What to expect:
The Kentucky Derby is most fabulous and fashionable race in America and presents an outstanding opportunity to get dressed to the nines and wear a gorgeous hat or fascinator. The southern girls look different than we do in NYC. They favor a bright floral palate in styles that are very feminine. At the Derby you will see a full range of hats and fascinators styles, some very cheaply made, some self made, some gorgeous and over the top.
The Oaks or “Ladies Day”:
The friday of the Kentucky Derby is known as The Oaks. The Oaks raises money for breast cancer and so the colors are pink and red. You can wear these colors if you wish, and many do, but it is fine to choose another color. For The Oaks, the look is flirty and feminine. If you want to really spread your fashion wings and wear a big hat or fascinator, save it for Derby Day on Saturday.
Hat or Fascinator?
Generally we sell fascinators for The Oaks and hats for Derby Race Day. If you are very petite it is best to choose a small brimmed hat or a fascinator. If you want to be photographed, don’t be shy. Go bright and go big.
Fushia, yellow, red, blush, light gray, navy, black and white, white, cream and cream and white are all popular.
A lightweight shift or floral dress is best. The Derby outfit is all about the hat, so make sure your dress is not too heavy or hot, and can move from very hot to the extra cool air conditioning of the boxes.
Attending The Kentucky Derby with clients or as the guest of a VIP
Choose a lightweight shift or floral dress that is not too heavy or hot. A floral fascinator for The Oaks works great in a shape and size appropriate to your face and body. If you choose a hat for Derby Race Day, you can wear a 5-6” brim no problem. The favored look is a wide brim with a flower. If you are concerned about looking appropriate, wear a fascinator that feels comfortable in size, and is not too large. Do remember that many women at the Kentucky Derby will be wearing hats that are more elaborate and larger than those that you would consider for yourself. We always try to put our clients in shapes that are proportional and feel very comfortable.
Be prepared for weather extremes. It can be very hot, and it can also rain.
You will be on your feet all day, and drinking, so make sure to throw some low shoes into your bag. Also include wet wipes, a pashmina, and our favorite-a frozen spray bottle with water and essential oil of peppermint.
Services from Lisa Shaub Fine Millinery
Custom color matching for hats and fascinators