I’ve talked about this before but I kind of hate the word ‘Thurby.’ Either way, apparently it’s a thing now and I’m going to have to live with it. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s what Churchill Downs is calling the Thursday at the track before the Kentucky Derby. That Thursday, or Thurby, has become what the Kentucky Oaks used to be – a more local-centric day at the races.
Thurby is a little more laid-back than Derby and Oaks but still a great chance to get dressed up. I think hats are more of an optional choice – go with it if you want to rock a headpiece but definitely don’t feel like you have to. I think it’s a great time to wear a smaller piece – something like this little lovely.
I recently got a question from a reader asking about what to wear to Thurby along with a request to find a dress that 1. paired with a black and white hat and 2. would be appropriate for someone in the 40’s who wants to look chic but not like they’re trying to be 20 and 3. was under or around $150.
Just like with the sliding scale of formality for Derby and Oaks, you’ll want to be a little more formal if you’re in the Jockey Club Suites, Turf Club or Millionaire’s Row than you would be if you’re in a first floor box or the grandstands. The good thing with both of today’s options – they can be dressed up or down according to wear you’re spending the day.
I picked these Tahari (just coincidence that they both are options for this specific scavenger hunt for a couple reasons. I love the color of this Tahari blush sheath (this pretty pale pink would be my pick) but if you aren’t sold on the color, it comes in 11 other colors. Seriously, there are twelve options for this simple but chic option. More importantly though, I love the fit. A lot of sheath dresses can be really unflattering, especially on someone who doesn’t look like a fit model. There’s a chance you can look like you’re wearing a bright smock which isn’t going to do anyone any favors.
This option has a couple things going for it though. The darting at the bust and fitted waist is super slimming, while the fabric is thick enough to smooth out any imperfections (and would be perfect for some good shape wear underneath). Plus if you’re someone who is sensitive about showing off your arms, it has sleeves. Oh and did I mention it’s under $130.
Pick whichever color you love best and top it off with a simple headpiece or some bold accessories – like these fun, bright drop earrings.
When it comes to the floral option, I love this one because the print is simple enough to work well on any age. I can see a 24-year-old rocking this with a higher heeled wedge and a bold black fascinator but I can also see someone in the 50’s rocking this with a simple sandal and wide brimmed hat. I’d pair it with a lace-up wedge and a black fascinator. The color palette is also simple enough that you can add in other colors if your heart desires. Yes, it’s sleeveless but 9 times out of 10, I think people who are shy about showing their upper arms have absolutely nothing to worry about.
If you’re the kind of gal looking for something simple (and with sleeves), I’ve rounded up some more options that also fall in the $150 price range. Also, if you don’t like the color shown below – try clicking on it, most of these picks come in at least three other colors. Remember that if you go with a solid dress, step up your hat game (need help finding one – I’ve got you covered over here).
And keep the questions coming! Love hunting down options. Email me – firstname.lastname@example.org. There’s also TONS of options on my Derby Dresses page. Stripes, florals, little black dresses for parties, casual cotton dresses for the in-field, fancy pants numbers for the high rollers and everything in between (just added this Elizabeth & James cut-out dress that is gorgeous).