How To Rock The Derby Like a Model

April 30, 2014 | By | Comments (1)

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?

Coco Rocha/ Photo courtesy

Coco Rocha/ Photo courtesy Michael Hickey, Wireimage

2. Match your lipstick to your hat. We love the way this racegoer’s red lips complement the flower on her hat.

Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy AFP

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.

Marissa Miller/ Photo courtesy

Marissa Miller/ Photo courtesy Michael Hickey, Wireimage

4. Dress up your arm candy. We bet Luke Bryan took some style tips from his lovely wife for their red carpet close-up.

Luke Bryan & tk/ Photo courtesy

Luke and Caroline Bryan/ Photo courtesy Mike Coppola, Wireimage

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.

Angela Bassett/ Photo courtesy

Angela Bassett/ Photo courtesy Mike Coppola, Wireimage

6. Pearls (and a big smile) are always a girl’s best friend. As demonstrated by actress Debra Messing.

Debra Messing/ Photo courtesy

Debra Messing/ Photo courtesy Theo Wargo, Wireimage

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!

Erin Andrews/ photo courtesy

Erin Andrews/ Photo courtesy Michael Loccisano, Wireimage

8. Don’t be afraid to steal the show. This race-goer knows the number one trick to rocking any dress is confidence.

Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy AFP

What are you wearing to Derby? Show us your looks using #SLDerbyStyle on Twitter, and Instagram and we’ll share our favorites. 


  1. Pop Culture And Kentucky Derby: What You Need To Know | Your Hub for Southern Culture

    […] the Kentucky Derby. Bastion of crazy hats, slick fashions, and great excuses for throwing killer parties. Throughout the years, the Derby has taken on a […]

    May 2, 2014 at 1:38 pm

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