What are you going to wear? Sometimes it’s good to look at a few suggestions then add your own tweaks and ideas. That’s what these are for. The Derby is coming up, and it’s as good a reason as any to get together with friends and knock back a mint julep or some bourbon over ice. The guys get dressed up, the gals wear dresses and big hats, and it can end up being a complete blast. Here’s how to look the part while still having a few bucks left over to go to the window with (even if the “window” is a hat placed on a chair in the living room of the host’s house).
The Suit: J. Crew Factory Thompson Seersucker Blazer – $117.50 & Pants – $68.50. Invoking the most traditional look for a Derby outfit here. If you have no desire to invest in a seersucker suit, you can easily pair a summerweight blazer with light pants for a derbyfied look.
The Shirt: UNIQLO Easy Care Broadcloth Dress Shirt – $29.90 ($39.90). Can’t really go wrong on the price of these things. They may not last as long as a Brooks Brothers or Ledbury shirt, but it’ll get the job done. Plus, if your horse wins and you slosh bourbon on your shirt in a fit of ecstasy, it won’t be the end of the world.
The Belt: UNIQLO Italian Washed Leather Belt – $29.90. Sure you’re in a suit, but it’s a more casual fabric. So a more casual belt will look much better than a highly polished one. It’ll also go better with the suede bucks, all while avoiding the “matchy-matchy-ness” that can come with matching suede shoes to a suede belt.
The Watch: Skagen Holst Multifunction – $116.25. Fairly clean and simple. Mid-size at 40mm, with day and date dials. Prime eligible through Amazon. Big fan of this thing. Review of the black leather strap option can be found here.
The Tie: TheTieBar Textured Solid Silk Knit Tie – $25.00. A bow tie is the classic derby play, but this is an attempt to walk the line between looking fun & traditional, and costumey. So a silk knit tie is a good way to go here.
The Shoes: 1901 ‘Richmond’ Bucks – $99.95. One of Nordstrom’s house brands. Solid, consistent value for the money, plus free shipping and free returns. A classic buck. Plenty of colors to pick from too.
The Sunglasses: Cole Haan Modified Wayfarers – $29.97 ($125). Marked down through Nordstrom Rack for a very reasonable price. Modeled after a wayfarer, but with a more rounded shape and keyhole cutout at the bridge.
The Non alcoholic beverage: Q-Tonic Water. On the pricey side, but a nice, lightly sweet & plenty tart way to pace yourself if it’s going to be a long afternoon. Mint Juleps can pack a punch. Drink plenty of water, and pace yourself with these.
The Reminder: Bring cash! Singles preferably. See #5 over here for how to setup an unmanned betting window at your party. And to avoid fisticuffs, keep it to a buck a name (not $5 or $10… degenerates will ruin the fun).
The 2016 Kentucky Derby is Saturday May 7th. Top Photo: J. Poe