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Just an overcommitted girl trying to keep up with it all. Mom of three, co-owner of Lemonade PR, sports lover and F1 enthusiast always counting down to the Kentucky Derby. 

Derby Dress of the Day: For the Kentucky Oaks

Apr 4, 2016

It’s time to think pink. If you’re a local, this is old hat (dorky pun intended) but if you’re making your first trip to Derby and stumbled upon the site trying to figure out what to wear, here’s the run down on the Kentucky Oaks. In the past five to ten years, the Kentucky Oaks has become {almost} as big as the Kentucky Derby especially when it comes to getting all dolled up.

In the past, Oaks was more of a locals day but like I said, it’s become quite the event and now people are venturing in to go both days. The actual Kentucky Oaks race is America’s premier race for fillies (a filly is a girl horse just in case you didn’t know) with the winner getting a garland of lilies, cause you know, lilies for the fillies. The Lily is also the name of the delicious drink of the day (FYI – you can get them on Derby day too – just be careful if you’re wearing white because it will leave a mark if spilled).

A few years back, Churchill Downs began using the day as a Breast Cancer Awareness event and encouraged all attendees to wear pink in support. This year, the track has teamed up with Bright Pink, the only national non-profit organization that focuses on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women. The partnership also includes a Survivor’s Parade full of breast and ovarian cancer survivors right before the Oaks goes off. Moral of the story, you’re going to want to wear pink to show your support.

DerbyDress6Vineyard Vines Caning Print Halter Dress | Vineyard Vines Derby V-Neck Fit and Flare Dress 

If you’re like me, going all out in pink may be a little out of your comfort zone so you can always just add some pink flowers or feathers to your hat, go for a bright pink fascinator to compliment a navy dress or do something like this blue stripe number with a pale pink hat. But if you want to go all out, here’s a couple options from Vineyard Vines, the official style of the Kentucky Derby.

The halter dress is adorable and is perfect if your seats are outside – breezy, comfy and will pair perfectly with a simple wedge. It’s also more of a coral pink which might be easier for some pink-adverse girls to go with. The best part is you’ll get plenty of wear out of this past Derby weekend. Outdoor weddings, showers, summer parties or dress it down to be more casual with sneakers and a little denim jacket.

The bright pink option is more suited for areas like the Finish Line Suites, Fifth Floor Clubhouse or the Jockey Club Suites. I love the fit and flare style since I think it’s really flattering on a lot of different body types. Plus with a single color like this you can go a little more wild with your hat or fascinator.

And if you and your date want to coordinate (note: I said coordinate, not get all matchy-matchy like Justin and Britney in those all denim outfits #neverforget), you can snag one of the Vineyard Vines Kentucky Derby ties or bow ties. I’m partial to the simple horseshoe option but the mint julep cup and lily options are my other favorites.

Need more dress options – head over here. Looking for the perfect hat, bag and shoes – i’ve got your covered – I just added a bunch of options.  Want to talk derby on Instagram? Follow me here and here. 

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  1. Maggie Mayfield says:

    I love this series! I am still on the hunt for an Oaks dress and these posts have been super helpful!

    • Danielle says:

      So glad you love it Maggie! Keep checking back, I’ll have tons more options. We’ll make sure to find you the perfect dress! 🙂

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