Hats at the Races | Modern Millinery

Millinery Operations with Kristin Silverman

It’s spring, which means many milliners are busily making hats for the Kentucky Derby and Royal Ascot.

Hats at the races in the early 1900s

Hats and horse racing have gone together for decades, and it’s pretty easy to understand why: It’s a chance to see and be seen, to show off fashions.

Women’s hats get the most attention, but men at Ascot can have the trickier task. For women, it’s all about finding a fabulous hat. (Often they’ll even start with the hat and find a dress to match.) It can be wide-brimmed or small, classic or outlandish. For men, it’s a top hat. But not all top hats are made equally! The dressy, shiny top hats you see are made of silk plush. And guess what? Silk plush isn’t made anymore! That means the only way for a man to get a really great top hat for Ascot is to buy an antique one. Here is a fabulous story about finding out the difference between modern felt top hats and a refurbished silk top hat.

Hats at the Races | Modern Millinery
A hat at the races in 1940s France.

I would wear the hat above in a heartbeat. It’s classic and wouldn’t look at all out of place at a racing event in 2017. But for a newer style, here is some eye candy for you:

A variety of styles by Marie Galvin Fine Millinery

A small headpiece by Millistarr…

A medium-sized ladies’ top hat by yours truly…

Hats at the Races | Modern Millinery
Purple straw top hat for Kentucky Derby or Royal Ascot by Silverhill Creative Millinery

Or this sculptural headpiece from Philip Treacy…

If you’re going to a racing event this year, what style of hat are you wearing? If you aren’t going, what kind of hat would you wear if you could?

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