Some watch it purely for the racing and some love gambling, but we’re into the style traditions of the classic American horse races. Since the late 17th century, Americans have been celebrating this sport. Starting in May, the Kentucky Derby kicks off the first of three thoroughbred horse races. Two weeks later, the Preakness Stakes follows up in Maryland; and finally, New York’s Belmont Stakes wrap ups the East Coast’s Triple Crown in June.

In the heat of derby season… we have some styling tips for the spring’s most fashionable sport!

While each has their own unique flare, they all feature traditional KM Hat IIderby attire. You’re guaranteed to find bright sundresses, colorful hats and feathery fascinators. If you don’t happen to live in Kentucky, Maryland or New York, don’t worry because there are celebrations all across the nation. Some of our favorites are ones that are doing good while having a great time: the Chicago Children’s Charities Derby Party, Preakness at the Piazza in Philadelphia that raises money for MS Society, the Derby Days Belmont Stakes party in Florida supporting the Crockett Foundation. What’s a better reason to dress up, wear hats, and drink cocktails?

For a complete look, take your hair and makeup cues from Kate Middleton’s book and go for a natural look. Since these races and parties are often outdoors and there’s a lot of headgear involved, loose curls work great with hats and a simple updo if you’re going the fascinator route. Don’t be afraid to include pops of color with feather accessories, jewelry or your shoes.

Each race also has their own signature cocktail to help get the party started. Be inspired with the help of Mint Juleps, Black-eyed Susans and Belmont Breezes. So get dressed and place your bets!

Photo Credit: Nordstrom, Seattle in Style, Uwishunu

Preakness at the Piazza in Philadelphia
Preakness at the Piazza in Philadelphia