What to Wear, Where: The Derby (aka the races)

Sue Castellino , 02 Feb 2011
Derby
Derby
What to wear to a Derby
What to wear to a Derby

Feb 5-6th: The McDowell Signature Indian Derby 2011
Feb 13th: The Elle Cup
Feb 20th: Hello! Million Race

EXCLUSIVE-2

Horses, races, gambling and big hats, that’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think about a Derby. As we’re getting ready for the richest individual sporting event of the year – The McDowell’s Signature Derby 2011, we thought we’d give you an idea of what to wear. Depending where you’re seated, there is a particular dress code. However, it’s always better to be appropriately dressed; you never know who you might meet! I’ve put together some collages of key items needed to look ready for a Derby. Keep in mind the words – classic, chic and contemporary – and you won’t go wrong. Hope this is helpful for all you ladies heading to the Derby.

Hats and Hair Pieces

Hats are a must at any Derby, and why not, it’s not every day that you get to wear these ultra stylish pieces of art. It is the oldest tradition to wear hats at a Derby. It dates back to around the 1800 if I remember my history of costume class correctly. If you’re a bit timid, then start off with some hair pieces instead, but gradually you’ll want to move on to a hat.

Hats and Hair Pieces
Hats and Hair Pieces

Day Chic Dresses

The Derby is usually held in the day, so it’s best to break out those day dresses. I personally prefer softer cupcake and vintage colours. That way my accessories stand out as compared to the actual dress. Let’s face it, you’re hat is the focus point; you don’t want to look too over the top with a loud dress too. Stick to classic shapes and styles to keep you looking fresh and stylish. Keep your dresses around knee length, you could opt for a maxi, but I always like to walk to the track and find my dress catching all the mud.

Day Chic Dresses
Day Chic Dresses

Pearls and Other Accessories

After doing some research, I found that pearls were somewhat of a Derby staple. Whether you choose the classic white or coloured pearls, it really doesn’t matter it adds that touch of grace to your outfit. Always have your sunglasses ready and try vintage style as compared to the usual aviators. Other fun accessories are gloves and sun umbrellas. It’s a little bit of fun, plus doesn’t it make you feel a bit like royalty?

Pearls and Other Accessories
Pearls and Other Accessories

MissMalini says: My oldest memory of the Derby has got to be My Fair Lady (and the fact that I even acted in a production of it by Aamir Raza Hussain during my 2 year stint with Stagedoor in Delhi – this was well over a decade ago mind you so there are no pix/video for me to share unfortunately!) But I remember being enthralled by the costumes even then, and oh yes the hats! :) xoxo

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