The Kentucky Derby Style Guide


The Kentucky Derby: since 1875 it has been revered as one of the world's most exciting sporting events. However, in addition to the race itself, there is one thing that makes the Kentucky Derby even more exciting (in our eyes and the eyes of spectators, we're sure). No, we're not just talking about the betting, Derby parties and day-drinking (although we do fancy ourselves a tasty mint julep): the Kentucky Derby is most definitely a hatter's fashion event, and a fun one at that.

With just a few days before the big race, we've created the Kentucky Derby Style Guide to help hatters get dressed, look sharp, and top it all off with a statement-making straw hat from the Goorin Bros. Derby Collection. You know what they say: come for the horses, stay for the hats. Here's how to style your Derby hat with good-looking, modern twists that add the touch of glamour required for the event.

The Millionaire's Row


Alexandria custom Derby straw cloche

Ladies: For a standout look that's anything but tacky (we're well aware of the poor styling choices that many Derby go-ers fall victim to), we recommend dressing up one of our extravagant custom Derby hats with luxe, metallic hues and a textured high waisted skirt. Designed in San Francisco by our expert milliner, the Alexandria custom straw cloche comes with carefully selected ostrich feathers and floral pieces to perfectly accent your outfit so that you'll look like a million bucks. Add on a matching necklace and pair of heels (it's extra good luck if the color matches your hat!) to complete a well put-together, elegant look.


John Ross Thomas custom Derby straw fedora

Gents:  Remember the three C's: clean, crisp and cool. For a luxurious outfit that accomplishes the three C's, make sure you've got a crisp white shirt. This staple piece for Derby events pairs well with just about anything in your closet, but we'd style a crisp white shirt with suspenders, slacks and dress shoes. If you're looking to be as bold as a gentleman can get at the Kentucky Derby, make sure to throw on a snazzy hat with a feather like our custom John Ross Thomas straw fedora.

The Party Go-ers

Macey straw floppy sun hat in stone

Ladies: The saying about women's fashion at the Kentucky Derby usually goes like this: go big or go home. Guaranteed, you'll be spotting plenty of floppy sun hats, and why wouldn't you? The bombshell of a hat offers sun protection and adds a glamorous edge to any outfit. For a fun-in-the-sun Derby outfit that's sweet and a little flirtatious, style your sun hat with a bright colored dress and matching accessories. Make sure to balance your look with a bit of prints - whether it's pattern on your wedges or purse.


Pierre Renoir straw boater

Gents: In addition to hats, Kentucky Derby fashion is famous for southern style. An easy way to create a classic outfit is to style it with good ol' southern charm. A full on linen suit is perfect for this summer sporting event. Of course, if you're going south, you best don a traditional straw boater, also known as a skimmer. Remember, a classic topper like the American-made Pierre Renoir straw boater hat is only fit for the southern gentleman.

The Southern Alternative


Ms. Churchill straw boater in red

Ladies: Sure, every gal at the Kentucky Derby will be dressed like a southern belle. But to make heads turn, you best go for the unexpected. If you're more of a guy's gal, try a menswear suit inspired outfit. For a look that's smart and not overly girly, wear a blazer, silk blouse, a pair of trousers and lace-up oxford shoes. Throw on some accessories and a straw boater to finish off a distinct, stylish look.

Churchill straw fedora

Gents: The unofficial dress code for men at the Kentucky Derby is to dress like a southern gentleman. While keeping with the Derby classics like a dress shirt, slacks and sports coat, add modern twists (and personal touches, of course) for an unique outfit. Rather than looking old fashioned, add playfulness to your look with fun prints and vivid colors like charming polka dots and pastel. And though you'll want to invest in a classic hat like the Churchill straw fedora, which goes well over any outfit, these small, quirky details add a big punch.

The Kentucky Derby is just a few days away, and we hope we've helped hatters look their best for the "The Run for the Roses" and Derby festivities. After you've chosen the winning Derby outfit and picked a statement-making straw hat from the Goorin Bros. Derby Collection, make a wager on your favorite horse with an exclusive Goorin Bros. $20 betting credit at TwinSpires to really raise the stakes. Now, off to the races, shall we?

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