The Kentucky Derby has long been a showcase for world-class thoroughbreds to display their speed, power and grace, but it’s also a throwback fashion show complete with some of the most creative and decorative hats harkening back to the early 20th century.
A 140th Kentucky Derby champion will be crowned Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, but much of the attention will turn to the stands and all the unique ideas spectators have come up with for their hats.
Coming in an assortment of colors and sizes, most of the hats have a very wide brim that extends over the wearer’s shoulders. Loose, flowing lace rests at the top, along with a flower or more simple decoration.
Many take the original hat, and pile on even more flowers and lace with an even wider brim.
Others use a different fabric foundation and load up on decorative pins, feathers and flamingos.
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There are also lots of examples of life-like dioramas or ones topped with wild props.
Then there’s the more resourceful Derby attendee, who puts their own twist on the haberdashery tradition.
American Olympic figure skaters Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir, fresh off their highly-praised coverage during the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, are sure to provide their critique on the best hats of the day as well.