Where to Find the Perfect Kentucky Derby® Hat

Posted by Carolynn Wilcox on Mon, Nov 9, 2015

Wide, floppy brims, ornate decorations and huge, colorful blooms are the norm on Derby day.  Have you ever seen an “overdone” hat at the Kentucky Derby?  Sure, you might not wear it on the street in broad daylight on any other day of the year, but on Derby day, anything goes except bare heads.  If you’re not wearing a fashionable hat to the Derby, you’re just not doing it right!  Not sure where to find your hat for the Kentucky Derby?  We’ve put together a list to guide you!

Local Louisville Boutiques

It’s all about finding the perfect hat to match your personality…and your dress!  There are a number of Louisville boutiques that specialize in custom-designing your perfect Derby hat, as well as shops that carry classic and vintage looks from years gone by.  Regardless of your style, there’s no doubt that a fabulous Derby hat awaits you on the streets of Louisville – especially if you’ve ordered a custom hat in advance!

Peacock Boutique

Much like its namesake, Peacock Boutique, makes it known up front that its goal is to ruffle feathers and make statements with its selection.  This clothing store, located on Frankfort Avenue in Louisville, keeps the most illustrious names in fashion on its shelves and carries a wide variety of traditional Derby hats as well as fascinators for the trend-conscious lady (FYI, fascinators are small, ornamental headpieces that were recently made popular by Kate and Pippa Middleton).  Be sure to stop in to this boutique when you’re in town for the Derby!

Dee’s Hats

Dee’s Hats can be found on Shelbyville Road in Louisville and features ready-made designer hats, fascinators, thousands of yards of ribbon and trim, a feather bar and over a thousand plain hats ready to be transformed into the perfect Derby accessory by Dee’s expert designers!  Dee’s specializes in custom-made, fully flaunt-worthy hats for the Kentucky Derby that reflect the wearer’s personality.  Before you place a special order with Dee’s, browse their selection of designer hats and fascinators as well as unadorned hats to get a good idea of what you’d like!  Have an unadorned hat already, or want to redecorate a hat from a previous year?  Dee’s can take care of that as well!  Look through their website and contact them to get their advice on how to create your perfect Derby hat.

Sarah Havens Millinery

Sarah Havens has spent twenty years creating hats purely for fashion as well as for theatre companies, working with professional companies such as the Santa Fe Opera, the Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Louisville Ballet, The Stage One Children’s Theatre and The Cincinnati Play House in the Park.  All of her experience designing beautiful costumes and accessories gives her the perfect background for creating fabulous, extravagant Derby hats!  If you have the perfect Derby hat already but it’s seen better days, Sarah can also refurbish custom hats to look like new again.  Check out her Etsy shop for examples of her incredible work, and visit her website to contact her!

Elizabeth’s Timeless Attire

Vintage is timeless.  Also located on Frankfort Avenue, Elizabeth’s Timeless Attire carries lovely, ornate, classic accessories from days gone by.  Journey into the past as you enter this quaint shop and peruse items from the 1870s to the 1970s, many of which come from well-established Louisville families.  Even if you don’t spot your ideal chapeau, you’re guaranteed to find something you can’t live without, whether it’s jewelry, clothing, shoes, gloves or an umbrella!


Known for being the online source for all things unique, handmade and/or vintage, Etsy is a fabulous resource when it comes to finding your Kentucky Derby hat.  A simple search on Etsy for “Kentucky Derby hat” just yielded more than 7,000 results – and that doesn’t include the hats that can be custom-ordered by shop owners who specialize in designing Derby hats.  Even if you don’t see “the one,” you’re guaranteed to get some unique ideas just from browsing the selection!

Start Planning Your Outfit for the 2016 Kentucky Derby® Now!

Your Derby outfit is not something you want to scrounge up at the last minute – get a jump start by finding the perfect dress and ordering a custom hat before the busy season arrives!  Whatever you wear, though, make sure you wear it to a classy venue.  What better place to make a statement than one of Churchill Downs’ many renovated spaces?  Derby Experiences has exclusive access to these glamorous seating areas, available through a number of our Official Ticket Packages.  Be the first to experience the new upgrades at Churchill Downs, and make sure you’re dressed to the nines while you do it!

Get My 2016 Kentucky Derby Ticket Package!