Hats have played an important role in the history of horse racing for centuries, dating as far back as the world famous Royal Ascot in the United Kingdom, where it is decreed that 'all guests within the Royal Enclosure adhere to a strict dress code: male attendees must wear full morning dress including a top hat, while ladies must not show bare midriffs (wish that were still the rule in everyday life these days!) or shoulders and must wear hats'.
It didn't take long for the royal dress code to catch on at the major racetracks in the United States. Patrons at Churchill Downs have been enjoying this respected tradition since 1875.
There are traditional Kentucky Derby fashion rules that you should follow if you want to fit in, whether you're planning on being in the Clubhouse, Paddock or the Infield.
For the men seated in Millionaires Row or the Clubhouse, generally acceptable attire includes solid color suits or tuxedos. Women seated in either location are expected to wear spring-themed hats and dresses in pastel colors.
Over in the infield, the same fashion rules exist but they're taken to new extremes and they are about as relaxed as the atmosphere. Imagine tens of thousands of people dressed in their wackiest and tackiest hats. Now throw in countless bottles of bourbon and you've got a pretty good idea of the kind of horseplay that goes on in the Infield at the Kentucky Derby.
Horse themed hats:
Possibly too large!?