What Women Should Wear to the 2018 Kentucky Derby

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The Kentucky Derby presents one of the best opportunities to show off spring fashions.

There aren’t many set rules regarding appropriate Kentucky Derby dressing, mainly because attendees show up at many different areas and at different times of the day, which will change the ideal dress.

Here are some ways to determine how to dress for this year’s Kentucky Derby.


When choosing a dress for the Kentucky Derby, it’s important to remember to keep it simple to help make sure your hat stands out. Dresses can be colorful or more neutral, with plenty of versatility allowed.

Keep in mind that the weather at the time of the event tends to be unpredictable, making it important to dress in layers.

Kentucky Derby Hats

To complement your dress, an elegant choice of hat is good to add. In fact, Kentucky Derby hats are one of the key elements of the Derby, making them a necessity for many attendees.

When it comes to selecting your hat, there are essentially no rules to break. Your hat can be as subtle or loud as you want it to be, serving as a unique look at the big event.

Typically, women at the Derby wear wide-brimmed hats in the style of the Southern Belle. You can also add certain flair to your hat to make it truly yours, including bows,, ribbons, feathers, and flowers.

Determining Whether to Choose the Dress or Hat First

May may be uncertain about whether the dress or the hat should come first when selecting their Kentucky Derby wardrobe. The truth is there isn’t a right answer.

Some may decide to select their dress first, followed by designing the hat to complete the look. However, others may want to select the hat first. Regardless of your choice, there are certain guidelines you should follow, including:

  • Keep the design of your dress simplistic if the hat stands out with a pattern
  • Keep the entire outfit simple to maintain class if the hat is elegant and simple
  • Add an accent to the hat if you want your outfit to be louder
  • Wear longer hair in a ponytail or down to one side to highlight your face’s color.

Choosing Hats or Fascinators for the Kentucky Derby

One of the more popular hat styles that women are choosing to wear at the Kentucky Derby is the fascinator.

These are smaller than traditional hats while maintaining the same amount of style, having experienced a recent surge in popularity thanks to Kate Middleton.

While you may want to wear a more traditional hat to the big event, fascinators are plentiful and perfectly welcome if you want a simpler look.

With these tips in mind, you can take full advantage of the dress capabilities at the Kentucky Derby this year. There’s a nearly unlimited number of options, from dress styles and hats to original combinations of both that can form the perfect outfit.

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