Today is the opening day of Keeneland. I’m a Churchill girl through and through, but the magic of Keeneland holds me spellbound every time I enter those historic gates. Nestled amidst lush horse farms and boasting land for grazing, it is a completely different horse racing vibe.
One of the most noticeable differences at Keeneland is the attire. Denim is next to non-existent. Sure, you will see it in the Grandstand sporadically and in the paddock itself; usually worn by the actual horsemen leading the horses. Aside from the concession area, the only dining room that allows denim is the Equestrian Room.
In ANY of the other rooms, including the corporate suites, denim is ABSOLUTELY NOT ALLOWED. I once threw a denim jacket over a dress for an April day that I knew would warm up later and had to take it off to enter the Clubhouse!
Lucky for me, on that particular day, Da Big Hoss won the Dixiana Elkhorn and in the Champagne Room they didn’t seem to care that I had a denim jacket on to fight the chill!
The Clubhouse and all other dining areas have specific dress code requirements, with only the Phoenix room not requiring a tie for gentlemen. Keeneland states on their website:
Let me be clear for those of you that think, “Ah, this doesn’t apply to me. I will wear nice jeans and they will let me stop in and say hi.” No they won’t. Trust me. Just don’t wear denim to Keeneland. Even if you plan a laid back day in the grandstand, you will inevitably want to go meet up with someone and not be allowed in.
Women traditionally wear skirts or dresses. The official dress code states that no shorts, even rompers, will be allowed. A friend of mine recently told me a story that her husband took two women to Keeneland for work one year and they weren’t allowed in the Clubhouse because they were wearing khaki pants. They went to the gift shop and spent a pretty penny on skirts!
Below are a few suggestions of examples that would be perfect for Fall at Keeneland. Don’t forget, you can always do what I do and RENT THE RUNWAY (click the link for $30 off your first rental)!