How to Celebrate Derby Day in Style

Blogger Leslie Meyer is here with her tips for the best Kentucky Derby yet, from choosing the right color palette to planning the perfect menu.

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The Kentucky Derby brings both horse-race enthusiasts and fashion lovers flocking to Louisville every first Saturday in May. Whether you’re heading to the main event itself or celebrating from home, it’s the perfect chance to bring a little southern charm to your look (and menu). Here are the 4 ways to make sure you’ll have a Kentucky Derby to remember, according to plus-size fashion blogger and Louisville local Leslie Meyer.

1. Dress for the occasion.

Picking out an outfit for the Kentucky Derby is all about seasonal style. Choose bright, colorful fabrics, or pair a neutral shade with colorful accessories. Opt for daytime style instead of anything that’s too formal. Shorter-length dresses are the go-to look for the Derby, but maxi dresses, jumpsuits, and two-piece sets are quickly becoming new favorites.

2. Top it off with the perfect hat.

When looking for the right hat or fascinator to complete your ensemble, always complement your outfit’s color palette. The general rule of thumb is, the bigger the better! Your hat should be a statement piece, rather than just an accessory—choose simple jewelry to let your hat take center stage.

plus-size kentucky derby style pink fascinator


3. Prepare for unpredictable weather.

Springtime is a season of weather confusion—chances are equally good for both sunshine and rain. If you plan on heading to the event itself or hosting a party outdoors, carry a clear poncho in lieu of an umbrella (which isn’t allowed at the track). That way, you’ll stay dry while still showcasing your outfit.


4. Put a twist on traditional menu favorites.

Hosting a Derby celebration at home? No need to reinvent the wheel with your menu. Just refresh classic recipes and make them perfect for the occasion! Instead of simply serving the usual mint juleps, bring the same vibe to a batch of cupcakes or try the drink in new flavors, like lavender or strawberry. Swap out the go-to Louisville Hot Brown dish for sliders or dip. Let chocolate bourbon pecan pie inspire pops or brownies. Or, shrink down the southern favorite chicken and waffles into a miniature version.

Leslie Meyer

Plus-Size Fashion Blogger & Louisville Local

plus-size kentucky derby style author photo


The race to find the perfect Derby outfit is on! Order a Dia Box and save your favorite colorful dresses for your stylist.