What Not to Wear: Keeneland Edition

I attended Keeneland last Friday, opening day. It was gorgeous - the weather was sunny and just warm enough for shorter dresses and barer sleeves. Opening day is also traditionally College Day at Keeneland, where they give away scholarships. For many of the college-aged kids (um, adults) I saw at Keeneland, it seemed like it was their first time. Slow betting, having trouble using the ATM, and getting sloshy on bourbon by race two. I don't blame them - Keeneland is an exciting tradition unique to Lexington and if you're a UK student who doesn't experience it while you're here, you should consider it a missed opportunity!

What not to wear to Keeneland | HerKentucky | Lexington KY Fashion Blog

Heather shared her "how to dress" tips which are crucial for people especially going to one of the dining rooms or to the clubhouse. They're pretty strict about that stuff. For the rest of us though, there are really no guidelines, so you tend to see a range of outfits. As someone who loves people-watching, it's always a great time.

I noticed quite a few mistakes though when it came to fashion on opening day. So here I present to you: Top 10 fashion no-no's at Keeneland.

  1. Hem lines: Ladies. If you're wearing a short dress, don't forget that being outside in the spring means breezes. If your dress or skirt barely covers your skivvies, you need to reconsider the look. 
  2. Colors: I am all for colorful outfits. When wearing a colorful print, consider going with a more neutral shoe, handbag, and jewelry. It looks like someone escaped from the Skittles bag otherwise.
  3. Heels: Anything over a 3" heel is not advised unless you are a supermodel who can take standing in 5" plus shoes for 6 hours. You can look super cute standing still, but the donkey walk of foot pain will get you the wrong type of attention.
  4. Shoes Required: If you don't take my advice with tip 3 above, please never, ever, ever take your shoes off. The ground is dirty, y'all!
  5. Coordinate with your friends: If you are going to Keeneland with a group of girls, make sure to see what the other is wearing. You don't have to match, but when two of you show up in the same exact dress with a sailboat pattern, it's kind of awkward. 
  6. Instant ugly: The easiest way for you to look ugly at Keeneland is to be rude. It does not make you look cool to bump into people repeatedly, should obscenities  or spill drinks on people without apologizing.
  7. Reconsider the freebies: If a sponsor is giving away foam hats shaped like whales, reconsider wearing while still at Keeneland. Not only do you look silly, you're also blocking peoples view.
  8. Tobacco accessories: Popular among the guys at Keeneland opening day were tobacco accessories: cigars and pipes. If you're going to partake in these: 1) Know how to lite them properly; 2) Don't blow smoke in peoples faces; 3) Consider the age-appropriateness of these items.
  9. Printed pants: Also on the mens side - we understand printed pants are cute and agree some are totally appropriate for Keeneland. Just make sure your printed pants aren't your actual pajama bottoms. No button-down and bow tie can make them look appropriate. 
  10. Bras are meant to be concealed: If your dress goes lower in the back, make sure you pull your bra band down so its covered. I didn't need to know what color your bra was or how many hooks it has.