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 Sportcoat: J. Crew Unstructured Ludlow Blazer in Light Grey Stretch Cotton – $168. Granted, you could get an entire seersucker suit from J. Crew Factory for about the same price as the sportcoat… but here’s why we’re arguing AGAINST going with a classic seersucker suit on derby day. It’s just not that versatile. This light grey blazer on the other hand? You can wear this thing year round! It’s also unconstructed and unlined, so it’ll do great in the sunshine. So skip the seersucker unless you’re dying to go for that traditional southern gent look. Pick up something like the suggested sportcoat, and you’ll get tons of use out of it year round.
The Pants: J. Crew Factory Oxford Cloth Pant – $34.50. Not overly pressed. Airy. Light in color and weight. Has a bit of a blue tint to it so there’s enough color contrast with the jacket (not that a pale grey pant wouldn’t go great here too). Ships free today with the code NEWNESS
The Shirt: J. Crew Factory SLIM Linen Shirt – $35ish. Slim fit, all linen, and an easy, button down collar. Skip the tie (bow or otherwise). The Derby is dandy-ish enough. Ships free today with the code NEWNESS
The Pocket Square: TheTieBar Navy with white Dot Seersucker – $10. Just because you’re skipping the seersucker suit doesn’t mean you can’t invoke a little bit of the classic derby day fabric. Here? It’s done in a different way. Navy, silk puckered fabric. The dots are a nice touch too.
The Sunglasses: SHWOOD Prescott Sunglasses – $89.97 ($169). Not super cheap, but they are Polarized and made here in the USA. Big fan of that cool toned tortoise shell pattern too. Do know that these are a unisex design, and thus, run a bit smaller than most men’s sunglasses (these are 52mm, most men’s shades run 54mm+).
The Reminder: Bring cash! Singles preferably. See #5 over here for how to set up 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 Shoes: Allen Edmonds Leeds Blucher – $188.30 ($395). Currently on sale via Club Monaco, and an extra 30% gets taken off at checkout. Goodyear welted and made in the USA of course. Still too spendy? Try the 1901 “Richmond” buck from Nordstrom.
The No-Shows: Smartwool No-Shows – $13.95. A favorite. Far superior to cotton or cotton blends when it comes to no-show socks.
The Belt: GAP Textured Canvas Belt in Olive – $17.97 w/ GIVE. A warm weather belt that doesn’t go full Kennebunkport. Remember, with suede shoes you don’t have to perfectly match your belt/watch strap. Code gets you 40% off.
The 2017 Kentucky Derby is Saturday, May 6th. Top Photo: J. Poe