Home » The History of Derby Fashion

The History of Derby Fashion

Each year, the race draws locals, out-of-towners, celebrities and royalty alike. While most think the competition is on the track, those in the know would say the fashionistas in the stands are the ones who give the horses a run for their money.

The history of derby fashion stems from the era of famous long-established races such as the Royal Ascot formed in 1711 and the Epsom Derby formed in 1779 in England. The popular term “derby” was even coined from the Epsom Derby—originally named The Derby after one of its founders, Lord Derby.

More than 10,000 spectators attended the first Kentucky Derby on a sunny spring Monday in 1875. Originating as a social engagement among the upper class, the racetrack was characterized as a venue where you dressed formally and stylishly, displaying your place in society. Wearing hats was not only the trend in the early years of these races, but a form of etiquette that distinguished classes. As the racetrack quickly attracted people from beyond the upper class, many people wore hats and formal wear to uphold the level of class and showcase their own style. People dressed the part of high-society, put on their fashionable hats and went with friends to place bets and watch the race while sipping on a refreshing Derby Daze — a favorite cocktail of it’s time.

As times and fashions have changed, aspects of the traditional derby look have stayed in vogue most notably, formal wear, hats and fascinators. Who doesn’t love the chance to wear a bold tie or an outlandish hat? If you’ve dreamed of the chance to dress in the formal style of another era and still look fashionable, the Kentucky Derby is held every year at the beginning of May. Some derbies impose stringent dress codes, but at the Kentucky Derby they simply encourage derby-goers to dress with class and to have some fun expressing themselves through color and design.

The Derby isn’t just a race—it’s an experience that seems to never go out of style.

More Fashion Fabula

The History of Sequins

The origins of the word sequin technically means ‘coin’ or ‘the mint’. We scoured the web to trace back the evolution of fashion’s shiniest embellishment.

Behind the Brand: Oliver Peoples

In this day and age, when all major fashion brands feel like they have to get into every possible accessory sector, it’s highly refreshing to

Editors’ Picks: Summer Jumpsuit

Splendid Nautical Stripe Jumpsuit This lightweight jumpsuit epitomizes quintessential high-seas style. Steve Madden ‘Aintso’ Strappy Leather Toe Ring Sandal Classic and summery toe-ring style sandal

The History Behind PF Flyers

From their classic canvas look, to their elusive background, PF Flyers are American history and culture compressed into one shoe. We dug deep into their

The Future is Sporty

You’ve most likely seen it by now: “dressy” sweatpants, fleece bomber jackets, or sparkling clean running shoes paired with a suit. If you haven’t, then

Weekend Closet: Pretty Pastels!

Tommy Hilfiger Women’s Naree Two Piece Flats from Macy’s, $69- Trendy, yet chic. The Naree two-piece flats by Tommy Hilfiger fit in just about everywhere.

How to Dress For a Music Festival

If you think music festivals are all about running around in the desert with denim cutoffs and waving around a peace sign— think again! This

Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas

No matter where you’re spending Thanksgiving, the dilemma is all the same when it comes to picking out the perfect outfit. On one hand, you’re

The Commuter’s Guide to Style

Whether you’re hopping on a train or taking the healthier route and going by foot or bike, we’ve got your sartorial needs covered. By Foot

Editors’ Picks: Easter Style

J.O.A. Top – Floral Stripe Crop – Flowers and stripes unite for a print-packed masterpiece on JOA’s entrancing crop top. J.O.A Midi Skirt – Floral

How to Dress for a Date

Ah, the always unnerving ‘what to wear on a date’ scenario. It’s hard trying to blend what makes you feel comfortable with the expected dress

Latest Fashion Coupons

There are no coupons currently available

Fashion Brands


Use a social network:


Feedback/Suggest Brands

Again, welcome to Your Brandzaffair. Our goal is to be your daily source for immediate access to all your favorite brandz with their best offers, in addition to providing insights and reviews in your lifestyle interests. We want to always continue to improve your experience. Please tell us what you think and what we can do better.

Spread the Word