Kentucky Derby Style: Win the Race with a Dashing Bow Tie

Kentucky Derby Style: Win the Race with a Dashing Bow Tie

The annual Kentucky Derby is only a few months away... are you ready for it? Known as the most exciting two minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby begins at the ever iconic Churchill Downs racetrack.

While arranging all of the details for your visit to the legendary horse race, don’t forget the most important part of planning - picking out an ensemble to showcase your very best Kentucky Derby style.

At R. Hanauer, we understand the importance of dressing appropriately, but with personal, unique style. Here is a selection of our favorite Kentucky Derby bow ties paired with dress code tips, so that you’ll be looking sharp and race-ready when the day arrives. Here is a summary of the derby style tips you’ll learn below:

  • Incorporate bright colors and animated patterns into your look for a quintessential Kentucky Derby style.
  • Select a bow tie that showcases your lively personality, and don’t be afraid to play with eye-catching patterns that feature vibrant colors.
  • Kentucky Derby Style revolves around spring fashion, but don’t forget to wear your outfit with confidence (and of course, have fun)!  

Is There a Dress Code for the Kentucky Derby?

While there is not a handwritten dress code stating what a gentleman can and cannot wear to the derby, there is an unspoken understanding as to what is appropriate derby attire.

The Kentucky Derby is the perfect opportunity for a gentleman to dress to the nines and show off his brightest and most dashing clothing. Kentucky Derby style is all about vibrant colors and eye-catching patterns and fabrics, so don’t be afraid to dabble in pastels or bold accessories.

One of our favorite horse racing bow ties is our Yellow Keiger Pine Bow Tie because it incorporates some key elements of derby fashion, a lively pattern and a vivid color. Often, most derby goers are dressed in a combination of a statement jacket or pants, a complementary dress shirt, and of course, a derby day bow tie and hat.

What Is Suitable Kentucky Derby Men’s Attire?

One of the best ways to dress for the Kentucky Derby is to channel the elements of spring, simply because derby style is centered around the best of spring fashion.

When dressing for the Kentucky Derby, balance is important. Select pieces that are fresh and fun, but also polished and appropriate. Bright pants in colors like pink, light blue, or a soft yellow are well-favored, while coordinating a dress shirt that features a lighthearted pattern or design is also a key part of the ensemble.

The core of a gentleman’s derby attire is the jacket, and while a timeless navy jacket is always appropriate, fabrics like seersucker or a jacket featuring an energetic pattern are also justified choices for the fun-filled day.

Lastly, a gentleman should select his favorite loafers, but leave his socks at home, and accessorize with his very best race hat and derby day bow tie.


Celebrate the Mint Julep!

If you are a regular at the Kentucky Derby, or are familiar with the event, then you would know that the Mint Julep is the drink of choice throughout the weekend - and our Mint Julep Bow Tie is also our bow of choice for the derby.

A bow tie is the center of an ensemble, and for the Kentucky Derby, a gentleman’s bow tie of choice should feature a striking pattern and beautiful colors.


Derby day is all about wearing clothing that expresses your unique personality, as well as your sophisticated sense of style.

Some standouts from our Bow Tie Collections include our Pink Harris Paisley and Pink King Stripes bow ties.

Pair your bright bow of choice with a dapper pocket square, like our Pink Avalon Pocket Square, and you will be looking race day ready. 

Pink King Stripes Bow Tie, $65

Pink Avalon Pocket Square, $60

No matter what bow tie you select for the big day, always remember to wear your derby attire with confidence and poise.


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When you don your favorite #RHanauer Kentucky Derby Style bow tie, tag us! And for further ideas and inspiration for spring-weather looks, follow us on Instagram and Facebook