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10 places to buy Kentucky Derby dresses online in 2021

You're off to the races in playful, elegant styles to suit your next summer soirée.

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The Kentucky Derby comes around every early May, when spectators trackside and barside watch prized ponies compete for the finish line. For us mere mortals, it’s all the excuse we need to dress up in a fancy frock and fascinator.

In its own league, racing fashion is refined, on point and polished. But it’s no longer so conventional — think bright and bubbly, inspired by spring.

Throw on a statement headpiece, like a fascinator from top online retailers, and you’re halfway there. But first, the dress.

Where to buy your Kentucky Derby dress

Nordstrom: A department store favorite offering a gorgeous variety of Derby-appropriate dresses.

One of the easiest retailers to shop online, use Nordstrom’s accessible mobile app to find a fancy frock, with simple returns if it’s not perfect.

  • Free shipping over $0
  • Free returns
  • No financing options

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Nordstrom Rack: Score the same cool brands with smaller price tags at the Rack.

Nordstrom Rack is an affordable alternative to department stores that doesn’t skimp on selection or quality.

  • Free shipping over $49
  • No free returns
  • No financing options

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ModCloth: These vintage-inspired dresses will leave you champing at the bit.

You’ll look beautiful in retro takes on Derby wear from ModCloth that are just modern enough to blend in.

  • Free shipping over $75
  • Free returns
  • No financing options

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ASOS: You’re sure to find a Derby dress that celebrates your unique style.

From florals to lace, race-ready dresses abound at the world-regaled ASOS.

  • Free shipping over $50
  • Free returns
  • Finance your order with Klarna

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City Chic: Curvy girls, look no further for the inside track on gorgeous dresses.

City Chic carries a wide selection of spring racing dress among its fun and feminine designs.

  • No free shipping
  • No free returns
  • No financing options

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Macy’s: You’ll hit your stride with dresses from this reliable favorite.

Macy’s is the place for floral, lace and solid dresses cut perfectly for a classy Kentucky Derby look.

  • Free shipping over $25
  • Free returns
  • No financing options

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Amazon: Don’t let its size fool you — your favorite marketplace stocks Derby-suitable frocks.

Whatever your size or budget, it’s likely that Amazon has a dress that’s one for the races and beyond.

  • Free shipping over $25
  • Free returns
  • No financing options

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Saks Off Fifth: Dig for a discounted Derby find at a coveted outlet.

The selection at Saks Off Fifth varies, but you can score amazing designer dresses to trot out at the Derby.

  • Free shipping over $99
  • No free returns
  • No financing options

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What is acceptable racewear for the Derby?

  • Dresses. To avoid overly short or tight, leave the thigh-skimming bandeau dress at home.
  • Spring sandals or heels. Remember, you’ll be on your feet all day, so find a pair that’s comfortable.
  • A fascinator or hat. Anything goes, from a dainty headband to a face full of lace, a flower in your hair or a bunch much larger.
  • Clutches. Drop your everyday shoulder bag for a li’l something to hold onto.

What will leave the crowd clutching their pearls?

  • Shoddy footwear. Avoid sneakers, sports shoes, track shoes, flip-flops or slippers.
  • Unsuitable pants. Ditch jodhpurs, tracksuits, leather pants, leggings and untailored pants.
  • Too much leg. Say no to shorts, miniskirts and short jumpsuits.
  • Bare shoulders. Strapless dresses aren’t traditional Derby wear.
  • Unkempt garments. Torn or ripped clothing are no-nos — even if you bought it that way.
  • Midriffs. Though tasteful cropped tops are in vogue, proceed with caution.
  • Casual jackets. Parkas, windbreakers, denim jackets and even tailored leather jackets could attract the wrong eyes.
  • Denim anything. You can pull on your jeans when you’re safely back at home.

Top deals on dresses February 2021

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Photo by Gene Devine on Unsplash

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