What I'm Wearing... The Derby Affair with Curls, Curves, & Conversation

It's spring, and you know what that means?! Warmer weather, longer days, and spring fashion!  We have spent the last few months in sweaters, boots, and dark colors, while mulling during the long winter nights.  Spring is the breath of fresh air we have all been waiting for. During the spring, it’s time to shed those sweaters and boots, trade them in for floral dresses and sandals.

Sitting at the intersection of spring and fashion, is The Kentucky Derby. For over 100 years, The Kentucky Derby was where spring fashion was debuted. Women from all over would flock to the Derby in their floral dresses, A-line skirts, oh… and we cannot forget about the hats! If you can’t make it to the Kentucky Derby this year, don’t fret. Our friends at the Talented Tenth have got you covered.

When I heard the news that The Derby Affair save the date went out, I started planning looks in my head from what was already in my closet. One thing I like to do before any day or event, is plan the look I am going for before blindly shopping. I always shop my closet first.  Here are some of my favorite looks and concepts that are Kentucky Derby approved. Let me know what you think, and I hope you gain some inspiration! Can’t wait to see all of you beautiful people at the Derby!

Look One: The Traditional Look
The first combination was the easiest to come by. I found a simple teal Swing Dress and paired it with a chartreuse sandal. Pairing two bold, complimentary colors like teal and chartreuse will be easy to come by in any closet. It is also shown with a canvas cream/chartreuse clutch with a wooden handle.

Teal Look

Look Two: Dark Floral and Stripes
The Kentucky Derby is known for its vibrant spring colors, but it is also knows for its deep florals. Think, Roses. To add an element of spring into the dark floral skirt, I topped it with an oversized black and white striped top.

Floral + Stripes

Look Three: All "White"
Summer owns the all-white look, hands down. So in the celebration of spring, and this lingering winter, I paired an all-white, tulle midi skirt, with a winter white top. I kept the shoes neutral, but I broke out the bling to add an element of sweetness to this outfit. To add that look of spring I paired it with a Hot Pink clutch, my pop of color.

All "White"

Look Four: Pantsuit Nation
My last look is officially a look for The Kentucky Derby. Pantsuits are increasingly becoming a staple in every woman’s wardrobe, and have been worn more to The Derby and Derby events for the last 10 years. My last look is a bright coral pantsuit. The structures wide leg pants with the back cut out, make this a bold and edgy look for any event. I finished it with a royal blue fascinator, to incorporate a pop of color.

Pant Suit Look

Now, I have to figure out what I’m wearing to The Derby Affair.  Can’t wait to see you there!

What are YOU wearing? 

The Bello Mo Experience

Bello Mo Promo

When people talk about fashion they like to start with the do’s and don’ts, but at The Bello Mo Group we like to focus on the do’s.  Fashion should always be about doing you. Of course you must always consider the type of event it is and whether it’s formal or informal. 

The number one key to “doing you” is comfortability.  Although the goal is to be fashion forward and fly 24/7, it shouldn’t feel like a uniform.  Clothing should always be comfortable for the one wearing it.

The second key is to be yourself.  Dress for you and only you. I think we all get inspiration from trends we see through social media and red carpet events, and there is nothing wrong with that, but try to find what works for you.  Expression through fashion is less about trends and brands but more about self-reflection and identity.

The third and final step is to have fun.  Walking into your closet to choose what to wear shouldn’t feel like a pain, but an opportunity to express who you are and what you’re feeling.  This is where life and fashion run parallel, in the sense that how we dress is a reflection of how we feel or what we want to convey. Your choice in clothing and how you wear them also affect your mood and overall confidence.

Bello Mo Promo 2

The Fourth Annual Derby Affair is an opportunity to introduce who you are amongst many others looking to express their personality through fashion.  This year’s event will be held in 5 Points at River & Post Restaurant and Rooftop Lounge. While many will be celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day, The Talented Tenth has given the City one more reason to party and enjoy one another around a great cause. 

So the question still lies in… What do I wear and what should I avoid wearing? Again, let’s not focus on ‘what not to do’ but instead ‘what to do’.  

Here is your 2018 Derby Affair Fashion Guide:

1. Do Color

The month of May will be blazing hot in Duval County so please consider Mother Nature when designing your ensemble. With this in mind try lighter fabric colors that won’t absorb so much heat.  So if you love wearing dark blue and charcoal greys in the Fall and Winter simply trying going a few shades lighter for Spring and Summer.

Color Palette

Explore colors you may not usually wear.  Try yellow with blue, lavenders and pinks, creams, off-whites, tan with teal and white with everything.  Also, make sure you consider 100% cotton fabrics, linen, linen-wool blends and of course seersucker to beat the heat.  

2. Do You

At The Bello Mo Group we believe that life is not a dress rehearsal and the Derby Affair is certainly not an exception.   For the novice fashionista or recent GQ subscriber bring you’re A game and don’t hold back. You’ve read the articles and scrolled through the blogs, now it’s time to suit up and get in the game.  Whatever ideas you had circulating around in your head - Do It. Those shoes you’ve been saving to wear – Wear It! Fashion geeks shouldn’t need a boost; an event like this should already have you charged!  Remember fashion is not a uniform, but a lifestyle.

3. Do Accessories

Accessories for formal events are like garnishments when fine dining; usually very subtle and at times unnecessary.  At a Derby Affair, accessories are essential and can really define character in your ensemble. Fellas if you typically wear neckties go for a bowtie.  If you traditionally wear conservative color ties add some flavor perhaps and try a floral tie and handkerchief combination. SharpCrispClean is a great source for tie and handkerchiefs.  Hats and umbrellas are other accessories that are popular at Derby events and will add character to your attire and also shade you from the sun.  

Bello Mo Promo 3

Money From The Clouds

I woke up one morning and I had hit it BIG!! My bank account had quadrupled over night. I had no clue how or why, and honestly I didn't care. The elation that I felt was vindicating; I took a chance and boom, money in my sleep . I was a mogul, I was the next Warren Buffet... I had broken free.

Being moderately cognizant in the past year news about the boom, the bust, and the lure of becoming a Bitcoin millionaire has become infectious; exponentially increasing the amount of  smug pricks in fedoras with faces glued to weird charts on their mobile devices.

The mystery surrounding Bitcoin is not only its greatest lure, but also its biggest insulation from new buyers. Stories of people blinking and making 1.5 million dollars from a virtual coin couldn't be true. It couldn't be this easy or more people would do it. Pat yourselves on the back because it's not that easy, it was never that easy. But for a while money was falling from the sky and nobody could completely pinpoint why a virtual token had permanently changed finance and became the richest institution in the world.

So what exactly is Bitcoin?


Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency. Decentralized, as it functions without a central bank or a single administrator. It allows encrypted peer to peer transactions that are verified by a node (a redistribution point that executes a transaction protocol ) and these transactions recorded in a public ledger called a block chain. So in very simple terms Bitcoin is currency what allows quick anonymous internet transactions.

What's the big deal?

The bottom line is really decentralization. It is not subject to governmental instability or hiking interest rates that create depreciation, allowing it to hedge against the risk of currency markets, as centralized currencies (USD, EURO, YUAN) are subject to. And for traders this means a BIG thing, volatility.

Volatility creates the oscillations that mean equaled profits for those who own Bitcoin and trade them vs. centralized currencies and other decentralized cryptocurrencies.

In December, the volatility of cryptocurrency markets pushed the value of a single Bitcoin to about $20,000 propelling the Bitcoin blockchain to the richest financial institution on the face of the earth. Bitcoin became more valuable than multiple ounces of gold.

So why are people rooting against cryptocurrency?

Financial advisors tell you to stay out, major corporate future markets bet against it, and the first words out of a laymen's mouth when you mention it normally speak to the tune of "don't do it; you're gonna go broke." Admittedly I've seen the beauty of crypto and I've been slapped boxed into a corner as well, but for most people the issue is the mystery of the market.

Yes, it's volatile (like any market that moves with velocity). Yes it's subject to over-speculation (like any normal commodity or housing market). No, it's not backed by any hard asset (like the USD). And yes, you will hemorrhage money if you do not study the market (like any trading position). And once we reckon this the opportunity reveals itself and fear becomes excitement.

I have lost and made thousands of dollars trading cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Bitcoin itself. There are people who have lost and made millions of dollars as well. I am no genius, but I have no ego when it comes to investigating opportunity, and this is what Bitcoin is. My curiosity around Bitcoin has changed the way I view money and it will continue to broaden my financial curiosity. Day-trading stocks, playing the futures market, and bond markets, are all now much more accessible to my dollar and knowledge base because of my banking on Bitcoin. I've come to understand that the wealthy conceptualize money as a tool... one that we have not been taught to use. Oftentimes our ignorance breeds fear and we fall into the trap of missing yet another opportunity. Heed my warning... educate yourself, make informed decisions, and TAKE A RISK!