How to Get to Louisville and What to Wear at The Run for the Roses
On Saturday, May 7, the city of Louisville, Kentucky, will be bustling with the energy of race day as Churchill Downs once again takes center stage in the world of sports. Well-dressed attendees will fill the spectator stands as stakeholders, race enthusiasts and fortune seekers.
The history of the Kentucky Derby runs deep in the United States and attendance routinely swells beyond 160,000 people. Louisville International Airport and Bowman Field will see an influx of over 100 private jets from around the world.
History in the Making
The Kentucky Derby has been run every year since 1875. Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. founded and built the legendary Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville after seeing firsthand the popularity of horseracing in France and England. The refined nature of European thoroughbred races inspired Clark to cultivate an equally sophisticated culture in America.
The Kentucky Derby quickly gained traction and every year attendance grew until the race earned its keep as an international spectacle. One reason people attend is simply to connect with other racegoers — making new friends on “millionaires’ row” right next to the track might be all the motivation an entrepreneur needs to secure a ticket for herself. Others attend to play dress-up and indulge in spring fashion (and maybe one or two mint juleps.)
However, the biggest reason attendance and revenue are so high at the Kentucky Derby is its historical prominence as the pinnacle of American horseracing. And if you go, you’ll need to look the part.
What Should You Wear at The Run for the Roses?
Early May weather in Louisville is hit-or-miss, so picking the proper attire for race day can be a chore. The biggest tip we have is to make sure you have at least one outer layer that can be removed.
Big hats are the center of attention for the ladies, followed closely by her choice of an attention-getting spring dress. A spring blazer or nicely tapered sport coat draped over a colorful button-down shirt is a classic look for men. Here are a few items we found to help inspire your trip to the Derby:
- Shoshanna from Saks Fifth Avenue is an excellent choice for Derby Day. It can be worn with any number of accessories or cold-weather outerwear and is easily set off with the perfect hat.
- Linen Pintuck Dress, White Cap is a good choice if white is your color. Vineyard Vines is the official retailer of the Kentucky Derby, and they have several awesome accessories that pair well with the Pintuck dress.
- Floral Lace and Sequin is a beautiful piece by Mac Duggal, available at Nordstrom. What is remarkable about this dress is that it’s technically a black dress, yet the floral lace makes it pop as a spring dress should. A white hat would complete this look perfectly.
- On-The-Go Blazer available from Vineyard Vines is an absolute favorite of ours. Suave and versatile, this jacket is a class act. You can pair it with any button-down shirt and be a showstopper. Throw in a nice bow tie, and you’re set for race day.
- Gibson Hopsack Sport Coat by Jack Victor is available at Von Maur, among other retailers. We love this sport coat because it’s an instant classic coupled with a good derby hat and dark pants. Pair with a colorful necktie.
- Beige Cotton-Linen Jacket from Hockerty is a perfect spring blazer to wear at the race. The subtle details of the fabric pattern will set you apart as few jackets can. A pink shirt under this jacket with a blue pocket square will tell everyone that you know spring fashion.
No matter how you choose to dress up for your day at Churchill Downs, think about comfort in inclement weather. Any article of clothing you end up not needing can always be left on your aircraft or at the executive terminal.
Chartering a Jet to the Kentucky Derby 2022
Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (KSDF) will see an influx of commercial jets and long-range business jets leading up to the race. A good option for private charter clients is Bowman Field (KLOU), a smaller airport east of downtown well suited to handle small to midsize business jets. Talk to your broker or reach out directly to us about aircraft options and availability into Louisville for the Kentucky Derby 2022 weekend.