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 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.

A Decadent and Depraved Derby Present

So, I've been thinking. I believe Derby Presents should become a thing.

Why not? The Kentucky Derby is the greatest day of the year. It's a (usually) beautiful day in May, when people wear their prettiest clothes, drink bourbon, and watch a horse race. It's the day when every major English-speaking news outlet turns a collective eye toward Louisville. And, it comes ready-made with plenty of accoutrements. There are souvenirs to purchase, and keepsakes to treasure. There's a new logo every year. There's... well, a lot of stuff. Why not give a gift on The First Saturday in May?

Now, the Holy Grail of Derby Presents for 2013 (the inaugural year of the Derby Present) is going to be this "Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved" poster, designed by Rachel Sinclair for the brilliant guys over at Kentucky for Kentucky. (Yep, the kick-ass guys.)
It's a visual representation of Hunter S. Thompson's 1970 essay "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved", reimagined as silks. It's a visual reminder of the greatest sports essay ever written. You can hang it in your office or den, and constantly be reminded “that almost everybody you talk to from now on will be drunk. People who seem very pleasant at first might suddenly swing at you for no reason at all.”

The references are all there, if you've read closely enough. But, whether you back Colonel Sanders or Chemical Billy, you should act fast. The limited-edition poster has been featured on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. It's already sold out online; follow Kentucky for Kentucky's Facebook page for info on pop-up shop availability.

Things I'm Loving About Kentucky Right NOW

We only have a few days of February left. Valentine's Day is behind us but there is still a little bit of time to think about love. Last year, I focused on the romantic aspect of the month and rounded up spots in Kentucky to be with the one you love. This year I'm taking a broader view. Kentucky can be romantic but there are a lot of things I'm loving about our state this very moment that has nothing to do with romance.

So, here you go. My latest Kentucky interests, fascinations, and obsessions.

* A Kentucky Oscars!

* All the Ashley Judd Senate race speculation.  No surprise here. I'm liberal and I love Ashley Judd. However, beyond that I just love a good old fashion horse race (I am a Kentuckian after all!) and I love the idea of someone giving Good Ole Mitch a run for his money.

* Erin Smallwood Wathan (you may also know her as my grand-big sister!) joining the ranks of herKentucky!

* The Kentucky for Kentucky guys keep kicking ass.

* Spring is my favorite time of year in Kentucky and it is SO SO CLOSE.

* The insane popularity of bourbon...even if it has caused some growing pains.

What are you loving about Kentucky right now?

~ Sarah Stewart Holland

Kentucky in One Word

A single word can be a powerful thing.

This week, some of the HerKentucky team members have written about their commitment to the One Little Word project in the New Year. Lydia's mantra for 2013 is "commitment." Sarah's word is "simplify." Both are great words that have the power to transform a year.

As I read Lydia and Sarah's respective mission statements for 2013, I thought about the One Little Word that I plan to use personally and professionally in 2013, which is "Do." I have so many ideas, plans and dreams that have seemed just over the horizon lately; it seems time to bring them to fruition. I also started thinking about the power of One Little Word to characterize our unique Commonwealth.

In recent weeks, it seems that the use of One Little Word has polarized Kentucky. As y'all have probably seen by now, the guys behind the Kentucky for Kentucky project are once again spreading the message of a Kick-Ass Kentucky.  This time, they're suggesting a re-branded state.

Image via Kentucky for Kentucky
While advertising experts and social media users have overwhelmingly embraced the Kick-Ass Message, the Kentucky Department of Tourism was less than amused. Now, I personally find the idea of re-branding Kentucky as "Kick-Ass" kind of hilarious and edgy and irreverent, even if that opinion places me in the Department of Tourism's "constituency of no one."  The word "Kick-Ass" makes people take notice -- they high-five, giggle, or squirm, but they don't readily forget it. It doesn't have much gravitas, and I would imagine that there are a lot of people who don't want to see a mild expletive on billboards and license plates. I sure do like the idea of an upgrade to a hipper, more modern view of Kentucky, though. 

We first started HerKentucky was to provide an outlet for Kentucky women's voices. We wanted to share our unique experiences of life in the Bluegrass State. Along the way,  we found that there were few absolutes. Our respective backgrounds are rural or urban, equine or agrarian. We identify with different colleges, cities and sports teams. We sit on different sides of the partisan aisle.  Some of us fall into the "Kick-Ass" camp, while others identify with an "Unbridled Spirit." Kentucky life is a little different for each of us. In a way, we each have "One Little Word" that sums up our Kentucky experience.

And so, as we begin 2013, I'd love to hear from our writers, readers and friends. What One Little Word describes Kentucky for you?