Kentucky Derby 2022 – Relaxed Formal Attire


Last week’s post was the exuberant, quite colorful, more casual styling for celebrating the Kentucky Derby. Today, with only days to spare before the big race, I offer a more formal version that despite the gilding and crystal is still somewhat relaxed in its overall style.

An overhead shot of the centerpiece focuses on the sumptuous assembly of red roses and the gold-tone candle holders from Very Violet Boutique in downtown Lee’s Summit, MO. (Just a side note to those of you in shopping distance: Very Violet has now closed and sent all inventory next door to sister store Ivy & Sparrow.)

It is the run for the roses, so adding a few here and there (or a lot everywhere!) is quite appropriate . For demonstration purposes these are from my faux collection, but I urge you to incorporate fresh if at all possible.🌹 🌹 🌹

I found this fabulous horse head at The Painted Sofa in downtown Kansas City, MO.🐴 If you plan a visit to the KC area, The Painted Sofa is an exciting, expansive, must-see shopping destination! Three full floors of fabulous furniture and furnishings!

From the bottom up: “raggedy edge” gold glass charger and Ciroa black & white buffalo check from Home Goods intermingled with regal red & gold Royal Scotland pieces.

My sister (her given name is Berishia, but I’ve always lovingly called her Barf!) gifted me with several yards of Derby-themed fabric a few years back, but life got in the way and I never had anything done with it. This year my exceedingly talented and thoughtful neighbor, Barbara, fashioned these gorgeous napkins from some of it. See how she even thought to use red thread on the hem? Gorgeous detail!!! Thank you, Barbara!!!!!!!!

Need a little take-home gift for guests? Gold-painted horseshoes make a wonderful paperweight! I dressed these up with a simple mix of simply tied ribbons tucked into very fancy black card sleeves. (The sleeves are leftovers from my 60th birthday party invitations.)

Gold-rimmed iced beverage glasses from Nell Hill’s in Kansas City, MO paired with Cristal D’Arques -Durand “Ashville Gold” champagne flutes.

After dinner you simply must have a sliver of Derby Pie and/or Bourbon Butter cake! A generous host or hostess will wrap up an extra slice of each for you to enjoy with coffee next morning.😉

There is no Derby celebration complete without the requisite mint juleps served in traditional silver cups. Create an extra special ambience by transferring good bourbon into a fancy crystal decanter.

On the side I created a fun arrangement in a white Nell Hill’s chinoiserie pot with an ivy topiary, luscious red roses, and another gold horseshoe. The 2 miniature horse heads from Hobby Lobby complete the side table decor.

So that’s it for this year’s Kentucky Derby! These ideas can be easily used for any equestrian event with just a few tweaks.

Here are a few other Derby tablescapes on this site you might enjoy:


14 thoughts on “Kentucky Derby 2022 – Relaxed Formal Attire

  1. This is fabulous! Those napkins are wonderful. That fabric is lovely and your neighbor did a great job. I love that she used red thread. The horse shoes in those sleeves are just too cute! I love getting a favor to take home when I go to a dinner. For years I did the same thing, generally hand-making favors for my big Christmas dinner. I recognize those plaid chargers. I have the same ones. I remember when Pier 1 offered those, I zoomed in immediately and bought some before they sold out. Beautiful centerpiece, I love that horse head. Great job, again. I’ve come to expect it from you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You, my sweet, are too kind! And yes indeedy….favors are FUN. I know they’ve kind of fallen “out of favor” in recent years, but I still like to do them. My guests almost expect it, and I enjoy coming up with something new each go round. And didn’t Barbara do a bang up job with those napkins??!?!?! She worked HARD to get the center block placement just right!!!!!!


  2. Alycia!!! This is totally elegant. I love the placards and the napkins!!! Wow! You truly set the most elaborate table… left nothing unturned..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I have just been about to BURST with ideas lately. I think those 2 years I took off to take care of my Mom and wind up her estate just have bubbled to the surface now.🙄


  3. That horse centerpiece is out of the park wonderful! The horseshoe in the black placard is so clever and the napkins are the perfect touch for the dinner plates. Tally Ho!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are ready, let the Derby Race begin! Great centerpiece with the red roses and horse head. If you live in Kentucky, you must have a horse head displayed! The horseshoes are a perfect gift for your guests. We plan to attend a derby party, so I have my hat ready to wear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Have fun at the party! And if you live in Longview Farm where we live it is necessary for you to have either a horse or carriage or both in some form or fashion. This is an historic neighborhood that was the homestead of horse magnate/gazillionaire, Robert A. Long.


  5. Oh my Alycia, you think of every perfect detail! That horses head and then you putting the roses around it is so pretty. Your napkins made by your neighbor are the perfect touch. I’d sure be happy to have a slice of derby pie and some cake as a yummy take home treat!!

    Liked by 1 person

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