The question is as classic as, which came first the chicken or the egg? That question is which do you choose first, the dress or the hat?
Personally, I like to make my hat first. It’s easier to find a dress that will work. Although, if you are having your hat made, then it’s 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. Here are some tips from MAGGIE HEELY in an article for Louisville.com.
First things first, lets talk etiquette. Yes ladies, there is a proper way to wear your Derby hat. This is from the Louisville.com article:
-Women’s hats should be worn on the top of the head, not tilted back, but shadowing over one eye, preferably with the embellishments showing towards the tilt.
-Embellishments go directly to the front center or just off center in the front of the hat.
-The bigger the better.
-Your hair should be worn completely off your face, either pulled back, or if worn down it should be behind your ears…some people even poo poo bangs showing.
Men, this goes for you too! Here are tips for the gentlemen from The Art of Manliness (you can also find some great styles there too):
-Wear your hat pushed back to seem more open and accessible
-Tilt your hat over your eyes to seem mysterious and intimidating
-Tilt your hat up 1 inch from completely straight to project an all-business attitude
-Promptly remove your hat upon entering an elevator, restaurant, or someone’s home. Never wear your hat during a meal.
-Touch the brim of your hat lightly when greeting a friend.
-Raise the hat by the crown when meeting a female friend in public.
-Remove your hat during the national anthem and place it over your heart.
Now that we have that out-of-the-way. Here is a link to my Pinterest board of Derby Hat Ideas. There are so many different styles you can choose from. Popular now are fascinators. They are headbands or hair combs with a beautiful “mini hat” style and are great for those that don’t feel comfortable wearing a hat or feel like hats are flattering on them.
No matter what your choice, you can go simple or crazy with both. However, if you are attending the Derby, you want to keep in mind where you will be sitting. Sarah Schmalbruch, in an article for Business Insider, explains that if you are in the Infield, it’s a much more relaxed, shorts and T-shirt atmosphere. Heading into the grandstand and all the way up to Millionaires Row, your level of seating should dictate how formally you are dressed.
My favorite quote from that article is that “[s]he advises wearing something that’s going to make you and the people around you smile.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.
Your hat should make you feel beautiful…and lucky! On that note, the superstition is that the bigger the hat the luckier you’ll be.
The struggle is real…to find a Derby hat winner.
The above photo is courtesy of a slideshow from Daily News of crazy Derby hats. You’ll need to look. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
You can start here to get an idea and then follow-up on my next post for more how to’s from me!
Let’s talk about making your own hat or fascinator. I have done both in the past and they are both easy to complete. P.S. – I made this… has a great how-to for making a fascinator with a hair comb as a base.
Also check out Making a Hat, Derby Party DIY, and my Step-by-Step Tutorial for making a hat!