One hundred and forty-three years ago, the Kentucky Derby was founded by Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. as a high-society event, meaning attendees were required to wear formal morning dress. Style quickly became a huge part of the sporting event, but it wasn’t until the ’60s that women began to let loose with their fashion, and hats became an iconic part of Derby culture.
Predictably, oversized hats and pastel hues are having a moment — they always do. But some people managed to go above and beyond with their choice of toppers. With this in mind, scroll down to see some of the wildest hats from the 2017 Kentucky Derby.
1Because sometimes, you don’t want to be subtle.
2If you’re realllllly into feathers.
3This one has some serious Mad Hatter vibes.
4Kentucky Derby, meet Cinco de Mayo.
5For the peacock lover.
6Baby, you’re a firework.
7This grandma even got a pony on hers.
8So did this woman!
9OKAY, biggest bloom ever.
10Yes, guys wear derby hats, too. (This guy nailed it.)
11And they can get pretty darn creative with them!
12This hat is practically modern art.
13And how cute is the text on this one?!
14This one might get the prize for size.
15And this girl matched her ribbons to her highlights.
16This crafty gal clearly has a taste for mint juleps.
17As for “Best in Show,” we have to say this hat takes the cake.
Hats off to these Derby hats!