Want an excuse to dress up, hang out and place friendly wagers?  Then celebrate the Derby in style!  From dashing dresses and haute hats to fancy hors d’oeuvres and delicious cocktails, here’s a quick checklist of must-haves for the big day.

Want an excuse to dress up, hang out and place friendly wagers?  Then celebrate the Derby in style!  From dashing dresses and haute hats to fancy hors d’oeuvres and delicious cocktails, here’s a quick checklist of must-haves for the big day:

Big Floppy Hat

Ladies, consider this your #1 accessory!  Derby hats are as iconic to horse races as little black dresses are to Audrey Hepburn, so every lady should make sure to have one as unique as she is.  Feel free to go simple and classic with a pretty sun hat or stylishly chic with bold colors and crazy feathers – either way you’ll fit right in! 

The Dress

Since your hat is the core of your Derby Day attire, you should plan your dress accordingly.  Luckily there are no rules to choosing the perfect outfit, just make sure it doesn’t overstate what you’re wearing on top. Whether you go strapless with bold, colorful prints or keep it classy with a knee-length stunner, remember the focus should be on your gorgeous hat. Pair your dress with strappy sandals or cute flats, and you’re all set to go.  

Delicious Food

Don’t leave guests chomping at the bit – make sure to give them plenty of delicious eats and treats!  Every lady knows the best way to entertain is through the stomach, so make sure to have a fabulous spread awaiting your guests as they arrive.  Since you’ll be walking around and standing a lot, small appetizers and mini munchies are ideal.  Fruit and veggie platters, Minty Mango Salsa (http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/2011/09/minty-mango-salsa.html), Balsamic Caprese Skewers (http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/2012/06/balsamic-caprese-skewers.html), and Blueberry Almond Crostinis (http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/2012/08/blueberry-almond-crostinis.html) are a few favorites. To set the Southern tone, add some fresh flowers to your table along with colorful plates and napkins.

Derby Day Drinks

C’mon ladies, we can’t forget our cocktails!  In your choice corner of the room, create a “Winner’s Circle” where guests can go to fill up their cups. Assuming you’re serving a larger group all gathered around a TV, let guests free-pour out of fancy jugs filled with your favorite cocktails. Add fun labels to the jugs and serve guests out of trophy-inspired gold cups with personalized nameplates. Not only will your friends be impressed, but they’ll enjoy the ease of getting their own drink without the hassle and mess.  Since you’ll be serving in bulk, stick with simple, ready-to-serve springtime cocktails, like Skinnygirl® Sangria or Skinnygirl® Mojito for a southern-inspired minty sip! 

Once you’re done with Derby drinks, delectables, and décor, it’s time to pick your winner and celebrate as if you’re really at the races. Cheers!

Contributor:  Skinnygirl® Cocktails Insider Kelly Hunt of eat-yourself-skinny.com

Skinnygirl® Sangria Made with Grape Wine with Natural Flavors, Alc. 10.5% by Vol. © 2013 Skinnygirl Cocktails, Deerfield, IL (Per 5 fl oz – Average Analysis: Calories 132, Carbohydrates 22.5g, Protein 0g, Fat 0g) A Lady Always Drinks Responsibly™
Skinnygirl® Mojito, Rum with Natural Flavors, 9.95% Alc./Vol. ©2013 Skinnygirl Cocktails, Deerfield, IL (Per 1.5 oz – Average Analysis: Calories 32.2, Carbohydrates 2.0g, Protein 0g, Fat 0g) A Lady Always Drinks Responsibly™

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