What to Wear: “Derby Dress Code”

It’s almost the first Saturday in May, and we all know what that means — The Kentucky Derby!  I personally look forward to this event not only because VIPs  flood our social media with amazing events & brunches, but because it’s one of the year’s most fashion forward festivities. Horses, drinks, parties, and all around beautiful eye-catching outfits , what’s not to love?  This weekend,  I’m heading to a Derby party which got me thinking I could share what my essentials for a Derby look with all of you. A “what to wear” of sorts for the Southern Belle in each and every one of you to fit you own style.   

The Derby Dress code can be summed up into three words: sharp, stylish, and polished. Men usually wear a 1920s dapper inspired look which gets a more modern feel every Derby event. Women have also modernized the Derby look throughout the years, but if there’s one thing that can’t be left out, it’s a festive hat. The derby hats come in all sorts of extravagant shapes and sized, but it is a form of tying together an outfit that will turn heads. A derby hat is a must this Saturday, and many spend so much time picking out the perfect hat for the event — some even base their whole outfit on the hat because it is so special. It is an iconic fashion statement that screams Kentucky Derby ! If you haven’t decided on which hat to wear, I’d call this step one for your Derby Day Dress Code. Florals are a fan favorite and they are all across the room with vibrant colors and designs. It is a go-to selection when you can’t decide on what to wear– plus, nothing beats the feeling of finding the perfect floral dress. It’s an easy choice for that spring feel and a flirty touch to a look. Stripes have made quite a comeback especially because brands like Lily Pulitzer & Kate Spade have come out with feminine statements for a day out in the sun. Keep in mind though that these patterns are not for every body type: stripes usually work for petite, athletic, and pear shaped bodies. I always seem to lean towards a clean look when I go to Derby events! The reason is, I like for my accessories to speak for themselves and I like to invest pieces in my closet that I know I will wear again — like this —- for example. A classic modern twist on the traditional Derby look. It is a solid color perfect for Spring and still along the lines of what a Derby look should be, but with a young and fun vibe attached !

If you know me, I love my accessories!! They’re my favorite pieces to shop! For a Derby look, a casual heel that will pair nicely with the outfit at hand works wonders paired with a statement earring in a pop of color and an out of the ordinary summer handbag. What I look for when assembling an outfit are mix and matchable pieces that can be staples on their own. Knowing that these pieces can stand on their own and still look beautiful make for pairing these items on a regular basis! A colorful heel is something that is very in nowadays. I recommend dainty and strappy one to add a pop of color, but not overpower the whole ensemble.

It’s important to make sure not to ‘overdress’ a Derby outfit. I’m all about pushing the envelope, but keeping your outfits in good taste is priority number one! I’d love to hear what you all put together as you Derby Day look ! Make sure not to miss the Kentucky Derby and toon in to NBC at 2:30pm ET Saturday.  Use the @NBCSports and #HuntforStylesDerby on your posts to be featured on my Instagram stories !



  1. May 6, 2018 / 4:01 am

    Ana Ybarra, thank you for this post. Its very inspiring.

  2. Adrian
    May 6, 2018 / 1:26 pm

    What brand are those sneakers? Love them!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *