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Kentucky Derby hats were big, bright and out of this world

The hats of the 2014 Kentucky Derby saw a resurgence of the traditional, yet colorful southern belle hat.
The hats of the 2014 Kentucky Derby saw a resurgence of the traditional, yet colorful southern belle hat.
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The 140th running of the Kentucky Derby did not disappoint horse racing fans and hat fashionistas, as viewers tuned in to the incredible spectacle of tradition at the Church Hill Downs on Saturday, May 5. The Kentucky Derby fashion parade showcases the best of spring and summer hat attire and this year’s trend was big, bold and out of this world.

Nicole Murphy poses at the Kentucky Derby.
Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon

Young and old, men and women, celebrity and race fan adorned beautiful hats at this year’s Kentucky Derby. Hats shaped as roses, inverted fascinators, feathers, embellishments and hats made to honor fans’ favorite horses were seen throughout the weekend's events and nothing was off limits, as evident in the slideshow.

Dating back to 1875, the Kentucky Derby tradition has been full of beautiful horses, hats, mint juleps and champagne. According to a little history, the Kentucky Derby dress code is based upon where one sits and spends the day. Dressing for the grandstand, clubhouse, suites and corporate hospitality areas will be somewhat formal as compared to the fun and frivolity of the infield.

Prevalent at this year’s 2014 Kentucky Derby was an abundance of colorful hats. Yes, black and white were plentiful, however color or feathers accented the chapeaus. The fascinators made popular after the nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton were not as rampant as last year and took on a life of their own with large sizes and even larger bows. This year the Kentucky Derby saw a resurgence of the traditional southern belle hat.

The Kentucky Derby’s hat parade of pomp and circumstance also included philanthropy with the signing of the six-liter Möet & Chandon bottle, auctioned off to benefit the Church Hill Downs Foundation. Celebrities such as Johnny Weir and Nicole Murphy posed for the cameras to show off their Kentucky Derby hats and other assets.

The third leg of the Triple Crown ends at Long Island’s own Belmont Park in Elmont, NY. The 2014 Belmont Stakes will be held on June 7 and the countdown begins for Long Island race and fashion fans to compete with Kentucky Derby hats. Every year New Yorkers and visitors to Belmont Park attempt to rival the Kentucky Derby. To find your bright, bold and beautiful hat search Lady Diane Hats for fascinators, feathers, designer hats and more. Virtually try on your selection to see if the hat fashion suits your face.