On May 2, Churchill Downs will be empty on the first Saturday in May for the first time since 1945. The Kentucky Derby has been a long standing tradition. It is dubbed "The Run for the Roses," stemming from the blanket of roses draped over the winner. It is also known as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" or "The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports" because of its approximate duration. This year, the 146th Kentucky Derby has been moved from May 2 to Saturday, September 5 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the party will still go on—from home. In addition to the race itself, several traditions play a significant role in the Derby atmosphere. The mint julep, an iced drink consisting of bourbon, mint, and simple syrup—is the traditional beverage of the race. The historic beverage comes served in an ice-frosted silver julep cup. Revelers show up in the infield to party with abandon. "Millionaire's Row" refers to the expensive box seats that attract the rich, the famous and the well-connected. Women appear in elegant outfits lavishly accessorized with large, elaborate hats. The Kentucky Derby is well known for being one of the biggest fashion extravaganzas of the year where celebrities and attendees dress to impress in away that can only be seen on this special day! Kentucky Derby fashion comes with a lot of expectations, as well as a lot of tradition in what to wear and of course fashion faux pas to avoid! The strict dress code is nothing short of glamorous, head-turning and classy. This is not the time to break out your good skinny jeans. They're just not fancy enough! Denim is a big NO-NO for this event. Derby day is a day for spring dresses (both long and short), and heels. If you insist on wearing pants at all, they should be loose, fancy, and paired with eye-catching accessories. Don't be shy with your colors. The brighter the better. Pastels, pinks, yellows, whites, baby blues are all acceptable. Spring is your canvas. Avoid wearing all black, or dark fall/winter or neutral colors on this bright fashion showcase. Look to spring flowers and shades to help find your favorite shades. You need to be fashionable and elegant from head to toe and high heels are just as important to your outfit choice as your hat! Flats will take away from your "wow-factor" and wearing sneakers would be a total setback! An extravagant and obnoxiously large hat is a right of passage when dressing for the Kentucky Derby. When most people think about derby fashion, the first thing that they think about are the hats. In fact, many outfits are decided around the hat themselves. You choose the hat first, and then the dress to match! Even if you never wear a hat any other day in your life, it is appreciated and encouraged that you wear one to this event. Be creative! Be outrageous! Be Extra! Most of all, have fun. Stay tuned tomorrow for perfect Derby cocktail recipes!
Stay healthy at home on May 2 for a virtual Kentucky Derby at Home Party with NBC Sports’ Derby Party Pack, featuring recipes for traditional Kentucky Derby foods and cocktails, printable decorations, at-home fashion tips, kids crafts and more.