Kentucky Derby Hats: A Southern Tradition

On Saturday, May 7, 2016, the Alzheimer’s Association, Central Illinois Chapter will celebrate the Kentucky Derby at our Champagne & Champions event. As we gear up for this one-of-a-kind event, we can’t help but get excited for the eye-catching Kentucky Derby attire.

The Kentucky Derby is commonly known as the time to let out your inner southern belle. From your dress to your shoes, every fashion decision has been meticulously planned in order to look as fabulous as possible. However, the most important aspect of your ensemble, without a doubt, is your hat.

Wearing a hat to the Kentucky Derby originated from the idea that wearing a hat would bring you good luck. This tradition has grown enormously; literally, these hats can be huge! Women in attendance pull out all the stops when it comes to their Derby hats. Men can also participate in this tradition by wearing a fedora or a bowler hat.

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Staff, Andrea Koerber (middle), and attendees Nyssa Midden (left) and Lauren Chrystal (right) sporting their hats at the 2015 Champagne & Champions Derby Party

There are absolutely no rules, your hat can be as neutral or extravagant as you would like. They have become a way to express yourself, as well as a way to show off your creativity. Typically derby hats are wide brimmed hats decorated with flowers, ribbons, feathers, or bows of any color. On the other hand, some hats come in shapes, sizes, and styles beyond the average imagination.

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The winner of the hat contest at the 2015 Champagne & Champions Kentucky Derby Party

Derby hats can be pricey; a great way to show off your style without breaking the bank is to make your Derby Hat yourself.  Check out this Kentucky Derby Hat Tutorial , featuring step-by-step instructions, to help you create your own!

Make sure to bring your best hat to the Alzheimer’s Association, Central Illinois Chapter’s Champagne & Champions Kentucky Derby Party on Saturday, May 7, 2016 to participate in our hat contest. Your hat could be the winner! To purchase tickets call our office at 309-681-1100. 

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Brett and Mandy Ellis & Megan and Adam Pulley in derby-attire at the 2015 Champagne & Champions Kentucky Derby Party