by Renae Virata
Most people don’t realize that the Kentucky Derby, which celebrates its 138th anniversary this year in Louisville, isn’t all just big hats and fancy spring dresses and suits. Thousands converge on the Infield on the day of the Kentucky Derby to celebrate in a more…casual way. Check out our take on what to wear to this most festive of Southern occasions and our extra tips for a great party experience, below.
KEY IDEAS: OUTDOOR CASUAL, LOTS OF WALKING, POSSIBLE RAIN, FUN!
The South really knows how to have a great outdoor party (as I learned in college), and that is exactly what the party on The Infield is. As races take place on the track, you’ll be partying it up on the inside of it all with live music, refreshments, bites, and your besties. Like any outdoor spring or summer party, your best bet is to wear your cutest clothes that you won’t mind getting beer/ketchup/grass/mud (yes, mud!) stains on.
Here are some outfit ideas for you help make sure your experience is fun and fashionable.
Easy, Breezy Casual
It’s a big outdoor party, so keep it bright and keep it simple. A racerback tank in a fun floral print with summer-staple denim shorts and bright, comfy sandals is a no-fail look. Don’t forget your rain jacket in case it rains!
Playful Yet Pretty
Rompers are an easy and more casual take on a summer dress. “Play” it up in a bright color like this ApartStyle dress does and pair it with a contrasting wedge (make sure they’re broken in!).
Traditional Festival Look
For a little bit more of a hippie chic look, try a tie-dye maxi skirt in a poppin’ color with a chambray shirt. Embellished thong sandals add a bit of glam to your look.
- You might have to walk a TON depending on where you park at the Derby. If you just have to get some height in your outfit (I know, I’d do the same!), opt for light platform wedges that you’ve already broken in. Also, carry a pair of your cutest flip-flops, just in case.
- The second-highest month of precipitation for the Louisville area is May, so bring a light rain jacket just in case a surprise shower decides to sprinkle through.
- No backpacks are allowed, so bring a more stylish cross-body bag for all of your needs.
- The average temperature if 65 degrees F with a possible high in the upper-70s. That warrants a light shirt or cardigan for me as it may for many of you coming from warmer climates. Your light rain jacket can double as both shield against inclement weather and a windbreaker.
- Drink water! This is a beauty tip you should follow no matter where you go. Between the outside air and alcoholic drinks, you will want to stay healthy and clean by downing a couple regular-sized bottles.