How To Choose The Right Outfit To Attend The Kentucky Derby

How To Choose The Right Outfit To Attend The Kentucky Derby

If you are one of the lucky ones that managed to get your hands on a ticket to the Kentucky Derby, it is time to prepare your outfit just to blend in with the fashion and the vibe of this prestigious event.

The Kentucky Derby has always been a horse racing event where many influential people gather in the same place. Each year many celebrities and government officials have attended the race, which means that glamour and fashion are on the highest level.

So, after checking the 2022 Kentucky Derby fair odds by TwinSpires, you should choose what to wear to the event. Here are a few things you should consider.

Dress Code

Since we are talking about one of the biggest events in the horse racing calendar, it is important to point out what you can and cannot wear. 

The Kentucky Derby is held on Churchill Downs and organizers have published an official dress code just to keep the prestige and tradition on the highest level for years.

Keep in mind that the management has the right to deny admission to anyone who attends the Derby with an inappropriate outfit. They published a dress code split into three categories.

Business Casual

Business casual is the most common type of outfit both men and women wear. This means that you’ll be perfectly fine attending the Kentucky Derby with jackets, blazers, vests, shirts with collars, sweaters, dresses, pantsuits, and slacks.

However, you won’t be allowed to enter if you wear jeans/denim, shorts, halter tops, t-shirts, athletic wear, or tennis shoes.

If you are bringing your child under the age of 12, the business casual appeal does not apply, even though it is encouraged.

Smart Casual

The organizers also allow a more comfortable look with the smart-casual outfit. In other words, jackets and blazers are optional, vests, shirts with collars, dresses, dress jeans, dress shorts, and slacks are considered appropriate.

On the other hand, cargo shorts, halter tops, athletic wear, torn denim, or shorts are not allowed.

Track Casual

Here jackets and blazers are also optional, and vests shirts with collars, dresses, pantsuits, dress jeans, golf shorts, dress shorts, and capris are considered appropriate. On the other hand, halter tops, athletic wear, torn denim, and midriff tops are not appropriate.

With that said, it is worth mentioning that each section of the Churchill Downs racetrack has a different dress code. So, before you attend the Kentucky Derby, make sure you match your outfit to the location of your seat and the dress code.

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What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby?

So, how to apply these rules to your outfit, and is there a chance to stand out from the crowd. Here are some pointers on what you should wear to this prestigious event.


When selecting a dress for the Kentucky Derby, it is best if you keep it simple. You can also let the color and excitement of spring inspire you when choosing the pattern and color.

Moving on, no Kentucky Derby outfit is considered worthy without a spring heel or sandal. Remember, you’ll be all day on your feet so make sure you choose something comfortable.

Accessories play an important role when choosing your outfit. You can spice up your outfit with subtle jewelry, and matching bags.

Hats are also important, and they add complexity to the simple outfit for Derby Day.


When it comes to the men’s outfits, things are a bit simpler. Traditionally, men always attended the Kentucky Derby with a blue or black suit or blazer, but the modern Derby man is allowed to be more creative.

If you like to stand out from the crowd, it is best if you show up with an unparalleled color pallet or unique pattern. Try to choose more bright and striking colors. For example, pink has become sort of a trend in the Kentucky Derby for men.

When it comes to shoes, there are many options to choose from and no specific rules to follow. They should only be worn sockless.

You can top everything off with a bowler or fedora hat, for the ultimate Kentucky Derby look.

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