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Kentucky Derby

What to Wear to the

While there is no strict dress code, there are certain dress standards for different areas of Churchill Downs, so be sure to look that over. But with our help, your gaudy getup will be grabbing the eyes of dazzled admirers!

When you think, “Kentucky Derby fashion,” picture what you might wear on Easter Sunday — if that was the category of a runway challenge on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Wearing a hat to the track is considered good luck, and you want the odds in your favor if you’re trying to win some bets.

Hats at the Derby

Generally, you’ll see women wearing colorful, wide-brimmed, Southern Belle-esque hats adorned with flowers, ribbons, and sometimes small icons like butterflies, which have been popular in the last few years.

For suits, you'll want at least a suit jacket even if you're sporting shorts. Seersucker, cotton, and linen are all common fabrics among Derbygoers for breathability.

Pack a clear rain poncho or fabulous raincoat, because view-blocking umbrellas are not permitted at Churchill Downs — even clear umbrellas.

Preparing for Weather

Ladies, consider packing a spare pair of flip flops or flats to give your feet a rest after a long day of running back and forth between your seat, the restroom, and concessions.

Always check the weather in the days — and even hours — leading up to the event, as the weather can change on a dime and leave you woefully ill-prepared, which seems to be the case with nearly every Derby ever!

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