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!


The HerKentucky "What You Really Wanted For Mother's Day" Wish List

Happy Mother's Day, y'all!

I hope y'all woke up to homemade cappucinos and little blue boxes from Tiffany's.  But, you know, you probably didn't.

Whether you're a mother (to children or pets!) or a daughter, you deserve something special today. If you didn't get the present you want, you should treat yourself to something nice. We asked two of our favorite Lexington shops to suggest ways for you to pamper yourself, and they came up with ideas that I think you'll all love.

AJ's Casuals suggests lotions, candles, and a new pair of Jack Rogers for spring. I adore those pink ones, don't you?


Peggy's Gifts suggests this vintage Chanel button jewelry. How stunning is this?

So, after church and brunch, y'all should run out to Chevy Chase and do something for yourself. You deserve it!!

Thanks to AJ's and Peggy's for all their help! And don't forget to stop by our {Mother's} Day linkup to tell your Mother's Day story. Have a great day, y'all!

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

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