This Is Why People Wear Crazy Hats To The Derby

It began with The Royal Ascot, the most glamorous racing event known for over a hundred years. The races, which are held annually in West Berkshire, England, are as much about sport as they are about the pageantry and fashion. It's like going to SXSW but instead of dressing like a blind hippy (not that that's a bad thing), the patrons dress with as much class and elegance as they can possibly can.

14 June, 1933: An Ascott attendee wears an organza dress with hat and crochet gloves. Via Vogue

20 June, 2012. A racegoer poses for photographers at the Ascot Racecourse on day two of the event. Via Style Bistro

Here's the dress code for this year's Ascot races. They don't mess around.

Anyway, with all the decadence involved with the Royal Ascot, a link soon developed between horse racing and high fashion all over. The tradition jumped the pond from England to America and people attended the Inaugural Kentucky Derby over a hundred years ago decked out in elegant attire. As the hats faded from everyday fashion, the lavish nature  of the hats worn to the derby increased, which makes sense; if Christmas were every day, the trees would be smaller. Same goes for the hat wearing. If you have a hat on now, you better be at a derby, or working on a power line.

According to eHow Style, the hats are believed to bring a little good luck. It's the horse racing version of growing a beard for baseball season (which is now, according to my sport-literate co-workers). For the Kentucky Derby, there are little rules and regulations--Ladies of grace in the paddock and club houses sport tasteful, fashionable styles. Ladies in the infield don hats that take on a "zanier character."

Speaking of character, the hats also function as a way for racegoers to express their personalities. Often, the decadent dress codes offer people the chance to flaunt their wealth, but the hats can be as over-the-top or as sublime as the wearer wants.

Kentucky Derby


While the hat-wearing custom is a dominantly reserved for women, men and children have also arrived with their own cranial works of art:



You're never too old, or too, uh... man to play along. Here are some of the best hats I could find. I want to win the lottery and go to there.

Bleacher Report

Bleacher Report

Bleacher Report

Bleacher Report

Bleacher Report

Fox News

Fox News



Immigrant Student’s College Dream Is Now Shipshape!

** OGTV is celebrating Rosa Parks Day by sharing the story of another trailblazer who did not settle for doing what was expected and instead followed her dreams...all the way to the US Naval Academy! **

This is a story about a determined and humble young woman who came to a country she barely knew to live with complete strangers, all in order to receive the best education possible. In the process she would work hard and defy incredible odds to put herself in the running to become a member of one of the most prestigious institutions in the United States.

Keep reading... Show less

Why Shopping Makes You Feel Good - You Should Know with Lucia Nazzaro

** Here's a short video on why shopping makes you happy to get you amped for Cyber Monday **

This just in! Retail therapy actually works! We love to give you tips and tricks to make sure you are the happiest & healthiest you can be. So here is one more, and it just may be our favorite.

In this brand new episode of You Should Know, Lucia explains how shopping really can improve your well being. Even if you don't buy anything, the positive effects are still there. So tell your spouse you don't necessarily have to spend money... even though it's more fun that way :)

Keep reading... Show less

How to Unclutter Overflowing Closets – Wounded Warrior Closet Makeover

Everyone could use a little help in their daily lives…and watching a good DIY video can always make a difference! OnlyGood TV videos help make your life easier, more manageable, happy and stress free!

After 36 years in the military, U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Luciano Yulfo ended his career in Afghanistan when a bomb shattered his left leg, leaving him disabled and soon to be without a leg. His 27-year-old daughter Sonia is his only caretaker, so it's really tough trying to keep their house in order. But help is on the way! Professional organizing expert, Barbara Reich and ClosetMaid are giving them each a much-needed closet makeover!

Keep reading... Show less

Turkey Carving Tips So You Won't Miss A Bite!

Yum... it's Thanksgiving. We set you up with some tips to cooking the perfect turkey, now on to the carving!

You may think it is easy... but you'd be surprised at how much meat you are actually missing. Executive Chef, Michael Luboff, for Stew Leonard's – the World's Largest Dairy Store and one of the most renowned grocery store chains in the U.S., gives some carving tips to make sure you savor every bit! Along with enjoying it, you want it to look presentable, too!

Keep reading... Show less

Watch How These Goofy Gobblers Spend Their Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is near and the turkeys of Millstone Farm are ready to get moving! Although they're not sure where they're going, their hilarious banter and barnyard strutting is fun to hear and see! Onward, to the Thanksgiving table!

Millstone Farm is a seventy-one acre private, family-owned farm focused on regenerative farming, educational opportunities and innovative technologies that improve the health of our community, our animals and our land.

Keep reading... Show less

7 Tips To Cooking The Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving dinner is the most anticipated cooking/eating event of the year. But don't let the stress of creating a perfect meal get you down. Have a calm, stress free holiday and spend more time with your family by following these simple tips!

Keep reading... Show less

Clown Care is Good for the Heart and the Soul

** To begin our celebration of Thanksgiving week, OGTV proudly shares this heartwarming story about a couple of Big Apple Circus clowns, Dr. Spats and Dr. Boots, who dispense smiles and laughter to the kid's ward of a children's hospital. **

A pop of color in a sterile hallway. A loud peal of laughter from a room that had felt quiet and sad. A huge smile below the shaved head of a young cancer patient. These are just some of the gifts that The Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit provides to kids and families at the hospitals where they work.

Keep reading... Show less

Teacher Saves Program and Keeps Musical Dreams Alive

** It's Future Teacher Of America and to celebrate, OGTV is sharing this story about one noteworthy teacher who stepped out of his comfort zone to save his school's music program. **

Hopefully you have had the good fortune to have a teacher like this - one that you remember all of your life.

Several years ago the students at Rauner College Prep in Chicago, IL, received some bad news - they were told that the schools only music teacher was leaving. For the 350 students in the program, that looked like it would mean the end of their music education.

But then up stepped Robert Vega. He volunteered to become a one-man music department and became an inspiration to his students by taking on all 350 band members to ensure that the arts stay in school.

Keep reading... Show less

* OGTV Top Videos *

Watch and Subscribe
It's a Positivity Movement
OnlyGood TV on YouTube


Get your Only Good TV Newsletter