Kentucky Derby Party Attire

Dress to impress at the Kentucky Derby. Celebrities, media and onlookers will all be present to view the latest and greatest styles at the racetrack. If attending the race at Churchill Downs is not on your agenda, plan your Kentucky Derby attire for a Kentucky Derby party. Create an over-the-top hat or shop for a bold shirt and pant set. Keep with the Kentucky Derby fashion by wearing riding silks to represent your favorite jockey and horse.

To find inspiration for what to wear to a Kentucky Derby party, consider what Derby attendees wear to the event. Believe it or not, attendees dress differently depending on where they are seated inside Churchill Downs.

  • Churchill Downs Grandstand or Clubhouse Attire: Derby attendees in the grandstand or clubhouse of the Churchill Downs racetrack always make a superb fashion statement. Women are encouraged to wear appropriate Kentucky Derby party attire, such as a pastel colored suit, a dress with frills, or other bold colored attire. Purchase or create a distinct hat or a vintage-inspired fascinator with bright colors and decorative embellishments to make a statement and stand out from the rest of the crowd. Consider adding items such as feathers, sequins and sparkly gems to your hat. Men should plan to wear either a light colored or navy sports jacket, and a pair of khaki pants. Choose a bold colored bowtie or tie to stand out from the rest of the gentlemen. Another more risky option is a plaid blazer.
  • Churchill Downs Infield Attire: The exception to dressing in decked out attire is for those seated in the infield. Those seated in the infield should not plan to wear fancy attire, as dirt and mud will likely end up on the clothing. Most infielders typically wear jeans and a shirt, or select other clothing that is washable. T-shirts, polo shirts and tank tops are appropriate, as practicality plays a large role in this area of the racetrack.
  • Riding Silks: If you plan to attend a party and the host has requested that guests come dressed in Kentucky Derby clothing, consider wearing riding silks. Research online websites that specialize in equestrian costumes. Look specifically for riding silks in the color of the jockey and horse that you will support throughout the Kentucky Derby. Be sure to purchase a hat, boots, jodhpurs (jockey pants) and silks.
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