Oh my goodness probably my favorite races of the year is the Kentucky Derby for a few reasons! One my parents gave me such a love and respect for race horses. I love watching them and yes Triple Crown winner Secretariat is hands down my favorite race horse of all time.
I love his story he was such an inspiration to so many during that era. But anyway back to the famous Race for the Roses!! Obviously my second reason I love the derby is derby fashion! I look forward to all the outfits and hats! And oh the hats some are a site to see haha!
Check out this crazy hat!
Some people take it to the extremes but Hey at least she looks like shes having fun right? Haha I love the obviously more classic looks. But on a more serious note lol! Derby fashion goes way back! Colonel M. Lewis Clark Jr., (the founding father of the Kentucky Derby), envisioned the racing environment to be comfortable and luxurious, an event that would remind people of European horse racing. For a well-to-do in the late 19th and early 20th century woman, a day at Churchill Downs, especially on Derby Day was an opportunity to be seen in the latest of fashions. A journalist from a 1901 Louisville Courier-Journal stated, “The seats in the grandstand were filled with gaily dressed women and men. The mass of green, pink, red, yellow, blue, all the colors of the rainbow, blending into one harmonious whole was as beautiful a sight as His Eminence in the lead.”
(1926 Kentuckty Derby)
In the 1920s, women at the Derby could be seen wearing a dress or perhaps a more modern suit, complete with a jacket. Some of the1920s jackets were roomy and accommodating, others were fitted. The hat and gloves were still very much in fashion. The 1930s and 1940s followed in the same vein, with option of a dress or suit; in fact, in the 1930s and 1940s the formal suit seemed to be more popular than the dress.
In the mid-to late 1960’s though the Derby was still viewed as a most respectable event and women continued to dress as such, a change had occurred. Now Millionaires Row had opened, society women wore increasingly louder hats and took pride and enjoyment in selecting one. This trend of bigger, more spectacular hats might have developed due to the fact that while society was loosening its grip on the hat and glove formality, the Kentucky Derby offered women a place to continue the old traditions. Patterns and prints were also brighter, and hemlines defiantly were raised, yielding a much different look than years before. In the 1970s and 1980s was a return to the longer skirt, while the same casual attitude of the 1960s was still in place. From the 1990s to today, the dress at the Derby is slowing replacing the suit, especially with younger women. While gloves are out of fashion, a hat never is, and they tend to get wilder and more expensive every year!
Ok yes I didn’t write all of this and got most of my information on this topic from the Kentucky Derby Website. But I tried to condense it for you so it would be a quick and easy fun read on Derby Fashion since the race is just days away! Here are a few of my favorite present day derby outfits!
I hope yall enjoy this mini history lesson on Derby Fashion! With much Grace and Style I am wishing you an awesome week!