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Kentucky Derby Hat Tradition

Kentucky Derby always catches people’s attention by some interesting horse names, mint juleps, and incredible headgear. It’s also known as an occasion of relaxation. From paying tribute to southern classics to amusing creativity, hats at Derby come in various styles, shapes and colours under the sun or even a light spring drizzle. In case the Kentucky Derby is on your bucket list, perhaps an exquisite headpiece is needed, because a hat could make or screw the trip. It’s necessary to know about some Kentucky Derby hat traditions, so that one could choose an appropriate hat to enjoy the exciting two minutes in sports.

Know about Hat Traditions from A to Z

Meriwether Lewis Clark, the founder of Kentucky Derby, visited London and Paris in 1872. After witnessed two impressing  European longest-running derbies, Clark made a great decision  and returned to America, carrying the vision of thriving America’s race tracks. At that time, horse races in the States were taken as a sign of brutish and low-class entertainments like gambling and boxing. What he would like to do was to attract the richest people to the racetracks. He took pains to transform the poor reputation of the tracks into a fashion and elegant place.

What did he do to reach the purpose? He asked all his female friends to dress their best clothes and pasted post on his wagon while he drove around the town by telling all they got off to have a picnic at the racetrack. After a short term, the tracks turned to a place to see and be seen. All people attended such activities in their best. Since then, hats have swept then fashion circles and persisted.

How these traditions evolved with time? 

Nowadays, exaggerate and flamboyant hats occur to most people when it comes to Derby, Nevertheless, such traditions are derived from the founding of the races. In recent years, they have been developed towards the loud and gargantuan. Race-goers didn’t wear hats to horse races until the 1960s. After that time, they used to rock over-the-top or ridiculous headpieces. Partially, such traditions’ thriving lie in the relaxation of social norms; live television also played an important role in the cross-country craze. Since then, all female had more reason and occasions to be exceptional in the crowds.

Fashionistas credited those iconic hats of celeberities like then First Lady Jackie Onassis and Audrey Hepburn as inspiration for many Derby hats at that time. Certainly, casual fishing hats‘ characteristics were not consistent with vibes of such occasions. Up to now, huge and gargantuan hats turn to a fixture of the races while they are not necessary accessories over the past few decades. However, eye-catching hats at the royal wedding facilitate a huge comeback of headpieces at the Kentucky Derby. Then, gimmicky hats turn prominent at the Derby, too. More and more toys and interesting headpieces will come into sight of the public. It is also a visual feat. When it refers to hats, race-goers have created many classic and eye-catching looks.