The 2014 HerKentucky Guide to Keeneland Springtime Style

Every spring, we get a ton of questions from readers; they all send some variant of the question "What should I wear to Keeneland?"  Now, if there are two things I love, it's shopping at local Kentucky boutiques and taking in a day of horse racing. I asked a few of our favorite Lexington-based boutiques to help us sort out the Keeneland Dress Code.



If you're going to stay near the Paddock -- General Admission, Grandstand, or Equestrian Room -- there's no need to dress up very much.  Guys often opt for khakis and polo shirts, and women can wear slacks. These are the areas nearest the track itself, and people are truly there to watch (and bet on) the horses. With that said, don't be surprised to see a lot of dresses and sport coats in the lower-levels.  In recent years, a culture of dressy tailgating (think Steeplechase) has popped up among college students and twenty-somethings, and the second floor (General Admission) Sports Bar often resembles a campus bar or fraternity semi-formal.  While the dress code says "casual", there's plenty of Vineyard Vines ties and Lilly Pulitzer to be seen. The Peppermint Palm suggests the Richelle dress -- available in pink seersucker, as shown below, mint green seersucker, or fun Lilly prints to brighten up your day at the track.


Lilly Pulitzer, seersucker, spring, Keeneland, horse racing, Steeplechase, Louisville KY fashion blog


If you'll be dining in the upper-level, enclosed dining rooms-- The Lexington, Kentucky, or Phoenix Rooms-- then expect to dress for a business event.  The Lexington and Kentucky rooms -- dining rooms often reserved for business and social gatherings-- have a "business formal" dress code; these areas require men to don a coat and tie, and skirts/dresses/dressy slacks for ladies.   The Phoenix Room-- another reserved dining room-- is "business casual", requiring collared shirts and slacks for men and dresses/pantsuits for ladies. During the week, many professionals take long business lunches in these areas, as is reflected in their dress code. This Lilly Pulitzer Pearl shift from the Peppermint Palm comes in a versatile white lace that allows you to pair with a sweater or blazer for the area of your choice.

Lilly Pulitzer, lace, spring, Keeneland, horse racing, Steeplechase, Louisville KY fashion blog



The members-only Clubhouse similarly requires coat and tie for men and dressy pants/skirts for ladies.  I find that a skirt suit or a dress paired with a pretty cardigan or wrap is always appropriate for the upper levels.  In general, if you'd wear it to church or a business meeting, you're golden. Most of all, remember to look nice because you'll see plenty of people!

AJ's Casuals suggests this Hunter Bell lace dress, DVF clutch, and Carol Bader Designs fascinator for a fancy day on the upper levels.

Lace, Lexington, spring, Keeneland, horse racing, Steeplechase, Louisville KY fashion blog

To coordinate with your Keeneland ensemble, we're thrilled to offer one lucky HerKentucky reader a seersucker bow clutch purse designed by our own Italian-trained handbag maven, Elizabeth Elfen! I love this bag for a day at the track, a summer wedding, or any time you want to add a little Southern sass to your ensemble.


Just enter using the Rafflecopter widget below and tell us what you're wearing to Keeneland this spring, and check in Thursday when we answer a pressing question about Keeneland style!


Lilly Pulitzer Commemorates the Lexington Junior League Horse Show

The 77th Annual Lexington Junior League Charity Horse Show kicks off tonight at 6:30 at the Red Mile
Image via Lexington Junior League
Now, as I've said many times, both here on HerKentucky and elsewhere, Horse Show is my very favorite charity event in the Commonwealth. There's absolutely nothing else like it, and it's so uniquely "Kentucky"-- not only is it a significant fundraiser for the Junior League, it's also an elaborate, week-long Saddlebred horse show. In recent years, the event has become the world's largest outdoor Saddlebred show; it even serves as the first jewel in Saddlebred's Triple Crown. In addition to the various shows, there are nightly special events and an elaborate vendor hall full of equestrian-themed gifts. It's a fixture in Lexington's summer. And, I can honestly say that I've never seen more Lilly Pulitzer in one place.

Our friends at The Peppermint Palm know that Lilly and Horse Show go hand in hand, too. I recently chatted with Katherine Anderson, of the Lexington Peppermint Palm location. Katherine, who's also a member of the Lexington League, told me that she'd been inspired by the limited edition t-shirts that Lilly Pulitzer created for the Carolina Cup steeplechase event. When the folks from Lilly headquarters were in Lexington for a special shopping event with League members, a great idea was born. The designers at Lilly came up with a gorgeous t-shirt commemorating this year's horse show. 

image via Peppermint Palm.
When I stopped by The Peppermint Palm the other day to pick up my shirt, I simply fell in love. The Horse Show ribbon design on the front of the shirt is so richly detailed, and the Palm Girl (the new mascot for the Peppermint Palm -- I hear they're still deciding on her name...) icon is just gorgeous. Then again, I wouldn't expect anything less from the Lilly team. The best part? A portion of the sale of each t-shirt goes directly to the Lexington Junior League, funding their remarkable work across Central Kentucky. 

I love this idea: a gorgeous, limited edition t-shirt you'll actually wear which actually contributes to a great cause. All that for $25. You can contact The Peppermint Palm via their Facebook page to order your own.

If you're heading to the Horse Show this week, here's a link to the schedule of events.

HerKentucky Mother's Day Wish List

If, like me, you're still shopping for a Mother's Day present (I promise it'll get done today!!), then you likely fall into one of two camps. You're either a terrible procrastinator,or you're waiting for just the perfect gift to emerge. I'm probably a little guilty of both -- I've saved up the shopping duties for a day when I'll already be running a bunch of errands and I just couldn't bear to mail it in with yet another box of Godiva truffles. 

I assume that I'm not the only one who's still shopping, so I contacted a few of my very favorite Kentucky shops and boutiques for last-minute Mother's Day present suggestions to share with HerKentucky readers. They came up with some unique and amazing products that I think your mom will love. There are a few that you'll probably want to pick up for yourself as well!

Herend from L.V. Harkness
Downtown Lexington's L.V. Harkness has such a delightful array of classic gifts. Everything in their store is fabulous, and the Herend Porcelain is no exception. The Herend Baby Shoe in Pink or Blue, or the Herend Just Hatched Figurine in Raspberry are great ideas for a mom-to-be or a new mom! 

Mother's Day pics from For Friends!
For Friends! has been one of my favorite little shops since I was a teenager buying Vera Bradley luggage in their old Lexington Mall location. Let's not focus on how old that makes me, though. Instead, take a look at their whimsical Mother's Day wishlist -- from picture frames to stemware to precious stone bunnies, they have a gift for every mom's taste!

Vera Bradley from Daffodils
Daffodils is my favorite little hometown store. They're such a fun pop of color on Prestonsburg's Court Street! Daffodils suggests that you treat Mom to a Vera Bradley bag and get rewarded with a gift with purchase cosmetic bag trio!


Lilly Pulitzer scarf from The Peppermint Palm
The Peppermint Palm  -- with locations in Lexington and Louisville -- is another "must-shop" for me! The Peppermint Palm suggests a Lilly Pulitzer Murfee scarf for your Mom, and I have to agree. These are just the most fun pop of color you'll ever wear, and the silk/cashmere blend is the softest, lightest material. Mom will wear it again and again, and you'll ask to borrow it more than once!
Pearl Triple Cluster earrings from W &  M Custom Jewelry
Y'all know that all the HerKentucky writers just adore the gorgeous designs of W & M Custom Jewelry. The ladies at W & M think that Mom will just adore these Pearl Triple Cluster earrings, and I tend to agree -- they're delicate and fun, and a great twist on traditional pearls!
Leather Jacket from Blink
Louisville's Blink Boutique features gorgeous, trendy pieces. The Blink staff recommends the Venette Leather Jacket by Joie and Hidden Hills Straight Leg Jean by Paige for mom-style that's anything but frumpy!


Thanks so much to L.V. Harkness, For Friends!, Daffodils, The Peppermint Palm, W & M Custom Jewelry, and Blink Boutique for helping out with this post! 

What's on your Mother's Day Wish List?

{No member of the HerKentucky writing staff was compensated in any way for this post.}

The HerKentucky Easter Basket Wishlist

If you're like me, you're going to be spending Easter Sunday with a big family dinner, a fancy dress hidden under a sweater, and the resolve to not eat too many Peeps. I thought it would be fun to put together a couple of Easter Baskets full of Kentucky-themed products to go along with those holiday plans!
  • The littlest gal on your Easter list will love this Savannah Seersucker Bonnet from Lexington's own Beaufort Bonnet Company. This monogrammable bonnet makes an amazing keepsake of her first Easter.
  • I adore the Lilly Pulitzer Just Add Mint print for spring. With all the fixin's for a julep, it's sure to be a hit at the spring races. Both the Lexington and Louisville Peppermint Palm stores have plenty of this fun print in stock, including my favorite, the Lavender skirt, as well as the Leandra and Lacina dresses.
  • Mellen Designs strikes again! Dress your iPhone 4 or 5 in your favorite team colors with the Winning Team Phone Case.























  • The little guy in your life will look sharp in the Baylor Bow Tie from Beaufort Bonnet. I love the monogram option!
  • Treat your beau to a bourbon class at the 1785 Bourbon Societyat Midway's Holly Hill Inn. I recently had the opportunity to sit in on a tasting; I left feeling a little happier and a lot more knowledgeable about Kentucky's native spirit!
  • Of course, what your favorite Kentucky fan wants is a commitment from Andrew Wiggins. I doubt the Easter Bunny can swing that one, but this Waterford crystal paperweight commemorating our 8th National Title is pretty nice.

5 Kentucky Boutiques for Christmas Shopping

1) AJ's Casuals - Lexington 

  • 867 E. High Street Suite 120
  • Lexington, KY 40502

  • AJ's Casuals is a charming boutique located in the heart of Lexington.  They offer several contemporary brands of women's clothing, as well as other accessories.


Photo via AJ's Casuals Facebook

2) Peggy's- Lexington

  • 112 Clay Avenue
  • Lexington, Kentucky 40502
In 1990, inspired by the small town gift shops she visited as a child, Peggy, with the help of her mother, opened Peggy’s Gifts.  From the beginning, the goal of the shop was to combine the warm and personal atmosphere of  a small town boutique with a wide selection of handpicked quality gifts.  What began as a quarter of the building, has grown over twenty years, to encompass all 3000 square feet of the home on Clay Avenue. 
Peggy’s is packed with wonderful gifts to celebrate any occasion!  We feature a fabulous selection of jewelry, totes and purses, and chic accessories for your home and entertaining needs.  As an added free service, we wrap all your gifts in our signature dot paper! 

Photo and description via Peggy's Gifts

3) Peppermint Palm- Lexington and Louisville 

Lansdowne Shoppes
Lexington, KY 
859-268-1012

The Vogue
Louisville, KY
502-896-9190

The Peppermint Palm is Kentucky's go-to destination for Lilly Pulitzer, Stephen Bonanno sandals, CMC monogrammed gifts, and other preppy staples!


Photo via Heather Watson

4) Clodhoppers- Louisville 

  • 3725 Lexington Road
  • Louisville, KY 40207
Clodhoppers first opened its doors in 1993 as an unassuming storefront on an eclectic Bardstown Road strand of shops. At that time, the store windows were full of the used Levi’s and the clunky Doc Martens indicative of the minimalist, street chic era of early 90s fashion. But as the styles of their clients evolved with the years, so did the store. Co-owners Kathy Reiss-Miller and Kelly McDonald combined a strength in building business relationships with a penchant for style to swiftly move their boutique into shopping mainstream. They have since moved their business into the newly-remodeled, 4500 square foot Vogue Theatre building on Lexington Road, where they today sell several designer lines of men’s and women’s clothing and accessories. Over the years, Clodhoppers has matured into Louisville’s premier purveyor of luxury fashion and the shopping experience.

Photos via Clodhoppers

5) Blink- Louisville

  • 3706 Lexington Road
  • Louisville, KY 40207
Blink Boutique is known for the beautiful selection of dresses, ensembles, shoes, handbags, denim and jewelry. We want to have something to offer every woman that comes into our door which is why we offer a variety of lines including: Bell by Alicia Bell, Halston Heritage, Hudson Jeans, Jay Godfrey, Joie, Karina Grimaldi, Linea Pelle, Paige, Shoshanna, 12th Street, Tom Ford, Vince, and Velvet Located in the heart of St. Matthews on Lexington Road, the boutique has a laid back yet sophisticated style where customer service has always been the focus. If you haven't been by, we encourage you to come see what Blink is all about. As much as we love fashion, what we love even more is our clients.
Photo and Description via Blink's Facebook page