Kentucky Derby (May 3) is hands-down one of the biggest fashion events in the South. This year the iconic race celebrates its 140th, and we’ll be there reporting on the festivities—including some style coverage from the red carpet (stay tuned!). Much like you, we don’t have a celebrity stylist on call, so we pulled some shots from years past to snag some pearls of wisdom on race-day style. Whether you’re trotting to Churchill Downs or posting up with friends at your own Derby bash, here a few tips to achieve your winning look.
1. Pick a focal piece and build from there. Model Coco Rocha gets it right by pairing an ornate orchid hat with a simple yet sleek get-up. Who says skirt suits can’t be chic?
2. Match your lipstick to your hat. We love the way this racegoer’s red lips complement the flower on her hat.
3. Be girly; be very girly. Feminity is the name of the game at this elegant event. Go for light hues, floral prints, and soft materials a la model Marissa Miller.
4. Dress up your arm candy. We bet Luke Bryan took some style tips from his lovely wife for their red carpet close-up.
5. Classic colors can work. The trick is to pick a dress that isn’t too serious or drab. Angela Bassett’s frocks have lace details and lighter undertones that make this style sweet and femme.
6. Pearls (and a big smile) are always a girl’s best friend. As demonstrated by actress Debra Messing.
7. Florals reign. They don’t call it the “Run for the Roses” for nothing. Petals are the print of choice for race day. Looking good, Erin Andrews!
8. Don’t be afraid to steal the show. This race-goer knows the number one trick to rocking any dress is confidence.
What are you wearing to Derby? Show us your looks using #SLDerbyStyle on Twitter, and Instagram and we’ll share our favorites.