I prepare for Derby the same way every year by waiting until the last minute to find my wardrobe for the big race and preceding parties.
While it causes plenty of stress, I also find shopping at the 25th hour is best suited for someone whoâ€™s overly indecisive. It forces me to go with my gut rather than overanalyze every outfit choice.
Iâ€™ve been to almost every boutique in the city this last week, but it wasnâ€™t until I stopped by NuLu for the neighborhoodâ€™s first-ever Derby celebration that I finally felt relieved and satisfied with my attire.
On April 29, the boutiques, restaurants and businesses in the East Market District opened late to offer those scrambling for a Derby ensemble some much needed help and discounted prices.
A friend and I strolled down Market Street to peruse the unique stores and hope weâ€™d finally put an end to all this shopping insanity.
For our first stop, we checked out Scout to browse its eclectic assortment of accessories and decor. While I was in awe of the jewelry displayed in the middle of the shop, my favorite merchandise, by far, was found looming in the back.
In case you havenâ€™t visited the boutique, Iâ€™ll let you in on a secret. The greeting card collection hanging on the wall in the back room is slightly R-rated but nonetheless provided my friend and me a good 20 minutes of entertainment.
It may not be the right gift for your mother next Sunday, but for the person in your life with a quirky and raunchy sense of humor, the shocking stationary is sure to please.
Following the trip to Scout, I made my way into Ghyslain to see why everyoneâ€™s abuzz about the restaurant. The quaint building was busy with people dining on bistro fare and delicious chocolate and pastries. Sadly, dessert is not part of my Derby diet, but I now know where Iâ€™m heading for my post-May 5 brunch.
From Ghyslain, my friend and I made our way into Flo gallery and Peace of the Earth, where Klondike and the Slow Rush performed for the NuLu celebration.
Then, came the moment I had finally been waiting for â€“ the chance to put my Derby stress at bay with the completion of my outfit.
I had a feeling when I stepped inside Gifthorse that Iâ€™d find the element I was missing. While I already had my Derby dress picked out, I needed the essential headwear to top off my look.Just a few days earlier, owner Butch Sager had put the finishing touches on a yellow fascinator that went perfectly with my bright turquoise dress. Color blocking is in this season, so I knew this was the item I was meant to wear to Derby. One look in the mirror and I had fallen in love and all my anxiety was finally diminished.
If youâ€™re still looking to piece together the perfect outfit for Saturday, NuLu is a great area to find unique, one-of-a-kind accessories and trendy attire. But preparing for the Run for the Roses isnâ€™t the only reason to shop in NuLu, though. The boutiques and restaurants are a go-to spot year-round.
Contact writer Ashley Anderson at email@example.com, 502.498.2051.
Photos by TONY BENNETT | Contributing Photographer