By: Tricia Romano

If you are not from the South or into horse racing, the Kentucky Derby might seem like an odd tradition. Women wear their biggest, most outrageous hats, sip on mint juleps and champagne and teeter in their heels in the grass so they can watch horses run really fast.

It’s a lot of pomp and circumstance for what is dubbed the “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports.” Despite weeks of fanfare, the race itself is over before you can say, “neigh!” But it’s all about the party — before and after.

Debuting in 1875, the Derby is the oldest of the Triple Crown races. The May 2 race will mark the 141st Derby at Churchill Downs! The favorite to win the $2 million dollar prize?  A horse named American Pharoah.

Get yourself ready for the big day by dressing up and hosting your very own Kentucky Derby party. Grab some ostentatious hats, fix yourself a mint julep (here’s a good recipe), and put on a great party dress. Oh, don’t forget the champagne (for when your horse wins, of course.)

[title text=”Hats and Fascinators”]

What’s a fascinator? It’s sort of a mini-hat, a tiny decorative accessory perched on your head just so. It’s very chic, very Isabella Blow (bonus points if you get that high-fashion reference), and very Kentucky Derby. Nordstrom has a bevy of fascinators and hats. From vibrant floral designs to delicate rose fascinators, you’ll find the perfect topper for your Derby ‘fit. Tres chic! Shop through and earn 3.2% Cashback for free members; 9.2% for V.I.P.’s.

Kentucky Derby Hats and Fascinators, Photos by Nordstrom

Kentucky Derby Hats and Fascinators, Photos by Nordstrom

A. August Hat, Straw Fascinator, $48.00
B. Sinamay Hat with Flower, $68.00
C. Cara, ‘Adorn Me’ Fascinator, $38.00
D. Tasha, ‘Derby’ Fascinator Headband, $38.00
E. August Hat, ‘Azaela’ Wide Brim Sinamay Derby Hat, $98.00
F. Tasha, ‘Fabulous Floral’ Fascinator Headband, $38.00

If you’d like a full-fledged Derby-style hat, grab one from Kohl’s, which features a large black and white floral ensemble and a pale pink brim bow floppy hat with large flowers (flowers are a must). I also really like this bright red floral cloche hat. It might not be as big, but it’s just as cheerful as the others. Shop through and save. Free members get 2.4% Cashback; V.I.P.’s enjoy 8.4% Cashback.

Kentucky Derby Hats, Photos by Kohl’s

Kentucky Derby Hats, Photos by Kohl’s

A. Croft & Barrow® Looped Radial Floppy Hat, $42.00 on sale
B. Croft & Barrow® Organza Big Brim Bow Floppy Hat, $60.00
C. Floral Feather Radial Cloche Hat, $35.00 on sale

[title text=”Derby Dresses”]

For your dress, you can go simple and get a singular color—like this yellow lace drop waist dress — or you can make more of a statement with a patterned, springtime, floral design. Whatever you do, don’t be afraid of color (fuchsia!). Nordstrom is your HQ for Derby threads with 9.2% Cashback for V.I.P. Members.

Kentucky Derby Dresses, Photos by Nordstrom

Kentucky Derby Dresses, Photos by Nordstrom

A. Adrianna Papell, Lace Drop Waist Dress, $138.00
B. Plenty by Tracy Reese, ‘Jane’ Floral Print Sheath Dress, $148.00
C. Eliza J, Pintucked Waist Seamed Ponte Knit Fit & Flare Dress, $98.00

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