Derby daze 

We wore big hats and oxford shoes. We drank mint juleps and played croquet. While none of us were into horse racing, we were into having themed parties, and this year will mark the second annual get-together.

Whatever your feelings are on the time-honored tradition of this weekend’s Kentucky Derby, you have to admit the culture surrounding it is interesting. Frankly, it’s the
makings of a good party. And who doesn’t like a good party?

If you’re going to a derby party, you’ll need a hat. And not just a normal hat: You need an attention-whore of a hat that clearly has deep-seated insecurities and makes up for it by being in the spotlight.

To achieve that level of hat-ness, I’m going to take you on a strange journey. You’ve probably never noticed it, because it’s in a strip mall and sandwiched between a hardware store and a grocery store, but make a stop at Citi Trends (2119 N.W. 23rd; 525-4063). 

Go to your left upon entering and bask in a wall of exemplary derby-esque hats. Citi Trends has them in all colors, some topped with giant bows. Trust me, you’ll find the perfect hat for a derby theme. Actually, you might just find the perfect hat. 

Next, you’ll need shoes. The thing is, croquet is played outside. So, you’ve got your hat and your spring dress, but since you’ll likely be in the great outdoors, a functional shoe is important. Functionality, however, doesn’t mean you have to squander fashionable inspiration. 

For a shoe that will take on dual role of function/fashion, head to Heirloom Shoe (4415 N. Western; 605-0356). If you want to keep it dressy, opt for a wedge. They’re really the only manageable heel when you’re traipsing around in grass and trying to balance to get the perfect stop shot. 

If you’re okay with a flat, Heirloom just got in a fabulous array of open-toed jellies, and it’s the perfect look for summer dresses or outdoor shoes that are still trendy.

So now you’ve got the look. You might actually need the croquet set, right? It’s a must-have for the perfect derby party, and you can get your hands on one at Academy Sports (4261 N.W. 63rd; 767-3720). The store carries a deluxe edition that’s suitable for up to six players. 

You’re all set! Practice your croquet stroke and make sure you’ve got your hat squared away. All that’s left after that is to have some fun. Let’s shop, OKC!

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