Off to the Races: Five Places to Prepare for the Kentucky Derby

Off to the Races: Five Places to Prepare for the Kentucky Derby
Photo courtesy of Mariel Boutique
Ready, set, go! The Kentucky Derby is the biggest horse race in the United States, but the people-watching is almost as big a draw. While the race is often referred to as “the most exciting two minutes in sports," the fashion show is nonstop, with people dressing in all their finery for the event. Here in Denver, sports fans have been racing to boutiques and barbershops to get ready for the big day...and it's not too late for you! Here are five places that will help you dress for any Derby-watching party.

Photo courtesy of The Hat Collection
The Hat Collection
500 16th Street #224
Head to the Denver Pavilions to find the hat of your dreams. Hat Collection is a boutique dedicated to hats, and only hats, with many different shapes, colors, sizes and brands for both men and women. Click here for more information.

Photo courtesy of Mariel Boutique
Mariel Boutique
3000 East Third Avenue Unit 11
Mariel owner Denise Snyder and her team of personal stylists have dressed local fashionistas for over thirty years; they can certainly help you pick out the perfect outfit for Kentucky Derby day. Mariel carries no more than three of any item, which practically ensures exclusivity and individuality. The over-sized and retro hats at Mariel, sporting feathers, ribbons, flowers, sequins and more, are the perfect accessory for race day. Click here for more information.

Photo courtesy of Goorin Bros.
Goorin Bros.
1410 Larimer Street

Wearing the perfect hat to the Kentucky Derby is a tradition that has remained intact for over 143 years. San Francisco-based Goorin Bros. is a family-run business that produces a line of Kentucky Derby hats for men and women. Stop by the location in Larimer Square to see structured hats, floppy hats, fedoras, bowlers, straw hats and more. Goorin is also ready to customize and refresh existing Goorin hats with trim and additions suited to the special occasion. Click here for more information.

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF EVE
Photo courtesy of Eve
1413 Larimer Street
While you're in Larimer Square, stop by Eve, a boutique with plenty of hats and festive floral dresses. Eve also carries a variety of women's fashion-forward pieces, along with a carefully curated selection of jewelry, handbags and accessories. Click here for more information.

Photo coutesy of Al's Barbershop
Al’s Barbershop
1423 Larimer Street, Unit 90

While some men sport fedoras at the Kentucky Derby, that’s not the only stylish option: You can also sport a new hairstyle. Al Urbanowski has been a barber for more than thirty years, and he's got a few grooming tips for the men of Denver. "Men need a clean-cut and well-groomed style," he says. "Men’s hair should be smooth-styled and in place, typically away from the face using a comb or brush. If the hair is longer, either use fingers or a wide-tooth comb to move hair away from the face with natural texture. Grooming products play an important role. Use a gel with pomade or grooming cream such as American Crew. If a man is confident enough to use a blow dryer, it will help the style last throughout the festivities."

Or you can just stop by Al's to get a haircut worthy of the Kentucky Derby. Click here to make an  appointment.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Mauricio Octavio Rocha graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in English writing and a minor in cinema studies; He has been writing about fashion and style for Westword since 2012. Rocha also writes songs for his music and art project, VULGAR FEVER.
Contact: Mauricio Rocha