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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: Romper + Jumpsuit Edition

Apr 11, 2016

Sorry for slacking a little lately on the Derby Dress of the Day features. I took the most mini-vacay ever over the weekend to Nashville (we left on Saturday morning and came back mid-day Sunday, barely 24 hours gone) but just trying to get out of the house for one night threw my entire schedule out of whack. Clearly you’re not here to hear about my laundry and organization woes so let’s just jump right back into it.

So one thing I absolutely love is when people send in questions and requests for this series. For one, it makes coming up with new content easier but more importantly, it makes me happy to know that this series is actually helping people get ready for the races. Especially since I can’t go this year, I’m living vicariously through every question. So seriously, if you’re in need of help – drop me a note or comment below – I love it.

Last week I got a request from one of my best gals on how to rock a romper and/or jumpsuit to the track. I don’t normally include a lot of these, despite there being a lot of cute options, because of one reason and one reason alone: bathrooms.

Even in the nicest sections of the track, the idea of having to disrobe from a romper or jumpsuit multiple times throughout the day, is a bit daunting (maybe it’s just me). And if you’re having a cocktail, you’re definitely going to have to use the restrooms at least a couple times. But bathroom issues aside, there are a lot of cute options so I figured I’d breakdown the best areas of the track to wear both a romper or a jumpsuit. Sorry if this comes off a bit like a buzz-kill, definitely not trying to be. Just want you to be prepared in case you go either route.

Derby Dress of the Day: Can I wear a romper or jumpsuit to Derby?

ASTR Open Stich RomperJ.O.A. Cutout Detail Sleeveless Romper in Coral (also comes in white – would be so cute for a bride-to-be for a shower or casual rehearsal dinner) | Trina Turk ‘Zadie’ Wide Leg Jumpsuit (this version has wider straps and is in an amazing red color)

The Paddock: No to both.

If you’re going to the Paddock, I don’t recommend wearing a romper because of the bathroom situation but I definitely recommend avoiding a jumpsuit. Most jumpsuits have a wide-leg which is destined to be ruined by the trash and other random debris thrown down throughout the day.

And I know I said it already but the bathroom situation in the Paddock area isn’t pretty. The lines are long (longer as the day goes on), they aren’t the most glamorous spots (certainly not somewhere you’d want something dragging along the floor) and trying to get re-dressed in one of those tiny stalls with a slew of aggressive ladies in line wanting to know what’s taking so long, sounds like a form of punishment.

My vote is to avoid both.

Same goes for the in-field. It may be super cute and totally festival-appropriate but all I can picture is someone forgetting to lock the port-o-let and having the door opened as you’re trying to re-adjust. Sorry for the visual, just being real.

Outdoor Box (1st and 2nd floor Clubhouse) + Grandstands: No to jumpsuits. Maybe to rompers. 

The restroom situation is only about a half-step better for these two areas so the same reasoning applies.

I’m definitely out on jumpsuits for this section too because of the amount of crap that people throw on the floor in the outdoor boxes. Drinks will spill, food will fall and by the end of the day, it will be a mess. When you’re stuck in a crowd, there’s also the chance that someone will step on the edge and you’ll end up with a rip. My thought is, if you’re buying a jumpsuit for Derby, you’re going to pick a nice one and I wouldn’t want someone to splurge only to go home with their new piece totally ruined.

Third Floor Clubhouse: No to Jumpsuits. Yes to rompers.

With a third floor clubhouse ticket, you’re gaining access to a much nicer restroom situation. The Ritz it’s not but it’s definitely better than the outdoor options. The lines are much less aggressive and there’s way more room to maneuver. For these reasons, you’re safe in a romper.

But the same reasons apply as above when it comes to the mess outside. I wouldn’t risk it.

Marquee Village + In-field Suites : No to both. 

Both of these sections are really nice with seating, great views and your own amenities but there’s still too much outdoor walking, especially for the infield suites, for me to encourage a jumpsuit. That being said, I guess if you had a straight, cropped-leg jumpsuit, you could probably get away with it.

I also think there’s still a lot of Port-O-Let usage in both sections which can lead to the same problems you face in the paddock. Don’t risk it.

Turf Room, Jockey Club Suites, Millionaire’s Row, Fifth Floor Clubhouse: Yes to both. 

Amenities are fancy and nice in just about every area 4th floor and above so you’re safe to try either. You can also get a friend to easily lend you a hand in case of a zipper/clasp emergency.

My vote is for a romper just because it feels a little more fun, youthful and spring-ish. Love a good jumpsuit but for day, a structured romper looks so chic and fun. Top it off with a bold fascinator rather than a hat since a big hat can look out of proportion with a short romper. Basically – if I wore a romper, I’d want to recreate this look. 

If you go with a jumpsuit, pick one in a bright color, like this Trina Turk option. Pair it with wedges (love a higher heel with a jumpsuit) and a chic hatinator (that funny word for a hat + fascinator combo).


At the end of the day, you should wear whatever you feel most comfortable in and what makes you feel fabulous. So rock that jumpsuit in the paddock if you want to, just don’t say I didn’t warn you if you come home with some unsavory stuff around the edges.

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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