Party Time: Kentucky Derby Day

You needn't be a Southern Belle petticoat-deep in Derby tradition to throw an acceptable Run for the Roses bash. (Though if you are, can we come over?) Here are tips to take you through every step of decorum, from accenting a floppy hat to the perfect bourbon cocktail. See you in the winner's circle.

Make a Designer Derby Hat with Eugenia Kim

The NYC-based mad hatter shows you how to trick-out your Derby headgear. All you need is a big ole topper, a vintage scarf or ribbon, scissors, grommet kit, Sharpie, and hammer. Pair with cocktails for a glamorous viewing to the finish line and beyond.

Watch the video.


DIY Necklace of Roses

Unless you can run at breakneck speed around an oval faster than a thoroughbred, a blanket of roses shall not be lain over your shoulders. Instead, drape a circle of silky flowers around your neck to ensure (at the very least) a Best Dressed victory.

Get the directions.


Fancy Flours' Cookie Cutters

Here's an appropriate way to horse around: Stamp out treats in the silhouettes of equestrian competitors for the hostess-gift equivalent of the Triple Crown. Tip: Use store-bought sugar cookie dough and decorate with the colors of your pick for winner.

Available at

Vineyard Vines Derby Apparel

This is your chance to embrace your inner prepster. New England-based Vineyard Vines has partnered with Churchill Downs to bring you a Derby-inspired clothing collection full of horseshoe ties, mint julep sashes, Run for the Roses dresses, and more.

Available at


Bourbon Pecan Pie

In case you forgot, making a classic Southern dessert is a piece of cake, er, pie. We consulted with The Los Angeles Athletic Club (a hotel, not a cruelly named bakery) for its recipe that will qualify you for many parties to come.

Get the recipe.

Mint Julep Revisited

Having a Derby party without mint juleps is akin to running a race without horses. Please die-hard traditionalists and revisionists alike with this peace offering that retains the mainstays (rye bourbon, mint) but offers subtle twists (honey syrup, Angostura bitters).

Get the recipe.


All Your Friends Are Winners

Telling pals "silly people, those ribbons are for horses" is just a trick. Reward partygoers for feats of daring (guzzling the most bourbon), honor (being the designated DD), or just showing up with festive adornments.

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