Kentucky Derby fun: picking the right hats, throwing a Derby party

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- The Kentucky Derby takes place this weekend, and there are a lot of Derby-related events happening around the Valley. And whether you'll be at Turf Paradise or at a local Kentucky Derby party, you'll want to look the part!

And while it may be a horse race, it's all about the fashion for the ladies. On Wednesday's Good Morning Arizona, Heidi Goitia gave us some tips on picking the right hat.

She found some great deals at My Sister's Closet at 20th Street and Camelback. "For 140 years, women have been wearing hats and their best clothes to go to the Derby," says Tess Loo of My Sister's Closet. "It started because back in that day, that was the proper attire."

There are three popular types of hats for Derby festivities: floppy, skimmer, or derby. "You can wear a smaller hat, or a more stylized hat," says Loo. "And a lot of women are even decorating their hats."

Monochromatic looks are great. A flower embellishment on a hat can draw attention. Loo showed us several looks from her store, and all the outfits were under $50. Guys should consider dressing up in lighter looks and spring colors as well.

Loo has some advice for anyone going to a Derby party. "Just wear a pretty dress or a romper," she advises."It's just about looking ladylike, and like a gentleman."

Now, if you're the host of a Kentucky Derby party, you have to make sure you have the right food and drinks.

"You typically think you're going to get fried chicken at the Derby," says Tommy Plato of the 2nd Story Liquor Bar in Old Town Scottsdale. "But if you look at Derby food, it's actually really elegant."

And you can't forget the mint juleps. Plato demonstrated how to make the perfect refreshing cocktail. "It has a long history, and juleps have exploded around the world,"he says. "It's just a simple, classy drink."