The Derby Hat Tradition

The Derby hat tradition

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS 11)--With about a month until the first Saturday in May, time is running out to find that perfect hat.

If you're looking for a hat on a budget, the Kentucky Derby Museum is hosting an event this Thursday offering hats from $18 to $75.

Retail Operations Director Katie Stephenson says their third annual Big Brims and Fancy Trims Hat Sample Sale is their largest one yet with a big selection to choose from. There will be hats, fascinators, and hascinators for sale.

“We want to bring the community together and say hey you don't have to spend a ton of money to look fabulous,” Stephenson said.

Looking fabulous with the Derby hat tradition is as old as The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports.  A man named Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. wanted to start high profile horse racing in America, requiring full morning dress code at the Kentucky Derby from the start in 1875. He marketed it in a way that women's fashion quickly became just as important as the racing.

Communications Manager for Kentucky Derby Museum Lindsay English says at that time and into the 1960’s wearing a hat was fashionable in general.

“In the 1960’s, that's kind of when you started to see the really over the top DIY crazier hats that we still see today,” English said.

Today's royalty also spiked a more recent trend.

“When you saw the duchess and everybody sporting those very cool fascinators then we started seeing a lot more at the derby,” Stephenson said.

Their styles of hats you can get this Thursday that English says can help keep their tradition of housing Derby history.

“They help us continue all the great programming-education programs that we do here at the Museum,” English said.

The sample sale goes from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Kentucky Derby Museum a $10 ticket also gets you complimentary hors d'oeuvres and wine. You're encouraged to get your tickets soon because less than a 100 are left of 400. 

For more information click here.
 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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