While the hat trend started with women, over the last few years, many men have begun to join in on the fun! Wearing a hat to the Kentucky Derby is much like getting into costume. There are no rules or limits when it comes to your Kentucky Derby hat. You will find hats of elegance and style decorated with flowers, feathers, bows and ribbons! Not only does your Kentucky Derby hat express creativity and individuality, but it is also believed to bear good luck!
While the Kentucky Derby outfits and styles vary, there is one thing they all have in common: the big Derby hat! Some will say that you absolutely should get the outfit first and then design your hat to perfectly match your outfit. This way, it is much easier to find a custom hat than it is to find a custom outfit!
However, others say you must definitely purchase the hat first! Since it is the star of the show you want to find the one that you love the best and not limit your choices to match a specific Derby dress.
Most often in this case, matching the dress (or outfit) to your hat involves personal preference, however keep a few things in mind:
- If your hat is having a pattern party, go for a simple and solid colored dress.
- If the hat is simple and elegant, also go with a classic dress to round out the look.
- If you want a fun and bold outfit, keep it consistent and accent the hat most of all!
The ultimate decision you will need to make is: hat or fascinator?
Fascinators have more recently become a big trend at the Kentucky derby. It is much smaller than a traditional hat, but just as stylish! These chic headpieces were recently popularized by Kate Middleton. They are made from a woven disk and topped with feathers, netting, and more. They are secured to your head with a comb or headband. The benefit of a fascinator is that they can be much more simple to wear compared to a hat, plus, no hat hair!
Once you’ve made your decision, you’re ready to put together the rest of your Kentucky Derby outfit. If your hat is a show-stopper, choose a simple dress that doesn’t compete with it. If you choose a fascinator, choose something sleek and classy to pair it with. However, don’t overthink it too much. Trust your instincts and have fun.