Man's Guide: Attending a Kentucky Derby Party

Popular not only for the gentlemen, but for the ladies as well, a Kentucky Derby Party is never just about placing bets and anticipating which horse would win the race. In fact, it is an American tradition that has successfully withstood the test of time. And while it may be just a regular betting game for others, there is definitely more to derby parties than what meets the eye—it is the perfect opportunity to dress up, drink cocktails and just escape from that overwhelming workweek stress.

So if you have been invited to a Kentucky Derby party, don’t pass up on this chance. Who knows? You might not just be able to find a new hobby, but a new set of derby friends as well. If you’re not quite sure what to prepare before the party, don’t worry because we’ve got you covered.

His Style Guide to Going South

Women who love going to Kentucky Derby parties won’t really have problems finding something to wear in their cabinet. With bright Sunday dresses and over-sized hats, they are already set to go. But for men, it’s a completely different case. Whether you are a fashion enthusiast or not, you can consider these get-togethers the perfect excuse to strip off your old clothes and wear something fancy. Mostly characterized by sun-drenched, tropical colors, bright pastels and bold stripes, the typical Kentucky Derby wear for men can help you steal the spotlight.


Attending a Kentucky Derby party in style always starts with putting on the right pants. If you really want to turn heads and become the man of the hour, settle with sun-drenched pants that are bright in color. Don’t limit yourself to white jockey pants because you can always turn to citron, Bermuda pink, ocean and key lime colors which are brighter and more radiant in nature.


Dressing up for the party doesn’t stop at finding the right pants because if the shirt won’t complement your pants, then you might turn heads for all the wrong reasons. While you may wear plain white shirts, you can also have fun with your entire ensemble by spicing up your outfit with striped shirts. If you are not really a fan of stripes, monogram shirts can also do the trick for you. Don’t be afraid to experiment because the party’s theme will get you all covered.

The Jacket

Seersucker blazers and navy jackets are the favorite clothing items of men who love attending to Kentucky Derby events. Since the pants and the undershirt are already doing a great job in making you stand out, toning down on the blazer will help you sport an elegant, derby-inspired look like this Seersucker Blazer from Scotch & Soda. If, on the other hand, you want to experiment on the jacket, stick to simpler undershirts.

Ties and Bows

If you are going for a plain undershirt, you can always wear bright and patterned ties that will spell F-U-N in your entire ensemble. But if your shirt is quite over-the-top, you can pick bowties that can complement your overall look.

Needlepoint Belts

While your leather belt may look posh, you don’t really want to ruin the entire look by wearing the wrong accessories, right? To make sure your every cell is in theme, you can add a heavily-sewn belt on your Kentucky Derby outfit list just to sizzle up your ensemble.

The Shoes 

Going sockless is one of the most important tips you can get from any Kentucky Derby party-goer. But aside from that, finding the right shoes is also essential in acing that southern look. Other than posh loafers, you can also add a twist on your get-up by wearing two-toned shoes, so if you have a two-toned pair back home, don’t hesitate to try it out before looking for other pairs.

Money, big hats and cocktails—these are only some of the things that Kentucky Derby parties stand for. But while you are in it to gamble and win, there’s definitely nothing wrong with dressing up for the occasion. Just remember, with or without the hat, always carry yourself with style. And yes, let’s not forget to steam ‘em clothes!

The All-Time Kentucky Derby Drinks

Mint Julep

No Kentucky Derby Party can ever be complete without our all-time favorite, mint julep. It is basically the official cocktail of derby parties, and it is very easy to prepare. With fresh mint leaves, crushed ice, mint simple syrup, bourbon, powdered sugar and cocktail straw, you are good to go.

Kentucky Cousin

Another official drink of derby party-goers, Kentucky Cousin is one of the chosen drinks of men and women alike. So if you have cherries, syrup, crushed ice, lemon, lemon juice, tea, bourbon, mint sprig and Cherry Heering on your fridge, make sure to mix in some Kentucky Cousin before you get all dressed up for the event.

Jockey Club

You may not be a jockey, but this doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on the Jockey Club. So if you don’t know which cocktail to bring, don’t worry because a mix of sweet vermouth, bourbon and maraschino liqueur will offer you all the rich flavors you need.

Black and Brown

Have you always been a fan of black and brown? Then, this mix is perfect for you! Made by Jeff Grdinich, this cocktail will prove you that a handful of blackberries can go a long way. With bourbon, lime wedge, sugar, blackberries, Navan, Peychaud’s bitters and ice on your table, you can instantly come up with the best-tasting mix on your derby party.

Black-Eyed Susan

To men and women who love the glasses of juice more than the alcohol, black-eyed Susan can make you feel delighted throughout the day. Pineapple juice, orange juice, vodka, orange liqueur, light rum, crushed ice, fresh cherries and limes are definitely the ingredients you need to mix in.

Horses Neck

Dating back to the 1800’s, the Horses Neck gained popularity amongst derby goers because of its unique flavor. With a choice of either American rye whiskey or brandy, the cocktail’s real essence comes out through a mix of ginger ale and bourbon.  

Kentucky Derby Know-Hows: All You Need to Know about the Betting Game

You may not be new to placing bets, thanks to those weekly gambling night out with your boys, but this doesn’t mean that you are already prepped up for a real Kentucky Derby party. So before you mix in the cocktails and wear your two-toned shoes, it is best that you learn about some of the terminologies that you will most likely hear during the event, along with the different things you need to know about derby matches.

The Derby Lingo

It is quite difficult to place in bets if you are not knowledgeable about some of the betting terminologies on the actual derby day. While you may have all the money to spend, it won’t be enough to make the most out of your day. To get in the know-hows on betting terminologies, below is a basic guide to keep you on the loop:

Basic Terms:

  • Show: A bet on the horse of your choice to finish as a 3rd, 2nd or 1st placer
  • Place: A bet on the horse of your choice to finish as a 2nd or 1st placer
  • Win: A bet on the horse of your choice to win the race

Other Terms:

  • Pick 3: A bet on the winning horses of 3 consecutive races
  • Pick 4: A bet on the winning horses of 4 consecutive races
  • Pick 5: A bet on the winning horses of 5 consecutive races
  • Pick 6: A bet on the winning horses of 6 consecutive races
  • Daily Double: A bet on the winners of 2 races that are usually consecutive in nature
  • Exacta: A bet on the 2nd and 1st placers in the race
  • Trifecta: A bet on the 3rd, 2nd and 1st placers in the race
  • Superfecta: A bet on the 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st placers in the race

Betting on the House

While watching a derby race live on track may be the most exciting experience you can gain, you don’t really have to buy expensive tickets or go to Las Vegas just to place a bet. Luckily for us, many states here in the USA permit online wagering on horses. This means that you can always place your bet right at the comforts of your home—or better yet, right as you party with your friends.

To know if your state actually allows online gambling on horse racing, it is best that you find a licensed ADW service provider. How would you know if you can bet on your favorite jockey? It’s simple. If you can sign up and create account, then you can fund your account and place bets right then and there. But if not, you can always call a friend to states where it is most likely permitted.

Simple Tips on Betting

They always say that life is a gamble, but when it comes to actually wagering on the horses, it is best that you test the waters first if you are still clueless on which jockey (and horse) has an edge over the others. Before you bet on which horse would finish in 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st, observe on how others place their bets and watch the participant racers closely. Remember to place high bets only when you fully understand the game and you already have an idea on which horse is worth gambling for.

Kentucky Derby parties may be an ordinary event, but it is definitely more than worth the new set of pants and loafers. So if you have been invited to a derby party, don’t think twice. Put on your seersucker blazer and don’t forget to bring that beautiful and awesome personality with you.