There are some events in the world that transcend international boundaries. Wimbledon is one. The Kentucky Derby is another. Polo in Beverly Hills is another.
In fact, there are a whole slew of events that any true socialite must be seen at if they are to make a mark on society. And at each of these events, the way you look is more important than the event itself. In the UK, it’s strawberries and cream at Wimbledon. Or Pimms and finger sandwiches at the Henley regatta. In the US, anybody who’s anybody needs to make an impression at the Polo in Beverly Hills or the America’s cup trials.
The jewel in the crown
But the real jewel in the social crown is everybody’s favorite horse race - the Kentucky Derby. This is a place where what you wear says everything about you, from your dress to your shoes and from your handbag to your glamorous headwear, this is not a place to hide your beauty under a bushel. In fact, the more glamorous your look, the better you’ll feel as you parade the walkways and bars of the racecourse, looking to see and be seen.
So, what is this great horse race, how did it become such an important social event and what makes it so special?
What’s so special about the Kentucky Derby?
Is it the rich traditions? Is it the two minutes of the race? Is it the mint juleps and the glamorous outfits and extravagant hats? The answer is it’s all of the above. This is one of those events with more traditions than you could shake a stick at - and it is quintessentially Southern, with all the slow elegance that you would expect from Kentucky.
A rich sporting tradition
There are few American sporting events with the history and popularity of the Kentucky Derby. It’s rich traditions – sipping mint juleps from pewter mugs, donning a beautiful hat, and joining fellow race fans in singing “My Old Kentucky Home” are some of the uniquely Southern things that transcend the ordinary and move it into the realms of legend. It is also the longest running sporting event in American history, operating continuously (with a few short breaks for the world wars) running continuously since 1875.
It all began back in 1872 when Meriwether Lewis Clark, the grandson of William Clark – of the famed pair Lewis and Clark – attended the Epsom Derby in England, which had been run since 1780. When he came back from his travels, he set about creating a similar event back home in the USA. He raised funds to build a racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky and on May 17th, 1875, the course opened for the first ever Kentucky Derby. 10,000 speakers gathered to cheer on the horses and riders. The eventual winner of this initial race was a horse called Aristedes, whose name has gone down in history alongside other legendary names such as the unforgettable Secretariat.
In the intervening years, the race has changed and grown and new traditions have been created along the way.
Step out in summer style
But for many people, this amazing day is less about the races and more about the occasion. This is a time to show off your summer style and no effort is spared in finding the most beautiful and creative outfits that will dazzle the crowds with their style, color and cut. Hats seem to make a special appearance at the Kentucky Derby and exotic and extravagant headwear is expected.
Bring out your inner Scarlet O’Hara
This extraordinary event has also become a fashion showcase over the years, with fashion designers bending over backwards to ensure that their outfits become the stars of the show. Nobody holds back in the glamour stakes at Churchill Downs.
In the fancier parts of the course, the grandstands are filled to the rafters with Southern Belles wearing gorgeous spring dresses or stylish combos. But the most important thing is the hats.
Dress like royalty for the sport of Kings
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to Derby dressing, in part because what you wear has much to do with where you plan to spend the day. In the reserved seating areas (grandstand, clubhouse, suites and corporate hospitality areas), ladies typically wear spring dresses or bold separates that match their Derby headwear and accessories.
The Kentucky Derby is a chance for every female to express her inner Southern Belle so take note and don't hold back when planning your Kentucky Derby wardrobe!
Comfort and glamour from the bottom up
But while most of the attention is focused on the star of the show (the extravagant headwear and beautiful hats) we think the hidden hero of the Kentucky Derby lies a bit further down the body - the shoes.
For a day like this that involves lots of walking, getting the right shoes that combine comfort, glamour and style can be hard work. High heels and stilettos aren’t made for walking around a racecourse. Style and comfort are always difficult bedfellows. But with Viscata, you can have the best of both worlds.
The best of both worlds
Our gorgeous Spanish espadrilles are the perfect shoes to ensure that this most special of days allows you to look good and feel good to preserve a day full of magical memories and beautiful moments that will last a lifetime.
Viscata’s world beating online selection of beautiful Spanish espadrilles combine style, elegance, comfort and fun - and we have a style to match every outfit and every personality.
Step out in style - be a winner, every time
So, here are 5 beautiful pairs of Spanish espadrilles that will get you to the races in style. From stunning closed-toe espadrilles built on comfortable, naturally sourced Spanish jute soles to more practical slingback peep-toe sandals that work well with more elegant outfits or trouser suits. We have shoes for everyone. You can bet on it.
Get lucky in your Escala Lace-up Wedges
Unleash your bohemian spirit with this iconic representative of the traditional Spanish espadrille. The Escala wedge, with its cute ribbons and simple silhouette will give you that boho-chic look that will help you to stand out from the crowd.
Viscata has the widest range of espadrilles online with almost every color you can think of! You can even swap the ribbons for our pretty new printed laces that are bound to add a touch of sparkle to your elegant look. Plus, we use naturally sourced materials and impeccable craftsmanship so they’ll fit like a dream.
Buckle up the Satuna wedges and Derby on
With all that walking, comfort is vital. You may prefer the support of an adjustable ankle strap. Well, no worries - you can always rely on Viscata to deliver on comfort and style.
Our Satuna wedge is timeless and elegant. Once you’ve slipped them on, you won’t be able to take them off all summer. Modern and classy these stylish Spanish espadrilles will always keep you one step ahead of the fashion crowd.
Choose from our wide color palette - and don’t miss out on our tie-dye, animal prints or bicolor soles. These shoes are perfect for a fashion-forward vibe.
Show off your toes in our Aiguafreda Peep-toes
Peep-toe shoes have been the cutting-edge footwear trend for the past few years. At Viscata you can find gorgeous examples of this trend like our gorgeous Aiguafreda wedges.
These super stylish peep-toe espadrilles are just perfect to add a ladylike touch to elevate your outfit into something sophisticated and modern.
We adore them paired with romantic dresses and long skirts - but they can be just as gorgeous with your favorite jeans or even a linen two-piece suit.
Trot out in style with the Sagaro Wedges
Step up your social season game with our sexy Sagaro espadrille wedges. Woven laces gracefully wrap around the ankle of this chic wedge sandal, naturally rounded with a comfortable jute sole. You’ll always make an impression in a Sagaro wedge. Classic comfort and style, all in one shoe.
This pump-like shoe with pretty ankle ties is guaranteed to give your spring wardrobe a boost. Wear these quintessentially summer shoes with any of your favorite outfits for a charming coda to your seasonal looks.
Style them with a flowy dress for breezy vibes or pair them with your favorite jeans for a more laid-back urban look. Easy to dress up and down, the Sagaro wedges are the right height to lift up your style and your spirit.
Slide on the Gavina Slingbacks and race off!
If you are in search of voguish and functional shoes then you might like to try our Gavina wedges. Easy to carry and versatile, this slingback wedge is irresistibly sexy and yet casually sophisticated.
These beautiful wedges will feel super comfortable with no break in period. Their slingback strap is secured with an ankle buckle fastening for a perfect fit. Take them out of the box and walk the entire day at ease.
The Gavina slingback is definitely your new style saviour this spring. Step into the new season wearing a pair of flirty peep-toes that effortlessly reflects your charm and elegance.