Statement Hats

Published on March 16, 2015
Written by Ray Access

Whether you’re planning to attend the Kentucky Derby on May 1 or the Blockhouse Steeplechase on May 2, you don’t have much time to get your hat ready. And don’t even think about attending either race without one. For women, it’s a major fashion faux pas, and for men, well, it’s just not done. The South still has certain traditions that should not be broken.

Now, gentlemen can get by with a cap blazoned with your favorite horse picture or functional hat that holds a couple beer cans with straws. But you ladies need to get really creative to stand out in this crowd — never mind having any chance at all of winning a prize. So presented here are a few “helping hands” in your effort to don a decent statement hat.

Enter the Ladies of Hats

Let your own inner artist shine. Take one of your big-brimmed straw hats and decorate it with yards of lace. Stack flowers, beads and shiny things on the top. Nothing is too much in this season of horse racing. Going over the top is just the place to begin.

If you’re stumped, though, call one of the special “hat ladies.” They may or may not be able to create a custom hat in time for this year’s events, but they may be able to point you in the right direction. But don’t wait! These ladies are always busy this time of year.

  • Marta Glazen works out of Cleveland, Ohio. She has won numerous awards for her stunning hat creations in contests and at horse races around the country. If you don’t have time to book a custom design with her, consider one of her in-house creations, like those from her black-and-gold collection — they are nothing short of purely sensational. Check out Marta’s hats and go for your own gold ribbon.
  • Sallie Faith Steinmann is the owner and designer at Maggie Mae Designs in South Harwich, Massachusetts. A life-long horse-lover, Sallie is renowned for her Derby hats. She even runs a blog titled “Hats and Horses.” Even if you can’t make one of the horse races, you still may want to check out a custom hat from this premier milliner for an upcoming wedding or just for springtime strolling in town.
  • Dee’s is a craft and home decorating store in Louisville, Kentucky, that sells all the paraphernalia you could possibly need to create your own Derby bonnet. And they sell a unique line of hats created just for the famous horse races. A new line they’re showing for 2015 is called Olivia Hats, which are sold exclusively at Dee’s. The Derby hats feature one-of-a-kind elements and designs. You are sure to find one that tickles your fancy.

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