Louisville Magazine

APR 2012

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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No. 116: The tips keep comin'. Te Official Derby Party Handbook My husband and I lived in New York City for almost a decade, and for four of those years we hosted an annual Derby party, cramming 40 or so people into our 750-square-foot Manhattan apartment. We had another Kentucky-born friend help us mix drinks and arrange red roses in julep cups, but most of our guests Dear Derby Newbies, were completely unfamiliar with Derby traditions. Turns out the hardest part of the party was getting the guests on board with what they're supposed to do. Silly New Yorkers. If we were throwing one today, we'd send invitations along with this brochure. It might help those of you expecting a house full of Derby virgins. — Tara Anderson Congratulations! You have been invited to your first Kentucky Derby party. Because you were born and raised elsewhere, you may not know the ways of our people. Here are some guidelines that will help you understand our traditions and enjoy the party in true Kentucky style. Derby parties are for dressing up. Although it's a daytime event, please do not show up in your skinny jeans and Converse sneakers. Ladies, do you have a sundress or a slightly fussy suit? Add a string of pearls and some heels and you're good to go. Gentlemen, chinos and a sport coat are desirable. If you've got something super-preppy with little frogs embroidered all Hats Kentucky Home" "My Old [62] LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 4.12 Proper Attire over it — or especially one of those kelly-green jackets your dad used to wear to the country club — now's the time to break it out. For both men and women, bright colors are best. Even all-black- wearing New Yorkers need to mix it up a little. Just think of it as a costume party, like Halloween. You can show up in your regular clothes, but you won't have as much fun. A gorgeous hat is a time-honored Derby tradition, but that doesn't mean you can wear just anything on your head. Here is a list of hats that are not (and never will be) Derby-approved: t CBTFCBMM DBQT t QJUI IFMNFUT t *OEJBOB +POFT GFEPSBT t TVO WJTPST t UJBSBT t CBOEBOBT t UIPTF CJH 3BTUBGBSJBO LOJU DBQT We have seen all of these (and more) at our Derby parties, and frankly, you're doing it wrong. Ladies, we're talking wide-brimmed (to shield your delicate skin from the sun, darling), flowers and ribbons, all colors of the rainbow. ɨJOL BMPOH UIF MJOFT PG UIF "TDPU 3BDFDPVSTF TDFOF GSPN My Fair Lady or a royal wedding. It should coordinate with your outfit, and the bigger the better. If it impairs your vision a little, good for you. Fascinators are a recent trend. Not quite as traditional but also acceptable, just for the wackiness factor. And men: You know, there is something called a Derby hat. Lots of sporting events begin with the national anthem, but because we're Kentuckians, this one officially starts with our state song. It's a fusty old tune that once contained some unintentionally racist lyrics, but on Derby Day it's a beloved taste of home. You will notice all the native Kentuckians crying. Tat's just because the melody is so beautiful, not because we're totally homesick or anything. ILLUSTRATIONS BY RACHEL KOOPS

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