Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Ladylike Guide To Dressing For The Derby

TransGriot Note: It's Derby Week here in Da Ville. That means parties, galas, parades and the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby horse races on Friday and Saturday.

My fashion diva roommate and longtime Kentuckian Dawn Wilson explains this bit of Kentucky tradition for those of us not from these parts.

Guest post by Dawn Wilson

Is image everything? To many African American transgender women it means everything. Image defines you and your character. Going out is never just about going out and having a good time, it’s about going out and impressing people.

As the celebrities who come here will tell you, the Kentucky Derby and the activities that surround it is the place that one can do that, and it seems as though the list of those who come gets longer every year.

I've had the pleasure of attending more than 15 different parties and assorted Derby gatherings over the last few years, and have been graciously extended invitations for a few this year.

Recently my girlfriends at the LFC fencing club invited me to go Derby dress shopping with them last weekend in preparation for the Derby Week activities. No we didn't have any mint juleps, but a good time was had by all.

If you're one of the lucky people going to the Kentucky Derby this year or even if you just want to dress properly for the occasion when you watch this year's 135th running of the race at home, tradition states that certain rules must be followed.

What are those rules? Fear not, I'm about to tell you. Just follow them and you'll put your best fashion foot forward for Derby Day and fit in like a native.

Choose your hat (ladies only, of course). Hats go with the Derby like the frosting on a birthday cake. It should be large-brimmed, feminine and frilly (think 18th-century France), and worn low on the brow tilted slightly to one side.

The rest of your outfit is designed to complement your hat.

Now the dress. This will support the crowning glory of the outfit – the hat.

Now there is an art to picking and wearing a dress. Maybe that is why many WBT women often prefer wrapping themselves in shapeless jeans and blouses. It’s easy, it’s simple and comfortable, and doesn't require much effort.

But how about being womanly, attractive, and appealing? Why is everybody forgetting about being romantic, gentle, bright and inspiring, or outstanding and memorable?

Beauty and attractiveness are always in fashion. That is the fashion law, especially doing Derby. If you follow those rules to the letter, you won't be ticketed by the Derby fashion police.

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