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What to wear to the Kentucky Derby? Kentucky Derby fashion has become such a huge part of the atmosphere, it is almost synonymous with the race itself! If you are a fan of horse racing, you have definitely heard of the Kentucky Derby, and if you’re not a fan of horse racing, you probably have still heard of this major event! One of the many reasons to love the Kentucky Derby is the plethora of fashion opportunities. Kentucky Derby outfits have become such a huge part of the atmosphere, it is almost synonymous with the race itself! Derby-goers plan their event attire from head-to-toe (literally!) Putting together the perfect Kentucky Derby outfits for the race is a fun part surrounding the tradition. With the race taking place in Spring, it is an excuse to get dressed in all of the latest Spring fashion trends. Whether you’re looking for some Kentucky Derby dresses inspiration, want to know a little bit more about the history of derby fashion, or just want to find Kentucky Derby dresses for you to take to the race, keep on reading! In this article: History of Kentucky Derby Fashion Is there a Kentucky Derby Dress Code? Men’s Kentucky Derby dress code & style tips Details to consider Dress or Hat: Which comes first? Do’s & Don’ts of the Kentucky Derby Our top Connected Apparel dresses for the Kentucky Derby & how to style them Top dresses for the Kentucky Derby, according to you! Shop dresses for the Kentucky Derby & beyond History of Kentucky Derby Fashion Strut your finest (and don’t forget the hat!) Kentucky Derby fashion has always skewed on the fancier side. It is an event that calls for all of your finest pieces (and ever finer hats!). The founder of the Kentucky Derby, Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr., was impressed with the striking horse races he experienced in England and France and wanted to create a similar prestigious event here in the United States. To make this event more enticing to the more conservative Americans, he invited high-society women and men to attend the race in posh attire. Since then, many have made their way to the Kentucky Derby in their finest pieces, whether it be simple or bold, designer or handmade. However, the center of every woman's Kentucky Derby outfits was a show stopping hat. While hats were standard attire in the beginning, once fashion rules loosened, they began to fall off. However, since people no longer wore hats in their everyday lives, the Kentucky Derby became a rare chance to step out in something bold and attention-grabbing. Now, those who choose not to wear a hat to the Kentucky Derby feel underdressed! Also, wearing a hat is known to bring good luck to your horse. Besides, the opportunity to wear an elaborate headpiece are few and far between, so why not take advantage! Since your hat is the star of the show, plan your entire Kentucky Derby outfit around it. For a feminine and girly look, choose something with a wide brim and decorative accents, such as flowers, ribbons or feathers. If royal chic is more your style, go with a Kate Middleton-inspired fascinator hat. There are really no wrong choices when it comes to your hat — other than choosing not to wear one. Back to the Top 🔝 Is there a Kentucky Derby Dress Code? Dress the part and feel confident! The home of the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs, does have a specific dress code! However, it depends on which part of the venue you will be viewing from. Most areas of the venue prohibit: Worn or torn garments Halter tops Athletic wear Frayed or torn denim Midriff tops Certain sections prefer Business Casual, which prohibits: Jeans/denim Tennis shoes Shorts T-shirts However, if you are watching from the Kentucky Derby infield, the atmosphere is track casual and there is no dress code. Still, you’ll find plenty of people dress up and take advantage of all the Kentucky Derby fashion fun! Back to the Top 🔝 Men’s Kentucky Derby dress code & style tips Need to dress your significant other or a male family member? When it comes to men’s style at the Kentucky Derby, it's important to remember that the fashion displayed at the Derby is over the top. Think colorful neckties or bowties, pastel shirts, vibrant sport jackets, and most importantly, lightweight fabrics. The key is always comfort, without compromising style. After all, the Kentucky Derby is a place to see and be seen, but it’s also an event that requires a lot of walking and keeps you in the sunshine for most of the day. The options for men are vast and it's all about the color palette at the Kentucky Derby. It’s a time for men to also express their unique style and not shy away from vibrant, eye-catching colors and prints. From searsucker suits to floral print sport coats to an all-linen look, there are a variety of options for men at the Kentucky Derby. Tropical colors, pastels, plaids, stripes and florals are all popular choices for an appearance at Churchill Downs. Remember the dress codes we mentioned above? If you’re going to be in one of two areas that have specific requirements, make sure your partner has a necktie or bowtie on. If you’re attending the Derby with your significant other, don’t be afraid to coordinate your Kentucky Derby outfits! Be mindful not to match too much, but rather subtly match colors and textures to one another. For example, you can match your outfits with accessories like his pocket square or neckwear that blend with the colors in your dress and headpiece. Now we’ve spoken a lot about hats for women, but men should also consider wearing a hat! It’s a great way to tie the whole look together and keeps his neck safe from the sun. Boater hats and panama hats are great headwear choices for men. Whatever he chooses to wear to the Kentucky Derby, the number one rule is that he has fun with it! It’s a time to wear colors, fabrics and accessories that he may not normally wear. Just as you may be trying something new, he should too! Back to the Top 🔝 Details to consider Don't hold back when planning your Kentucky Derby wardrobe! The Kentucky Derby is truly unique considering it is a sporting event that showcases the finest fashion trends. Women and men show up in their best dressed attire! However, there are no solid rules when it comes to planning your Derby outfit. It all depends on how you plan to spend the day! Spring dresses with pastel colors that perfectly coordinate with your headwear and accessories are the way to go! Some Helpful Tips: Keep the dress simple! Let the hat be the star of the show. You can also let the color and excitement of spring inspire you and select a dress full of color, or floral patterns. Don't forget layers! The Kentucky Derby is an outdoor event so don’t forget a cardigan or shrug to throw on top if it gets chilly. Complete the outfit with a (comfy) Spring heel or sandal! The venue can be tricky to maneuver, plus the day is long, so remember to not wear those uncomfortable heels you will regret. Choose dainty jewelry! Since the hat is the focus, there is no need for large or statement jewelry, keep it simple. Pack accordingly! The day is long, so bring a bag that can carry all of the essentials (but be sure to stay within the size limit.) We recommend you bring sunglasses, sunscreen, a bottle of water, plus a smaller bag with essentials that you may need to quickly grab! Back to the Top 🔝 derby Dress or Hat: Which comes first? There is no Kentucky Derby without all of the amazing HATS! While the hat trend started with women, over the last few years, many men have begun to join in on the fun! Wearing a hat to the Kentucky Derby is much like getting into costume. There are no rules or limits when it comes to your Kentucky Derby hat. You will find hats of elegance and style decorated with flowers, feathers, bows and ribbons! Not only does your Kentucky Derby hat express creativity and individuality, but it is also believed to bear good luck!While the Kentucky Derby outfits and styles vary, there is one thing they all have in common: the big Derby hat! Some will say that you absolutely should get the outfit first and then design your hat to perfectly match your outfit. This way, it is much easier to find a custom hat than it is to find a custom outfit!However, others say you must definitely purchase the hat first! Since it is the star of the show you want to find the one that you love the best and not limit your choices to match a specific Derby dress. Most often in this case, matching the dress (or outfit) to your hat involves personal preference, however keep a few things in mind: If your hat is having a pattern party, go for a simple and solid colored dress. If the hat is simple and elegant, also go with a classic dress to round out the look. If you want a fun and bold outfit, keep it consistent and accent the hat most of all! The ultimate decision you will need to make is: hat or fascinator? Fascinators have more recently become a big trend at the Kentucky derby. It is much smaller than a traditional hat, but just as stylish! These chic headpieces were recently popularized by Kate Middleton. They are made from a woven disk and topped with feathers, netting, and more. They are secured to your head with a comb or headband. The benefit of a fascinator is that they can be much more simple to wear compared to a hat, plus, no hat hair! Once you’ve made your decision, you’re ready to put together the rest of your Kentucky Derby outfit. If your hat is a show-stopper, choose a simple dress that doesn’t compete with it. If you choose a fascinator, choose something sleek and classy to pair it with. However, don’t overthink it too much. Trust your instincts and have fun. Back to the Top 🔝 Do’s & Don’ts of the Kentucky Derby Show up prepared and confident to take on the day! Do... Wear a dress! Choose a Derby dress you would be excited to wear to Easter brunch or a Spring wedding. Don’t go overboard! Make sure it is the kind of dress that stays modest after a few cocktails. Wear a hat! We rarely get a chance to wear a fun hat! Go crazy, add all of the things you find at the craft store; feathers, ribbons, pearls! Wear comfortable shoes! Comfortable doesn’t have to mean boring. It just means don’t choose the strappy high heels in the back of your closet you’ve been dying to wear but can’t walk in. Don't... Wear shorts or a romper. Yes they can be cute and shorts outside isn’t such a bad idea, however many people will be scoffing at you and it is best not to draw the attention of 1000 ladies in pearls… you’ve been warned. Wear a hat wider than your shoulders. Make a statement, but you don’t want to be the person smacking everyone in the face with feathers and fluff! Forget to wear sunscreen. Don’t end your day with sunburn lines down your back from your cute strappy dress! The day is long and ALL outdoors, so come prepared, and make sure to throw some extra in your purse to re apply Back to the Top 🔝 Our top Connected Apparel Kentucky derbydresses & how to style them Take the Kentucky Derby by the reins! Walk into this extravagant event with a beautiful Derby dress to match your show stopping Kentucky Derby hat! Spring trends will be prevalent and luckily we have many options to choose from! Shop some of our favorites below and read how we would style them. Shop kentucky derby styles ▷ Back to the Top 🔝
We’re excited to continue our Behind the Dress Series with Fall’s most versatile dress: The Noreen Sheath Dress! We sat down with our pattern maker Alma to learn all about how Noreen was created and why she loves pattern making! meet ALMA While Alma has only been working at Connected Apparel for a year, she has already made her mark. With over 42 years in the pattern making industry, Alma joins the CA team with lots of experience. Growing up, her great grandmother, grandmother and mother all worked as patternmakers, so Alma is not kidding when she says that pattern making is in her blood. “I started making patterns when I was 12 for my dolls. Now, my son and daughter are both designers and my granddaughter wants to be a pattern maker. We all have the gift.” While at school in Mexico City, Alma learned all about pattern making, production, and what goes into managing a merchandise company. She has worked in everything from lingerie to mens uniforms, costumes to bridal, and of course women’s dresses. After working as a production manager for a while, she returned to pattern making because it suited her more creatively. “I always said that I love what I do and I get to get paid for it. It’s my passion.” ALMA, the patternmaker Alma loves the Noreen dress because of its figure flattering style and how it gives a younger, fresher take on a classic sheath dress. Everything from the fabric choices to the inclusion of the faux pockets had to be planned out meticulously to avoid making the dress too bulky. After 1-2 fittings with a model, she is able to perfect the final product before it goes to production. “To see the final product on the model is very rewarding for a pattern maker,” she says. When asked about the choice to recreate Noreen in three different styles she said, “it’s very rewarding when production wants to see the dress again in different fabrics. For this dress, however, we had to create three separate patterns because each material was so different. We wanted it to be perfect.” Perfection is one of the reasons Alma enjoys her new job at Connected Apparel. While she’s been in the industry for a very long time, she says that Connected Apparel is “a very fun place to work with a very unique process. Everyone here has so much experience and how they work is so thorough that the final products are much more perfect than other companies.” 3 Reasons Noreen is the Ultimate Fall Dress 1. Noreen comes in three different Fall styles The leaves changing and new colors arriving are one of the best parts of the Fall season. Shades of reds, oranges, and browns can certainly be seen in nature, but especially in women's fall fashion. Noreen comes in three quintessential Fall fabrics: suede, tweed and plaid. And features colors like spice and shades of red, making these dresses a must-have for your Fall wardrobe. 2. Noreen is flattering yet comfortable The perfect formal dress isn’t always floor-length. That’s why we make this gorgeous silhouette in two lengths, appropriate for a wide variety of special occasions. Choose our knee-length Gracie for a classy, yet sassy look that’s dance-floor ready. 3. Noreen is versatile Not only does Noreen come in three different fabric choices, but she is versatile as well. Accessorize these sheath dresses with close toed black pumps and a blazer for a sophisticated work look. Once your nine to five is up, ditch the pumps for cute black booties and a cross body bag perfect for after work drinks. If you’re heading out to a weekend brunch with friends, simply pair these cute casual dresses with white sneakers and a denim jacket for a more casual look. Noreen Spice Suede Sheath Dress Shop Now QUICK VIEW Noreen in red plaid is the Fall work staple you’ve been searching for. Style this red plaid print dress with a blazer and black pumps for the office. When the weekend comes around, pair this sheath dress with black booties and a denim jacket for a cute casual Fall look. Wherever life takes you this Fall, stay comfortable and chic in the Noreen sheath dress. Whether you opt for a spice tweed style or a red plaid print look, this expertly crafted dress will flatter your figure without compromising your comfort. We hope you enjoyed learning about Fall’s favorite dress: The Noreen!
Your new favorite Fall colors have arrived. The weather is turning and that means new colors on the forecast. Here are the 5 color trends for Fall 2022 everyone will be wearing all Fall long! With Fashion Week beginning and a hint of chill in the air, it’s time to start thinking about Fall Fashion. The new color trends for the Fall season have arrived, and we’re here to break down the 5 color trends for Fall 2022. From the runways to the streets, it’s clear that this Fall season is shaping up to be one of the most colorful yet. From beautiful bordeaux reds to jewel toned purples, glittery gold dresses and this season’s trendiest color--hunter green--these Fall colors are sure to wow. Oh, and don’t think we forgot about neutrals! A forever Fall staple, neutral toned dresses and jumpsuits are here to stay. With figure flattering sheath dresses and fit & flare silhouettes in your closet, your favorite spice, taupe, and mustard colors get a new life. So grab a pumpkin spice latte and read on to discover the 5 color trends for Fall 2022 you won’t want to miss out on. Glitter & Gold Shimmer and shine in shades of gold at all your Fall weddings, cocktail parties and special events. Kaylyn is wearing the Mari dress in a size 8 and Adriana is wearing the Maren dress in a size 12P. Glittery gold metallic printed fabrics and sequin lace details are the perfect way to elevate your favorite silhouettes while staying comfortable. Simple design elements like a faux wrap detail in the gold printed Lisa dress accentuate your waist and define your figure. While a subtle and sexy v-neckline on the shimmery gold Mari floor length dress highlights your collarbones. No matter which gold dress you choose, you’ll be sure to dazzle all night long. Shop fall styles ▷
Gone are the days when neutral colored clothing just included black, white and shades of gray. Today, shopping for a neutral wardrobe is fun and innovative, with neutral colors ranging from navy to camel, olive to rust. Essentially, a neutral color really just means any muted or earthy color tone. Luckily, neutral colored clothing is incredibly easy to style. Most of the time, these neutral colors can go with anything. So whether it be incorporating fun patterns, some bold accessories, or tactile textures, we’ll show you how to level up all the neutral colored pieces in your wardrobe! Patterns and Pops of Color Neutrals can be found in pieces with fun patterns, whether it be animal print, paisley, tie dye, or floral. Having a few of these neutral colored clothing pieces in your wardrobe allows you to up your neutral outfit game. Grab pieces that are a part of the same color family, but make sure you have one stand out piece. Maggie Two Pocket Fit & Flare Dress Available in Regular How would we style the Maggie Print Fit & Flare Dress? Wear some stackable gold bracelets and hoop earrings. Add a pair of black strap sandals and a leather crossbody bag to top it off. Shop MAGGIE Dress ▷ Simple Staples Having a few plain staple items in your closet allows for versatility when styling your neutral pieces. It’s always good to have one dress that can be worn 5+ different ways. Simply elevate your neutral colored dress with a few accessory swaps for a look that can go from day to night. Tina Eyelet Cowl Neck Dress Available in Regular How would we style the Tina Eyelet Cowl Neck Dress? Incorporate a pop of blue with a light denim jacket and layer a few dainty gold necklaces. Finally, add a pair of chocolate brown mules and a suede shoulder bag. Shop tina Dress ▷ Tactile Textures One of the easiest ways to level up your neutral colored clothing is by choosing fabrics that look and feel textured. Suede, leather and satin are all fabrics that add a little something extra. Explore tactical textured dresses in neutral shades from cinnamon to spice, eggplant to navy to find the neutral color that’s right for you. Noreen Spice Suede A-Line Dress Available in Petite, Regular and Plus How would we style the Noreen Spice Suede A-line Dress? Add a leather tote bag and a pair of black booties. Maybe even some simple gold bangles for the cherry on top to a perfect outfit! Shop Noreen Dress ▷ Accent Accessories Accessories are a key necessity to help take a simple outfit and make it much more eye-catching. We love transforming a staple casual dress or cute jumpsuit by adding a belt, handbag, scarf or some jewelry to spice things up. Accessorizing is an easy way to transform the neutral colored clothing in your wardrobe into seasonless pieces that you can reinvent again and again. Harper Olive Green Cropped Jumpsuit Available in Regular How would we style the Harper Olive Green Cropped Jumpsuit? Bring a cardigan for the colder nights and add a black sun hat during the day. Also add a leather bag and some white sneakers. And of course put on your everyday staple jewelry pieces. Shop harper Jumpsuit ▷ Shop Fall Collection Are you ready to make neutrals a part of your wardrobe? Shop our Fall Collection now to get your closet ready with neutral color clothing that will take you from Summer to Fall. Shop NOW ▷