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!


Celebrate April Fools' Day with Kentucky-themed Tervis Tumblers!

So, April Fools' Day isn't my favorite.

My humor has never run toward pranks, puns, and cheap jokes. Plus, it's April 1st -- that means my total attention is turned toward sports. The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament is wrapping up. Keeneland's Opening Day is mere moments away. And, a whole lot of my friends are starting to focus on baseball. I can barely let real life intrude on my thoughts, let alone silly jokes. (Unless it's DeMarcus's CD, natch...)

I do want to let y'all know about an April Fools' event that is no joke. Today only, you can use the code APRILFOOLS on all Tervis Tumbler online orders to receive 20% off your purchase. Since I never, ever have enough Tervises, this is an offer I take pretty seriously.

Here are a few fun Tervis Tumbler Kentucky designs y'all will love!

It's a UK wine glass, y'all. Kind of perfect for when the Wildcats take on Bucky Badger this weekend.


This Derby mug would be perfect for any Kentuckian's office!


The Cardinals fans in my neighborhood have been proudly wearing their red all weekend. I LOVE team loyalty after a close defeat! This U of L Tervis lets you go L's up in style.


 This year's Derby design reminds you that we're only about a month away from the most exciting two minutes in sports!


This UK water bottle is on my short list of upcoming splurge purchases!


And what Kentucky girl doesn't need a pink UK Tervis?


Head over to Tervis today and take advantage of these serious savings!

{This post contains affiliate links.}

Seven Great Kentucky T-Shirts

This is the week of HerKentucky Valentine's Day wish lists. Monday, we showed you a few items the guy on your list is sure to love. Tomorrow, we'll share our top pics for women. Today's list previews gifts any Kentuckian is sure to love: t-shirts.  I mean, who doesn't love t-shirts? You can wear them. You can sleep in 'em. You can even make a quilt out of them. Here are a few great ones that proudly display your love of the Commonwealth.

Louisville Love Letter from Why Louisville

"Dear Louisville, I Love You."  Perfect. Available at whylouisville.com or at the Why Louisville stores.


Y'ALL from Kentucky for Kentucky

Great for all of us who can't even try to disguise our accents. Available at Kentucky for Kentucky.


"I Wanna Go Home" from Sundy Best
My hometown's favorite band. This shirt is awesome, even if you haven't yet fallen in love with Sundy Best's down-home rock.


The Crafty Tee from River City Craft Wear

What a great nod to local craft beers! Get it here.


Welcome to Lex Vegas from Etsy Seller Bifftees
I think there's an argument to be made that what happens in Lex Vegas definitely doesn't stay in Lex Vegas. Still, this t-shirt is great.


Keeneland Dress Code from Southern Proper 

I love these! The perennial prep retailer Southern Proper has teamed with the Keeneland Gift Shop for these adorable shirts that bring you his and her "Dress Codes" for the track.



If you're still looking for the perfect t-shirt to express your Bluegrass State style, visit Louisville-based CafePress to create your own!

Disclosure: HerKentucky is an advertising affiliate for CafePress. All style selections are our own.


Wear Red to Keeneland for the American Heart Association

I feel like we spend a lot of time here at HerKentucky talking about finding just the right outfit for Keeneland. We've picked the perfect outfit, we've shown you the wrong outfit, and we've discussed the dress code for every area of the track. If you find yourself headed to the track tomorrow, though, we've got one more simple rule for you: Wear Red.



Tomorrow, Wednesday October 16, is Keeneland's Wear Red for the American Heart Association day. The first 3,000 guests will receive a special Red Dress lapel pin, and the day will build awareness of women's heart disease. 


The CDC estimates that 1 in 4 women's deaths in Kentucky will be due to heart disease. As I've said before, this is a cause really near to, well, my heart. Educate yourself. Visit the American Heart Association's website for more information. And wear red to the track tomorrow!




Lexington Fall Visitors Ideas

In a little over a week, I have friends from out of state coming in town for the Tough Mudder in Maysville. They're staying with me in Lexington, and I have a very short amount of time to convince them how amazing this city is. Here are some of my initial ideas. Consider using them if you're trying to entertain guests this fall!

Keeneland

I mean, you know that'd be the first thing on anyone's list, right? Thankfully, the Fall Meet runs through October 26th on all days except Monday and Tuesday. First race post time is 1:05 pm daily.

Kelley Farms Corn Maze

photo credit: Kelley Farms

This year's corn maze at Kelley Farms just out Old Richmond Road in Lexington is a tribute to R.J. Corman. Corman was a Nicholasville native and backhoe operator turned railway magnate. He passed earlier this year, and this is a great tribute. Kelley Farms has the corn maze, goats, hayrides, yummy festival food, pumpkins, and more. The farm is open through October 26th. Hours and prices are on their website.

Ghost Tour at Buffalo Trace Distillery
photo credit: Buffalo Trace Distillery

Going on a tour of at least one distillery is a must-do for visitors and residents alike, but seasonally appropriate is the Ghost Tour at Buffalo Trace. These night time tours are equal parts spooky and interesting. The tours run Thurs-Sat at 7pm, and last 1 hour. Reservations must be made well in advance.

Food

photo credit: Shakespeare & Company

As much as I love my friends, I don't like cooking 3 meals a day for groups. A list of non-chain restaurants is always handy in these occasions. Maybe we'll stop by Nick Ryan's Saloon for The Stirrup Cup Hot Brown plus a little flavor of downtown. Or we could head to my favorite place for southern diner food plus a piece of Missy's Pies: Ramesy's. For a completely different environment, we might go to Shakespeare & Company (photo above) downtown. And if we want some of the best brunch around, a trip to Winchell's on Southland Drive will be on the agenda. Elvis Pancakes, perhaps?

What other fun visitors ideas do you have?

The HerKentucky Guide to the Keeneland Dress Code

Happy Horse Racing Season, y'all! One of the questions that we receive most here at HerKentucky is "What should I wear to Keeneland?"  We hear from a whole lot of folks who wonder about the dress codes for the Paddock, the Clubhouse, and all spaces in-between. Tomorrow is Opening Day -- one of Lexington's biggest autumn holidays -- so we thought we'd revisit the HerKentucky Guide to Keeneland's Dress Code to get you ready.  



Of course, if you're still in doubt, you can always visit our favorite Lexington boutiques -- AJ's CasualsBella RoseMonkee's and The Peppermint Palm -- and get some ideas! Most of all, I hope you look nice, win big, and enjoy the races!! -- HCW




Every year, in springtime and autumn, it seems that tons of new visitors arrive at HerKentucky  with variants of the same search: "What should I wear to Keeneland?"  I always want to reach out through Google, find all of y'all in Jacksonville, Ontario, and everywhere in-between, give you a hug and say "look nice and be yourself."

Now, the dress codes for Keeneland vary pretty wildly according to your location.  That really is my favorite thing about this racetrack.  There's a way to have fun at any budget, and at any level of dress.  But, as we've said before here at HerKentucky, visitors to Keeneland just try a little harder.

If you're going to stay near the Paddock -- General AdmissionGrandstand, or Equestrian Room -- there's no need to dress up very much.  Guys are fine in khakis and polo shirts, and girls can wear slacks.  In fact, you may even see folks wearing (gasp!) jeans.  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 and Lilly Pulitzer to be seen.


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. 

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!

What do y'all wear to Keeneland?


{all images via Keeneland.}

Tailgate in Style with a Lilly Pulitzer Cooler from Lifeguard Press!

When I first started going to horse races, people didn't tailgate. You simply went to the race track, got some refreshments, socialized, and watched the races. These days, Keeneland Tailgates promise a full day of fun, complete with cornhole tournaments, elaborate food and drinks, and well-coordinated outfits. Oh, my, the outfits! Lilly Pulitzer dresses matched perfectly to bow ties. To party in a parking lot, y'all. I like to think of Keeneland tailgates as Kentuckians' answer to the SEC football tailgates that our friends in the deeper South so painstakingly plan.


HerKentucky has teamed up with Lifeguard Press to celebrate our birthday -- and the arrival of tailgating season -- in style with this gorgeous Lilly Pulitzer Insulated Cooler. Whether fall takes you to horse races, football games, or a weekend getaway, you can carry your drinks and refreshments in style!



You can enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. The winner will be announced Monday, September 30.

Good luck! And please let us know: Where will you be tailgating this fall?