With so much excitement surrounding preparation for the Parade of Hats at the upcoming races, I wanted to take a moment to recognize a group that is often overlooked for their hat fashions on Derby day. MEN! The tradition of wearing hats at horse races started in the United Kingdom long before the start of the Kentucky Derby. Men wore top hats and would never be seen in public without their hat. When the Derby started in 1875, it was still customary for men to wear hats, but as time went on the prevalence of men’s hats at the races started to dwindle as women continued to don over the top designs.
In recent years, we have seen the fashionable males bringing hats back to the races, but the styles have changed from the top hat days. Men are choosing hats that reflect their personal style and make a statement at the same time.
Mr. Hugh Hefner seen here with his “Girls Next Door” stars went for the classic straw fedora in 2008. He understands that the ladies are the stars of the Parade of Hats, but that is no reason that a man can’t be dapper as well.
In 2008, Dwayne Wade was ahead of the stingy brim trend, with this great straw fedora. The tobacco colored straw hat was the focal point of his ensemble with an understated cream suit, proving that the hat can be the star of your Derby outfit even without having feathers and flowers.
Joey Fatone, former boy band member turned actor turned television game show host is not always known for his fashion sense. But he did a great job of keeping things casual while still being Derby appropriate at the 2009 races. He wore a classic grey suit with black sneakers and a great black snap brim fedora. I like a guy that doesn’t take himself too seriously.
At last year’s Derby, the guy that turned heads with his hat style was without a doubt, rocker Pete Wentz. He went for a throw back with his Newsboy cap, bowtie and high socks. Some said that he looked like he was wearing a costume, but I think he looked great. The Derby is a day when you can step out of your normal fashion comfort zone and get creative.
So while you are sipping Mint Juleps in the hot sun, Guys, don’t forget your lids. - Shannon