Kentucky Derby Fashion – for the Traditional to the Rebel!

Kentucky Derby Fashion

The 121st Kentucky Derby is scheduled to run on its normal date this year, which is the first Saturday in May. Last year the Derby was delayed, for the second time in its long history, until September because of COVID.

The first time a reschedule was necessary was back in 1945 because of WWII. The September 2020 Derby was held without an audience in place, again because of higher COVID cases in the state of Kentucky, but this year Churchill Downs is selling a limited number of tickets. So, prepare to secure your place in line for the two most exciting minutes in sports! The following Kentucky Derby fashion ideas from GAGE for Men will make sure that you show up as your best self. And – we’re – off!!

A tried and true suit for Derby offers light colors as well as lighter materials. Beige, light-blue, tan-colored, pink, and off-white work really well for this occasion. Linen is a popular material for this Spring event, even though it tends to easily wrinkle. Cotton is a good substitute in order to stay cool and comfortable.

Please note: Many Derby Saturdays have been celebrated with colder digits and rain which cause sloppy tracks, so any warmer material is welcomed should this be the case this year as well! With that in mind, let’s focus on the fashion of it all.

Men's Ky Derby FashionMore Traditional Betting

With lighter colors always being a trusted fashion staple, we’ve noticed that this year brighter colors are in demand. So are prints, like florals. We find this to be quite suitable – this race is nick-named ‘The Run for the Roses’, after all. If you like to dress more toward the traditional side, choose a one-colored suit and add a shirt with a floral pattern to stay in the now. If that still seems too much, simply choose a tie with a nice, floral print to liven up your outfit. Pick a pair of shoes that go in tune with your shirt or tie, color-wise, and you’re set.

Men's Casual Derby FashionCasual for the Win?

If you feel your best with a more casual approach, then skip the tie and shirt and sport a t-shirt underneath your jacket. Or an unbuttoned shirt on-top of the t-shirt. This creates a lighter feel should the day be really warm as you can wear your suit jacket on your arm and feel cooler in your t-shirt or t-shirt with an unbuttoned shirt.

Rebel KY Derby Fashion

The Rebel Upset

Should you want to bring your rebel style with you to the Derby, make your t-shirt stand out with some cool skull art combined with super bright colors for your suit or suit jacket. Calm it all down with a Derby influenced hat, like a hand-woven Panama straw-hat. If your rebel-style won’t turn heads, this handsome hat most certainly will.

Hat Trick Perfecta

This leads us to the most popular item to pick out for the Derby: your hat! Men, like women, like to sport a nice piece of hat wear for this historic horse race. There are many choices out there so to sort through the possibilities, GAGE for Men recommends these top 3 faves:

Men's KY Derby Hats

  • For the traditional style: A felt bowler hat, trimmed with a ribbon. Also known as “the Derby hat”, or “The Bowler”. Perfect for that smart suit and a sure win for this incredible event.
  • For the casual style: How about a Seersucker Ivy Cap? This flat cap style works wonders together with your dressed-down suit or your shirt and t-shirt. The traditional seersucker pattern makes it Derby accepted!
  • For the rebel: A straw boater hat. Why not go full 180? Let your loud t-shirt befriend this old-school boater hat. After all, the very first Kentucky Derby took place in 1875 so a respectful nod to history combined with your otherwise un-Derby like outfit will calm the waters. Or should we say, the tracks.

Now, figure out which style makes you feel the most comfortable. You’re at the horse track after all. No matter how cool and collected you’ll feel in your Derby outfit, your heart is bound to start racing (pun intended) the minute you make that first bet. And the race of races will bring a certain pride to your mind should you be a Kentuckian.

No matter where you’re from you will most definitely be filled with respect when these champion horses do their thing. It is indeed the two most exciting minutes in sports and the whole world is watching. Perhaps another reason for wearing and feeling your best?

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