The 2023 Kentucky Derby is Saturday evening, and many are getting excited to see just how bright the stars of our generation are going to shine when they show up to view the 149th running of the most famous event in horse racing.
Every year, the Kentucky Derby brings some of the best dressed athletes and celebrities to the state of Kentucky and they have one goal: to have the best Derby attire of anyone in attendance.
There was no shortage of star power at the 2022 Kentucky Derby and that prestigious list also included Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who went to the University of Louisville before jumping to the National Football League.
While not an indisputable fact that he was the best dressed at the 2022 Derby, Jackson was without a doubt among the best. He had one outfit dedicated to the Barnstable Brown Derby Eve Gala and another for the following day when the actual running of the Kentucky Derby, but more on both of those outfits in a moment. For Jackson, who is beloved by the city of Louisville after his college days, this was a moment to show out for a community he cherishes.
Will Jackson show up again to further establish himself as one of the best dressed football players on the planet? Who else might appear in the state of Kentucky to see the first leg of the Triple Crown? Let us dive in.
What are you supposed to wear to the Kentucky Derby?
Before diving into what Lamar Jackson wore last year, it is important to outline some expectations of Kentucky Derby attire.
Masculine outfits for those who are attending the two days of the Kentucky Derby events are supposed to be specifically geared toward formal business attire, such as three-piece suits, tweed jackets and, the most important part, a fedora or bowler hat for good luck.
Feminine-style outfits tend to feature sun dresses or cocktail dresses as their base, and a contrasting Derby hat or fascinator. If someone has a complicated and heavily patterned cocktail dress, a simpler Derby hat would be the best choice. If the dress is simplified, then the outfit usually calls for a more dramatic Derby hat. Beyond the outfit, accessories come next which usually means a lot of pearls historically.
Derby hats are arguably the most important part of any Kentucky Derby outfit and are an absolute must. After the suit and the Derby hat, loafers and accessories usually complete the look.
Lamar Jackson stunned with 2022 Kentucky Derby outfits
So how did Jackson stack up to those incredibly precise criteria last year?
Let us start with Jackson’s outfit the day before the Kentucky Derby at the Barnstable Brown Derby Eve Gala.
Not only did he complete the checklist for a Kentucky Derby outfit, but he took it to different heights as well. The three-piece plaid suit is the perfect formal attire for the Barnstable Brown Derby Eve Gala, and he did not go overboard with his shirt either. The soft tones of the suit and the cream color of his shirt is toned down, but styled perfectly. He matched the suit to a pair of Gucci sneakers, threw on some accessories like necklaces and completed the look with a darker colored Fedora to give some depth to the style.
For as fantastic as his outfit was for the Barnstable Brown Derby Eve Gala, Jackson came out even stronger for the running of the Kentucky Derby itself.
Lamar Jackson might be the flyest QB the league has seen pic.twitter.com/kI8TbbJYIH
— Ramey (@HoodieRamey) May 8, 2022
The bowler hat with the patterned and easter-colored fabric wrap pairs perfectly with the baby blue shirt and yellow slacks, but where Jackson knocks this outfit out of the park is the matching Gucci belt and Gucci loafers and the matching gold necklaces and gold watch.
Jackson absolutely shined on each day at the 2022 Kentucky Derby. Now, many are incredibly excited to see what he is dressed in this weekend.
Best athlete and celebrity Kentucky Derby outfits
Jackson will have some stiff competition for the unofficial best dressed individual at the 2023 Kentucky Derby. Last year, there was a massive amount of celebrities all dressed up to the nines and this year will be no different.
Let us take a look at a few of the celebrities who showed up last year to the Kentucky Derby and what their outfits looked like.
Jack Harlow showed up to the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby last year in what looked like a satin cream colored suit, but he came up short overall due to lack of a Derby hat of any kind. That being said, the watch and rings were a nice touch and the loafers did a good job of pulling all the color tones together.
And I’m coming even harder for Derby tomorrow 🐎 pic.twitter.com/MBNvV1oX0O
— Jack Harlow (@jackharlow) April 30, 2021
For a more classic Kentucky Derby look, we have to take a moment to spotlight Warren Moon, who came to the event in a plaid suit with a color palate featuring a few different tons of blue and tan for a gorgeous combination. His matching tan shirt, blue tie and blue pocket square pulls all the colors together and perfectly match his simple, yet ideally colored tan Derby hat.
— Kathryn Gregory (@kitgregory) May 7, 2022
Next up we need to look at two World Wrestling Entertainment superstars who took time to come to the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby. Both Bianca Belair and Montez Ford nailed the Kentucky Derby look.
— Andrew Henderson (@andrwfhenderson) May 7, 2022
Belair’s sequin-heavy cocktail dress is simple which makes it a perfect pairing with her extremely bright and loud Derby hat full of flowers of all kinds. The pearls in her hair are a perfect throw back to classic Derby accessories as are her transparent white gloves. Ford’s flowered suit jacket and white pants matches Blair’s Derby hat and white dress to tie together their outfits as well. The red bowtie and gold accessories for Ford are the perfect cherry on top.
Clearly, the unofficial competition for the best dressed at the Kentucky Derby is no joke and there will be serious contenders this coming year just as there were at the last running of the Kentucky Derby.