Now that you’ve heard my how-to find and style the perfect derby-day hat let me show you an incredibly easy trick to spice up any hat you probably already own (see picture #5 on my Pattern Pulp post).
Weather you plan on watching the race at home, in a bar, or perhaps you were lucky enough to score a ticket to the festivities at Churchill Downs you are going to need a hat! Since derby hats can tend to be quite expensive, this will be a creative way for you to save money, besides, you’re going to need that extra cash to buy a round of mint juleps for your pals!
Supplies you’ll need:
- hat (I will show you 2 examples with a fedora and a floppy brimmed beach hat)
- straight pins
- large silk flower
- thimble, depending how thick your hat it (optional)
- thread & needle (optional)
- scissors (if you decide to use the thread & needle)
I found my inspiration by looking at other derby hats and how they were finished.
The common characteristics have to do with a combination of brightly colored bows, flowers, feathers, lace, etc. I chose one large flower and one slim feather to keep it simple but feel free to get imaginative with yours to create the aesthetic you want!
Let’s first start with the floppy brimmed hat. Using a straight pin, fold part of the brim up and pin it down.
Then take your flower and pin in in the center of the folded area.
Once you have your flower in place, take your feather and slide it inside the fold next to your flower, if possible, bend the straight pin just enough to secure the feather in place as well. You can actually stop at this point if you’d like since the straight pins are pretty proficient on securing your decorations. However, if you’s like to take an extra step on securing the finishes on your hat, this is where your thread and needle come into play. All you need to do is thread your needle and tack down your finishes from the inside of the hat. This extra step is optional, however, I did tack it down slightly to ensure the brim would stay in place and not collapse over my finish.
Viola! Its really that simple!
Now, if you decided on a derby fedora instead, first, decide where you want the flower placed. Since the front brim of a fedora is rather short, I am fond of the finish to be on the side. Then, take a straight pin and secure the flower in place. Once secure, pin your feather slightly angled straight back which gives the hat a very sleek look. Since there is no fold like there was on the floppy brim hat you must secure the feather with its own pin ensure it stays in place.Again you have the option to secure it even more with a needle and thread if you like. I skipped this step on the fedora, since I wasn’t worried about the brim flopping over like it could on the hat above.
No fuss, no muss. Its really that easy. Even if your horse doesn’t win, the odds are high you will have a blast wearing your new fancy hat. Don’t you wish more sports had fashionable traditions?