Kentucky Derby Style with Knob Creek

Beautiful Louisville, Kentucky. Churchill Downs. On Saturday, May 4th, the thoroughbreds will thunder around the track on their ‘run for the roses’. While the horse race gets all the TV coverage, the traditions and style are on full display at the track. Mint Juleps, the ladies’ hats, and ‘My Old Kentucky Home’ are long-standing traditions that make the day.

For the guys who know their Derbies, there are standards. Standards in the way we look, the way we carry ourselves, and in what we drink. Whether you are watching the race from the infield or up in the stands, make sure you look good by dressing the part:

  1. Persol 3028 Sunglasses: First and foremost, it’s important to protect your eyes during the day-long tailgating festivities.  Secondly, these are great for doing some incognito people watching.  Staring is rude, unless they can’t tell.
  2. Brooks Brothers Tan Suit: Let’s be honest.  You want to look like a man who knows what you are doing at the Derby.  Wear a suit.  A good suit.  Since it’s springtime, a tan suit is the perfect pallet to add some punch.
  3. Sid Mashburn Pocket Square: Think of this as your napkin for the day.  It’ll start as suit pocket decoration, and eventually serve to wipe the bourbon off your chin, dab the sweat off your forehead, and later on to dry your tears when your pick doesn’t take the top prize.
  4. State Traditions Kentucky Hat: This may spend the first part of the day in your date’s purse, but there is a time and place for all hats at the Kentucky Derby.  Don’t let the ladies be the only ones to join in the fun.
  5. Ledbury McGuire Gingham Shirt: Add some color to that tan suit with a bright Kentucky blue gingham.  The fit is spot on, and the style is timeless.
  6. Smathers & Branson Jockey Silk & Derby Flask: You never know when the line for refills is too long, so prepare accordingly.  Fill this bad boy up with some Knob Creek and share accordingly.  Don’t lose this one though; it may end up being your lucky flask.
  7. Smart Turnout Royal Horse Artillery Socks: Of course, socks are optional, so if you choose to partake, keep with the Kentucky blue theme.
  8. Southern Proper Dixie Dot Neck Tie: A timeless yellow tie that will be the finishing touch to your ensemble.  Tie the right knot, though – stick with the Windsor.
  9. Johnston & Murphy Ellington Saddles: Break out those saddles.  This is as good a time as any.  Remember that there is a good chance these could show some wear after a day at the Derby, but that is no excuse for great style.

Thanks to the great folks over at Knob Creek for asking me to contribute to their ‘Brothers of Bourbon’ series.  



  1. BMO'C
    05/01/2013 / 10:32 AM

    Spot on. Except for maybe the baseball cap. I love hats as much as the next guy but think the cap – though a cool one – will cheapen an otherwise killer rig.

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