dress: These dresses are some of my favorite types for Easter. I wouldn’t try to “compete” with the pattern, so I’d keep the accessories pretty simple. A pretty pair of earrings are all you’d need jewelry-wise alongside a simple clutch.
Personally, I add two extra accessories to top off my Easter outfit – my “Easter hat” and a pair of vintage, white gloves given to me from a dear friend. I love adding these old fashioned details as a nod to what ladies once wore on Easter. I hope the Easter hat trend catches on someday and I see more and more women donning one year after year. 🙂
After getting home from vacation, I washed everything I wore and accidentally shrunk the sweater shown above. I got this sweater when we were on our honeymoon 3 years ago, and along with the cute whale print it’s one of my favorites! I’ve shrunk sweaters before and successful stretched them back to normal, so I was confident I could do it again.
Step 1: Fill a sink with lukewarm water and add a little bit of hair conditioner to it. Place sweater in a let it soak for ten minutes. Be careful about what you last used in your sink, some cleaning products and acne products can take the color out of an item.
Step 2: Drain the sink, but don’t rinse the sweater or ring it out. Instead, place a towel on the ground and place the sweater on it. Roll it up carefully to get a little less damp and transfer to a new flat towel.
Step 3: Carefully start to pull and tug it apart to form it’s a original shape. Make sure you do this right after step 2 while it’s damp so it takes to the pulling. I spent a lot of time gently pulling the sleeves and sides away from each other. Let it dry and then you are all set!
Why does this work? Soaking it in the conditioner is going to soften the fibers in the sweater and allow you to rework the shape. I was so happy that mine went back to normal so I can continue to wear it!
I just went on vacation with my husband and three of our closest friends to Cabo, Mexico. It was a wonderful time with amazing weather. It was nice to see the sun everyday! Here are some of the outfits I wore during the trip:
striped maxi dress c/o vineyard vines / tassel necklace c/o vineyard vines
striped tank c/o duffield lane / shorts – j crew factory / sandals – jack rogers / sunglasses c/o izipizi
dress – c/o persifor / clutch – j crew factory / sandals – jack rogers
dress – lilly pulitzer (poshmark purchase) / bracelet – c/o allison cole
shep shirt – c/o vineyard vines / shorts – j crew factory / bracelet – kjp / shoes – sperry
Here are a few more pics from vacation –
Have you ever been to Cabo?
fascinator – nordstrom / coat – c/o sail to sable / dress – c/o sail to sable / pearls c/o demoisille pearls
I’m a big fan of matching sets reminiscent of the 1960’s, especially anything Doris Day or Jackie O wore! You can see from my favorite past Easter outfit that I love coordinating separates with vintage flair, and my favorite material to do so in is spring tweed. It is not an easy task to find a modern day outfit with this classic style, and vintage clothes don’t always fit so well, so when I see a coordinating tweed outfit set I fall in love.
Sail to Sable is known for its classic, yet fun style and I have a few pieces from them that I love. Everything from them is always incredible quality and made to last. The material is thicker, buttons and zippers aren’t flimsy, and there is extreme attention to detail on every garment. Anything bought from there has staying power both in quality and design.
I can’t help but feel like a 1960’s movie star when wearing this outfit. The tweed and fringe details gives the outfit a nice texture, and I love the color of the lining! The dress itself has some really pretty feminine details. I love wearing the set together, but will definitely be wearing both the coat and dress on their own as well.
Check out Sail to Sable to see what other cute styles they have for the spring season!
In these in-between seasons it can become problematic to find the perfect dress for both the weather and season. Sleeveless dresses are better for warmer weather, and you may not want to layer a sweater over it. Colder weather dresses may be too thick, or look better with tights underneath. Enter the 3/4 sleeve dress – perfect for any and every occasion.
pointe sheath dress c/o land’s end / three strand pearls c/o demosille pearls
I recently got this 3/4 sleeve pointe dress from Land’s End and couldn’t be happier. I needed something to take me from winter to late spring and this does the job. It’s a thicker material while not being overly warm, which is perfect for the in-between weather. The sleeve length and silhouette make it very classy. I feel like this is definitely that “1960’s first lady” style I love. Overall, it’s very lady like and appropriate for any age.
I also love that this dress can be worn to so many places and occasions. It can easily be dressed down with a silk scarf and flats, or dressed up with pearls and heels. Everyone needs a dress that’s this easy to grab when you’re unsure what to wear. I wore this to church this past Sunday, but I’d wear it to a wedding at this time of year.
striped dress, pointe sheath, wrap dress
The above dresses are all ones I’d consider both transitional and versatile. That sleeve length on a dress is really something that should be in everyone’s closet, especially if you live in a climate with unpredictable weather.