1. Getting dressed up is really, really fun.
Dress by Ann Taylor Loft, shoes from Macy's, accessories from Talbots. Best fashion purchase was a black pashmina from Dillard's on Derby-eve. It was chilly.
2. The most important accessories are paper.
We spent most of our time indoors in the Churchill Downs Museum. Brad's company hosted a luncheon there, which meant we could stay indoors and watch most of the races on screens. On padded chairs. In warmth. With waiters. Then we could venture to the grandstands for people-watching and the big event.
3. Wearing a hat is a transformative experience.
Wasn't too sure about the whole hat thing in the beginning. But I am a convert. The headgear at the Downs was amazing. By the end of the evening, I was absolutely craving color, ribbons and feathers. Everyone looked so ladylike and feminine. Hats, however, do cut off peripheral vision. There were a few side collisions.
A few of my favorites...
A few of my non-favorites...
4. People are just as exciting as thoroughbreds.
Attending the Derby is basically like going to a really long football game with no cheerleaders or marching band. There is much downtime between races. Also, if you don't partake of the local exports--i.e. bourbon and tobacco--you are in the minority. Thankfully, the fashion was a happy distraction. Intoxicated racegoers are also semi-entertaining. Next year, I think I'll sneak a paperback into my bag.
7. Never underestimate the underdog with the funny name.
Congrats to Mine That Bird!