I’m headed to Louisville this weekend for horse racing’s most highly anticipated event – the Kentucky Derby! On May 5th, Churchill Downs is flooded with people dressed to the nines who are there to watch as the most beautiful and athletic horses in the world compete in the first of three races that form the Triple Crown. I’m flying down to Kentucky on Thursday for Conner’s birthday, and then we’re driving to Louisville for the Derby on Saturday with his parents and some of our friends.

If you aren’t making it down to KY this weekend but still want to join in on the excitement, I’ve partnering with NBC to put together a few easy tips for how you can join in on the southern festivities this weekend with your own Kentucky Derby party. Whether you’ll be watching from the racetrack or from your screen at home, you’ll want to trade in your Cinco de Mayo margarita for a mint julep this Saturday and join in on the tradition 🙂

Petite Bardot Dress (wearing 00 petite) – available in regular sizing here | Nude Heels | Similar Ivory Fascinator | Bracelet 1 | Bracelet 2 | Target Tablecloth | Target Tray | Mint Julep Cups | Similar Decanter| Eucalyptus Garland

What to Wear

When is comes to Derby dressing, the three most important are: a classic dress, high heels, and a statement hat/fascinator. Spring colored dresses, preppy prints, and classic silhouettes is the dress code for the races! For classy dresses that won’t break the bank, my favorite place to look is ASOS Petites (regular + tall sizing options too!) where I found the dress I’m wearing in this post. Can’t wait to show you my Derby outfit this Saturday!

For the hat/fascinator, really anything goes – but the bigger the better! I love the idea of tying the color of your hat in with your dress or the color of your bag/shoes. You can find a lot of great hat/fascinators on Etsy! For the men – a dapper head to toe look is the goal. Stripes, dotted prints, and seersucker are welcomed. I’m a fan of co-ordinating colors with your Derby date!


How to Decorate

Red roses are a must! The Derby is also know as “The Run for the Roses”, so you can’t go wrong with decorating your house with them! Derby winners are celebrated with a blanket of red roses upon victory, which is where the alternate name for the race is derived from. Putting them in mint julep cups would also be a pretty way to display them. I thought this preppy plaid tablecloth was perfect for the occasion and love the way this faux Eucalyptus garland compliments the green – both from Target! Also pictured – Mint julep cups, a serving tray, and decanter for bourbon!



What to Serve

Mint Julep Recipe:

Easy and fun southern-themed recipes for the party:

1. Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders – Recipe Here

2. Hot Pimento Cheese Dip – Recipe Here

3. Kentucky Derby Pie Cookie Bars – Recipe Here


How to Watch

Tune into NBC from 2:30-7:30P EST on 5/5 to watch the live broadcast of the “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports”. The Kentucky Derby post time is scheduled for 6:34 p.m. ET, but the actual race isn’t set to start until 6:46 p.m. and only lasts for about two minutes. The race will consist of 20 horses competing for the $2 million prize. Place your bets, go all out on your outfit, enjoy good company, and enjoy the 144th annual Kentucky Derby!

Thank you to NBC for your partnership on this post

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Showing 2 comments
  • Olivia Brown

    Hi Olivia!
    Great post! I am hoping to attend the derby next year. I have recently e-mailed you a few times with regard to an internship in Chicago this summer. Please let me know what you think! I would LOVE to hear from you. I am a huge fan, and would jump at any opportunity to work with you.

  • Brianna

    So cute! Love the drinks 🙂
    Brianna |

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