Derby Bound!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A few months ago, some good friends of ours offered us some extra tickets to the Kentucky Derby.  They weren’t cheap, so we hemmed and hawed and said no and then said yes and then thought about it some more.  But it’s the Kentucky Derby.  And these seats are insane.  So we decided we couldn’t pass up this opportunity.  If you’re going to do the Kentucky Derby, you gotta do it right.

This means I went into a tailspin of googling.  Hats. Dresses. Typical Derby Day attire.  And while I am quite familiar with southern style, I have never in my life rocked a church hat.

But we’ll go there later.

The dress was first.  I figured it’s much easier to find a hat to match the dress {But what do I know?}

imageSo this was the first dress. Meet “Jillian.” I fell in love with her while innocently cutting through a department store when we were looking for a tie for TGrass for TOTS.  I wasn’t even looking for a dress and there she was.  Like it was fate.  It was Kate Spade and it was beautiful.

Then I looked at the price tag.

There was no way T was going to go for it and I’m not sure I could even justify it. Plus, I think these stripes next to Tyler’s seersucker would be a bit much, no? 

So I filed it in the “If I can’t find anything else…” folder and kept looking.  No store was too great or too small.  Bloomingdale’s. Marshalls. Saks. TJ Maxx.  Nordstrom. Nordstrom Rack.  I looked everywhere and was starting to see a pattern in what I wanted… Sleeveless, not strapless.  Pink or coral.  Solids, not florals.

Keetan Dress Printed

{This Lilly dress broke all of the rules but I love the print. Didn’t fit great though.}

Just when I was losing hope, I saw dress in Marshalls.  It was pink.  Sleeveless. Linen.  Ruffles.  Giant flower on the hem.  $50.

I took it.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was a great back up plan.DSC_0370

It’s not nearly as dowdy on as it looks in the picture, but it doesn’t hug my waist at all, so it doesn’t do much to flatter my figure.  I love the bubblegum pink though and I think it looks pretty good with my skin tone.

Keep looking though.

Saw this at Nordstrom. LOVE.  {I could wear coral seven days a week.}  But no local store has a dress in my size range in stock.  Debating ordering a 4 and 6 online and returning one {or both, if I opt out.}.  Your thoughts?  Is it even Derby appropriate?  It is a little brunch-y.

THEN tonight I stopped at the mall before a work dinner/party and saw this little gem. Except it’s in coral!  I was in a hurry, the six was too big in the chest {story of my life}, they didn’t have a four, so I grabbed the two and ran out the door.  DSC_0365{I know this sounds like a gamble but I’ve tried on a gazillion dresses of this brand lately and they all run big.  And everything’s returnable, right?  Right.}

DSC_0366{It’s far less orange in person, I swear.}

And since it’s a 2, the waistband sits a lot higher on me than on the model which really accentuates my waist, and it fits so well in the chest and arms, I don’t think I’d even need a bra.  The hem hits just at my knee, there are no straps to tug at, and it has pockets.

Plus, it’s a size 2.  That really strokes my ego, but in a really false way because homegirl is not a size 2.  Just what I need, something to keep me in denial about my recently expanding waistline…

Anyway. We have a real contender ladies and gentlemen ladies.

I am my mother’s daughter, so I’ll keep looking, buy 18 dresses and return 17.  Any thoughts on the current options?  Anything out there you’ve seen that I’m missing?

And then… The hat hunt.

While initially frustrating, I quickly became acclimated to hat terminology via google: wide brims vs. fascinators, brim sizes, down brims, panamas, sheers, etc… But have you seen what these hats costs?  There is no way I was spending $350 on a hat I will wear for one day of my life.  So off I went on a hunt.  I had no idea where to start but it turns out, a lot more stores sell hats than you think when you’re really looking.

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While many are paying top dollar for these toppers, my DIY self will not let money stop me from having a phenomenal hat.  Seeing that I haven’t actually decided on a dress {deadline is Friday}, I figured the best route is buy “blank” and decorate it myself.

So here’s my canvas…



This thing is easily wider than my shoulders aaaaand I love it.  The brim is wired so you can shape it however you want, and it cost a whopping $22 at Macys.  And while I haven’t decided exactly what I’m going to do with it, I just can’t stop looking at these giant bows…



So, while I feel like I’ve made a lot of headway in the last three days, I still need a lot of input. Dress: pink? coral? Is linen too wrinkly?  Is jacquard too heavy?  If I wear coral, what colors do I put on my hat? Bows?  Feathers?


Help! Spill it girls!

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