Hats: The Most Important Part of the Kentucky Derby

This is a little bit of a “Throw Back Thursday” post, but I wanted to share the hat I decorated for a Kentucky Derby party I went to in May. There was a hat contest at the party, so I knew I had to bring my A-game. There are beautiful hats available in the spring, but every time I look at one of those expensive hats I just think “I could do that” and I’m unable to justify spending that money on something I could make myself for much less.

Finding the right hat base to use was the trickiest part because I was on a limited time frame. There were a lot of really cool hat bases on Amazon, but they wouldn’t be delivered in time, so I found this hat from the San Diego Hat Company that worked perfectly!


I went to my local fabric store and bought a lot of random ribbon, feathers, flowers, tulle, french netting and horsehair (not what you think, it’s coarse fabric typically used to stiffen hems, but is great for accent details too).

I am such an indecisive person when it comes to designing things like this, so I spent a few days playing around with different ideas. I would pin things in place and just stare at it while I thought of new ideas.

Insider tip: if you buy a hat that is too big and won’t sit in the right spot on your head, go to your local hardware store and buy some weather stripping. –Yes, that stuff you put around your door frame. Trust me.– There is a lining around the base of the hat that it can stick in between making the hat diameter smaller.

Here is the finished product!

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I don’t often take selfies (with or without a mirror), still trying to master that whole thing.

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Me with my handsome husband. (I may or may not have persuaded him to wear matching blue pants.)

Until next year, Kentucky Derby.