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10 Kentucky Derby hats to buy for the big race

The bigger, the better

5 various hats in different styles Credit: MissRaceKentuckyHat, AMANDACrumbacker, nordstrom, net-a-porter, SummerSequins

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When you think of the Kentucky Derby, your first thought isn't the horse racing: it's the hats. This year the celebration lands on Saturday, May 7th, so mark your calendars, then scroll on to shop for a standout Derby-worthy hat. Whether you're lucky enough to attend the race in person or are dressing up for a Derby-themed party, a show-stopping hat is a must to complete your ensemble as you cheer along with the Run for the Roses mint julep in hand.

Here are ten of our favorite Kentucky Derby hats, from eccentric fascinators to subtle sun hats.

1. An extra big sun hat

Credit: nordstrom

These are our favorite ten Kentucky Derby hats to invest in this year.

There's nothing subtle about this oversized sun hat, making it the perfect match for the Kentucky Derby. With a circumference of 22.5", this hat will keep both your face and shoulders safe from the blazing sun—solely because it includes UPF 50 protection. And if you can't bear to see your favorite horse fall behind in the race, shield your face with the extra-wide brim. 

Get the San Diego Hat Ultrabraid XL Brim Sun Hat from Nordstrom for $53

2. A one-of-a-kind creation

Credit: MissRaceKentuckyHat

These are our favorite ten Kentucky Derby hats to invest in this year.

Many at the Kentucky Derby may use the motto "go big or go home" as they're dressing for the event. How about "go big, go custom, and go butterfly-themed?" This beautiful sinamay headband fascinator, a custom creation, is topped with butterflies for a fresh, spring-like take on a Kentucky Derby hat. Since this design is one-of-a-kind, no two hats will be the same. Plus, the fascinator is attached to a satin-covered headband.  

Get the Kentucky Derby Hat With Butterflies from Etsy for $126

3. A royal-worthy fascinator

Credit: RubyBoseBridal

These are our favorite ten Kentucky Derby hats to invest in this year.

This sculptural fascinator looks like something you'd see princess wear to a royal wedding. Or a fashionable person like yourself wears to the Kentucky Derby. We can't decide what we love more: the oversized bow detail or the cool hues in a color block design. If fuchsia and orange don't match your dress, this Etsy artist sells this design in a variety of other beautiful colors.

Get the Pink and Orange Bow Fascinator from Etsy for $121.50

4. A casual, portable sun visor

Credit: madewell

These are our favorite ten Kentucky Derby hats to invest in this year.

During this Kentucky Derby, opt for something that looks less "look at me!" and more practical. This straw visor from Madewell is just that. It's lightweight, pragmatic, and portable since it rolls up and secures with an elastic band for ultra-easy storage. Stuff it in your tote, and never worry about having the sun in your eyes during the big race.  

Get the Packable Braided Straw Visor from Madewell for $34.50

5. A head-turning headband

Credit: jennifer behr

These are our favorite ten Kentucky Derby hats to invest in this year.

Okay, okay. So this isn't a hat—and that's okay! If you're not much of a hat wearer but want to get in on the Kentucky Derby fashion fun, shop for other standout hair accessories, like this headband, available in nine rich colors. (Chrissy Teigen has been seen wearing one, in case you're wondering why it looks familiar.) The silk faille fabric is ultra-luxe, and each headband comes with three rosettes that have been individually crafted by hand in Jennifer Behr's Brooklyn studio, so each one is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. 

Get the Triple Rosette Headband from Jennifer Behr for $325

6. A vibrant headdress

tulle abstract hat
Credit: AMANDACrumbacker

These are our favorite ten Kentucky Derby hats to invest in this year.

This colorful headdress is decorated with flowers, mesh veils, and feathers, yet is almost (dare we say it?) subtle. Choose between one of nine colors, then wear it for Kentucky Derby fetes, garden parties, and Easter brunches for years to come. It's lightweight and easy to wear with the help of a detachable headband and a hair clip, so you can comfortably rock this look throughout a long afternoon of mint juleps.

Get the Organza Kentucky Derby Hat from Etsy for $28.50

7. A high-fashion straw bucket hat

short straw hat
Credit: net-a-porter

These are our favorite ten Kentucky Derby hats to invest in this year.

Wear this intricately woven straw bucket hat to a Kentucky Derby party (or the race itself!) and then continue to wear it all summer long—to the beach, on vacation, to happy hour on a patio. While its tonal shades of lightweight straw are subtle in their sophisticated construction, the fringe along the brim makes it seriously fun. Just be ready to answer, "Where did you get your hat," on repeat. 

Get the Eugenia Kim Ramona Straw Sunhat from Net-a-Porter for $295

8. A cheeky reminder to hold your horses

Credit: SummerSequins

These are our favorite ten Kentucky Derby hats to invest in this year.

Hold your horses is right! We consider this oversized hat the grand prize. Available in white, ivory, or beige, the most challenging decision will be choosing between the six different colors of sequins, including gold, pink, and black. 

Get the Hold Your Horses hat from Etsy for $77.51

9. A headdress full of feathers

Credit: doramarra

These are our favorite ten Kentucky Derby hats to invest in this year.

There's no blending into the background with this pastel feather headdress. Prepare to get plenty of compliments on this pretty-as-can-be fascinator that screams spring. Pair with a bright outfit or use it as a focal point–no matter what shade you choose, each will be sensational.

Get the Pastel Feather Headdress from Etsy for $65

10. A fancy fascinator 

Credit: Zivyes

These are our favorite ten Kentucky Derby hats to invest in this year.

It's hard to choose a favorite part of this fascinator. The rosette, the feathers, the polka dots? Yes, yes, and yes. However, the best part might be the affordable price and wide range of colors. Talk about the perfect guilt-free purchase! 

Get Zivyes Kentucky Derby headband from Amazon for $13.99

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