My Quest for the Perfect Derby Dress

The Kentucky Derby, often called the greatest two minutes in sports, is one of the most fashion-forward sporting events of the year. Fashion has always been an important part of the Kentucky Derby and dresses have played a large role in the history the Derby. The Derby founding father, Colonel M. Lewis Clark, Jr., envisioned a racing environment that would feel comfortable and luxurious, an event that would remind people of European Horse Racing, which attracted an elegant crowd. For a well-to-do late 19th and early 20th century woman, a day at Churchill Downs, especially on Derby Day, was an opportunity to be seen in the latest of fashions.

In 2010, I had the opportunity to attend the Kentucky Derby and more than seeing the horse racing, I was excited about the fashion at the Derby. I envisioned wearing a seersucker dress (because the climate is often hot in early May in Kentucky) and because I’ve always loved the fabric. To my surprise I couldn’t find what I was looking for – a dress that was appropriate for my age and dressy enough for the event. I settled for a dress that was nothing like I had envision, a multi-colored A-line sleeveless dress and a large-brimmed black hat.

The fashion that year at the Derby did not disappoint; beautiful dresses in every color of the rainbow and men in seersucker suits in every color imaginable caught my attention. I couldn’t stop thinking about the dress I had envision for the Derby…and it took me more than five years to figure out how to make my idea a reality.

Long story short, I found a consultant in Chicago who worked with me through the design, pattern-making, digitizing, and production process, finally making the dress come to life. Now in its second spring/summer season, this Twist-branded seersucker dress comes in traditional blue and white, as well as red and white, with blue piping around the neckline, shoulders, and at the base of the wrap tie. It’s certainly Kentucky Derby-worthy, in my opinion, just for fun or for an upcoming spring/summer event.

The only question is….what kind of hat would you wear with seersucker to the Derby, a large-brimmed southern-style hat or a sleek fascinator?


  • The latest from Kristen
After collaborating with friends on a seasonal pop-up consignment sale in Alexandria, my passion for fashion grew into designing a dress line with the goal of expanding to other clothing and opening a retail store to include similar designers with small production lines ~ Twist Boutique was born. A former lobbyist, I have neither a retail nor fashion designing background, but I didn’t let that deter me from diving head first into this endeavor. I hope to satisfy our savvy customers with my passion for combining new and consignment clothing and accessories, home furnishings, and gifts.

Twist Boutique recognizes that style seekers want one-of-a kind pieces, whether it's clothing, accessories, home furnishings or gifts, and the experience that goes along with finding them. Women are making smarter choices when shopping to ensure they don't compromise quality for price. For this reason, owner Kristen Moore created Twist to combine her passion for new and resale clothing and accessories to ensure varying price points to satisfy customer needs and desires.

109 N. Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Monday – Friday: 11am – 6pm  |  Saturday: 10am – 7pm  |  ​Sunday: 12pm – 5pm

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