How Every Guy Can Look Dapper At His Kentucky Derby Party

The 140th Kentucky Derby starts Friday, May 2, and that means it’s time to whip up some mint juleps and dust off your sun hats.

While most of us won’t be in Louisville to celebrate the great American tradition, that doesn’t mean you can’t throw your own Derby party — or dress for the occasion.

First, start with a classic linen suit or vest. The material is lightweight and casual, perfect for hot summer days spent in the sun drinking and watching the races. This Brooks Brothers linen sports coat ($448) or the J.Crew Ludlow vest ($108) both have the right relaxed-yet-tailored fit.

Pair your suit with a crisp button down shirt, like this pastel version from Hugo Boss ($95). If you’re feeling more brazen, try Gucci’s paisley print button down ($480) or a gingham-patterned shirt like the Hackett Oxford shirt ($180) for a Southern vibe.

Add colourful and preppy accessories to tie the theme together. If your shirt is plain, go with a patterned tie like this Jos. A. Banks version ($60), and choose a brightly-coloured solid tie if your shirt has a pattern. The same goes for pocket squares — these J.Z. Richards pocket squares ($40) have four tonally different blocks so you can choose to be plain or patterned, depending on your outfit.

A straw boater hat takes your style back to the 1920s when formal men’s sunhats were all the rage. This Brooks Brother’s straw boater hat ($60) will blend in with all of the women’s huge fascinators.

And finally lace up in some two-tone wing tips like the
Allen Edmund’s Strawfut wingtip oxfords ($197) or the
AMI wingtip brogues ($595). Not only do they fit the theme, but you’ll get a lot of wear out of these after the Derby, too.

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