Off Broadway Shoes Derby Hat Trunk Show

I was so excited to join Off Broadway Shoes for their Derby Hat Trunk Show last Saturday.

I always thought of Off Broadway as "The Place We Go To Look For Bob's Dress Shoes"; I had no idea they would have such an awesome selection of Kentucky Derby Hats!


Hat designer Carole Amper was on hand to help customers create the perfect hat for their Derby Ensembles. Now, as a Kentucky Girl, I've always thought that I was "just born knowing" how to add feathers, flowers, and embellishments to make a hat perfect. And, while I may be good at it, Carole was spectacular. She just had a gift for adding a little pop of coral or navy to set off a hat buyer's eye color or pick up the right tone in her dress.
Carole Amper adds the perfect touch to one of her hats.
It was really fantastic to see all the squeals of glee when these ladies realized that they had found the perfect hat for the occasion. The right hat makes you feel special and pretty and unique; isn't that what Derby is all about?




It was fun to see the silent auction hats on prominent display, as well. The hat I made looked so much better on a proper mannequin than it did on my dining room table! 

If you follow HerKentucky on Instagram (and, let's face it, you should), you know that I simply fell in love with this hat at the event. It was so gorgeous! (They also had it in turquoise, aqua, and purple, for those of y'all who love cool/water tones.)

I couldn't help but try it on. Isn't it perfect?

Thanks so much to Off Broadway Shoes for inviting me to their Trunk Show! If any of y'all are still looking for a hat, I suggest running out to their store at 4600 Shelbyville Road, Suite 201 for a fantastic selection!

{Photos 1-6 courtesy Off Broadway Shoes. Photos 7-8, in their grainy iPhone glory, are my own. I was a host for the Off Broadway Shoes event, but did not receive any compensation for this post.}

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!


Getting Fit



We've been talking about setting goals for ourselves on HerKentucky and I know that most everyone has made a resolution to be healthy and get fit. I know I did! While we are up in the gym working on our fitness, our transformations may take a little longer than two weeks so I wanted to share some style slimming secrets to get us through this transition.

1. Fit - Every southern girl knows that fit is the most important rule in looking slim and trim. When dressing, your goal is to create fluid lines that suggest a slender appearance...muffin tops are not included in this. So it's obvious that we had too much holiday fun or one too many bourbon balls, so what? It is easily fixed by purchasing a pair of pants the next size up to banish our muffin tops. Focus on the fit of your pants, not the size, and you will look slimmer in minutes!

2. Accentuate your thinnest point - Beautiful women come in all shapes and sizes and with that, we all have different areas that we should highlight. If you have awesome legs, wear that short skirt! If you have an hourglass figure, wear a dress that accentuates your tiny waist. By highlighting your thinnest points, you are drawing the attention away from your trouble areas and thus creating the illusion of a slimmer you.

3. Wear the correct undergarments - This one is a must. The correct underpinnings will make a world of difference!

4. Accessorize - The art of accessorizing has been my best friend for a long time. Adding a little sparkle to your wrist, rocking a statement necklace or donning some killer heels are all ways to draw the attention away from unwanted areas. And if you think about it, your wrist is really your thinnest point! Everyone go buy a bracelet!

5. Belt it - Baggy tops and dresses do not aid in making you look slim and trim, in fact, they do exactly the opposite. Don't hide that waist under an ill fitting blouse, let it shine and you'll look slim in no time! If you do not have a natural waist, you can create the illusion of an hour glass figure by cinching your waist with a belt. I have been in love with these monogrammed belts from C. Wonder, they have southern girl written all over them!

Happy New Year to everyone and good luck on your goals for 2014!!

State Traditions Lexington Game Day Belt

I'm all about a well-chosen accessory. A fun belt can add a pop of personality to an otherwise conservative and tasteful ensemble. And, once I got past

my fear of the breakup belt,

I found that unique belts were a great way for my beau to personalize his everyday wardrobe.

The folks at

State Traditions

were kind enough to send us this gorgeous belt, part of their Game Day Collection, for review.  We just love it. It has a high-quality leather buckle and a twill body that boasts a fun Kentucky pattern. It's a fun way to support the football or basketball 'Cats on game day, and is subtle enough to wear for Casual Fridays at work.

The Game Day Collection from State Traditions has

so many cute items

for repping your team and your state. I'm pretty sure the cuff links and bow tie are going in my beau's stocking, and the collar is calling my dog Max's name!

Thanks so much to State Traditions for sending this fun belt for us to review. My beau has already worn it several times, and I expect to see it on many game days from now through April! Thanks also to my beau for modeling and reviewing the belt!

Urban Outfitters and the Anchal Project

If I had to sit down and make a list of the things that we love here at HerKentucky, the very top of the list would include Kentucky, quilts, pretty clothes, woman-owned businesses, and helping others. I am so excited about a recent collaboration between Urban Outfitters and a Louisville-based non-profit organization that combines all of these things and so much more!



The Anchal Project is an organization headed by Louisville native and landscape architect Colleen Clines. The 501(c)(3) -- or not-for-profit -- group was founded to empower women who have been forced into India's sex trade by providing them with safe employment in the production of textiles.What started out as a small group of students passionate about designing change for oppressed women now touches the lives of women in 3 cities and employs over 60 artisans on a full-time basis.

Image via the Anchal Project.


Here's how the Anchal Project describes its mission
 Anchal celebrates the creative, nurturing essence represented in the anchal and harnesses it for women’s social and financial empowerment. Through design, craft, community-building and education, we help provide new economic realities for commercial sex workers in India. Our goal is to create the infrastructure for creative, income-generating initiatives to run sustainably with local leadership. We believe that by providing a fair living wage and educational workshops to these women in need, opportunities can be pursued that build confidence, increase self worth and inspire entire communities.
Urban Outfitters recently announced the Anchal X Urban collection, a limited edition collaboration with the Anchal Project, which includes gorgeous home accessories and clothing.

I am so in love with this quilt!


And this one, too!

You can check out the entire collection online at Urban Oufitters' website, and in select stores, including the Bardstown Road location.

(Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links to the Urban Outfitters website; HerKentucky does receive a small commission for purchases made through clicks from this post. Independent of any potential financial gain, however, we fully endorse the mission of the Anchal Project.)

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!




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.}