THE BLOG

A Tip of the Hat, Kentucky Derby Style

04/29/2015 05:45 pm ET | Updated May 01, 2016

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Photo courtesy of goldplaited, hats by Angela Moreno

Hats. Fascinators. Chapeaus. Whatever you call them, women attending the Kentucky Derby plan what hat they will wear almost as much as which horse they will back.

Derby hats come in all shapes and sizes. Every year there are genius examples of do-it-yourself theme chapeaus that make a statement far beyond fashion. Others look like one of Cecil Beaton's creations for the horse race in the film My Fair Lady,

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Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Snyder

If you are going to the Derby or even a Derby party, how often do you get to wear a fabulous hat? Fascinators skyrocketed onto the map after Kate Middleton married Prince William. It seemed that every other woman was wearing a one. Not quite a serious broad rimmed hat and not quite a headband, fascinators broke new ground!

The question is "What's the secret to styling a fascinator look?" Goldplaited, a finishing salon headquartered in Chicago, has been working with clients preparing their Derby looks. The salon's owners, sisters Mary Alice and Corinna Strong, grew up in the horse-mad Genesee Valley in New York, and have been dressing for race meets since they could walk. The Goldplaited sisters are recommending two fascinator looks, hair up and hair down, for Derby day.

"On model, Lauren (below), we chose an elegant, side-swept,chignon to show off her stunning color. By pulling the hair to one side, both the style and her charming green hat are on display. Chignon's are timeless, classy and can truly be effortless. Create your own chignon by gathering your hair into a low side pony. For added texture and detail, consider curling your hair in medium sized sections while it's in the pony tail.Twist the hair around itself as if you are forming a bun, secure with a bobby pin that closely matches your hair color. Chignons can be shaped and pinned to your desired style."

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Photo courtesy of goldplaited, hats by Angela Moreno

"On model, Erin (below), we went for casual waves to perfectly compliment her bold, fun hat. Undone, beachy hair with texture will be the "it-style" for Spring and Summer and lucky for Derby fans, it looks great under a fascinator! To achieve this look, prep your wet hair with mousse for fullness and rough dry it. Add styling creme or texture spray to give your hair a little grit. Use a wand or large barrel curling iron to create the waves, we recommend curling medium to large sections of hair. To prevent flat hair, we recommend curling on the tighter side and letting the curls fall to a looser place over time."

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Photo courtesy of goldplaited, hats by Angela Moreno

Some looks from previous Kentucky Derbies

  • Courtesy of Penelope Miller/America's Best Racing
  • Courtesy of Penelope Miller/America's Best Racing
  • Courtesy of Penelope Miller/America's Best Racing
  • Courtesy of Penelope Miller/America's Best Racing
  • Courtesy of Penelope Miller/America's Best Racing