Sunday, April 8, 2012

Unbridled Fashion: Dressing for the Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend, hopefully filled with new family memories, chocolate rabbits, and dip dyed eggs. Mine was leisurely spent in Louisville attending downtown art walks, dining on Mom’s cooking, fawning over baby animals at the zoo, watching vintage Marilyn Monroe movies, and sipping bourbon on our back deck. There’s nothing like a weekend getaway to Mom and Dad’s house to center myself again and decompress from my busy Nashville life.

The stars of Bus Stop, Don Murray and Marilyn Monroe sharing a laugh.

On our downtown art walk I gathered a collection of Louisville publications and magazines to browse and a small bag of delicious chocolate covered coffee beans from historic Muth’s candies to snack on. While flipping through page after page, publication after publication, the reoccurring theme of Kentucky Derby was apparent. Advertisements for bourbon for milt juleps, millineries for custom designed Derby hats, and collections of designer dresses and fashions filled the pages.

I love hidden city gems.

For those unaccustomed to the yearly event, it is unworldly, bringing forth illusions of Southern fashion at its finest and, of course, big Derby hats. There is something decidedly charming about men in seersucker suits and handcrafted ties; women in polished, sophisticated, and classy dresses, pumps, and delicately constructed hats; and of course, an ice cold mint julep housed in silver cups in everyone’s hands.

Mint juleps in classic silver cups.

While the Kentucky Derby may be hours away, Nashville’s Steeplechase is only around the corner for those wishing to disperse among crowds of well-dressed parties on Derby Day. My suggestion for those wanting a more intimate gathering of friends? Host a tastefully constructed Derby party. There’s no reason to throw away this excuse to adorn yourself in a pretty dress and heels. And besides, when else is wearing an over the top hat not only appropriate, but nearly required?

How darling are these mint julep cupcakes?

There are several options for Derby dress, and hats alone can range from around $80 to over $1,300 (Kentucky folk take Derby hats very seriously). Here are a few inspirational options from last years’ event for dressing for the most exciting two minutes of sports, and remember, it’s all about the hat:

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