So, where does one start shopping for a hat worthy of the Kentucky Derby?
For me, I start in a department store at the mall where the African American women shop. Let's face it, white women just don't wear hats of this caliber. I tried the big flagship Macy's but it wasn't in the right neighborhood. I also found that while Macy's might have better prices with all their sales, Dillard's has a much bigger selection.
My 2011 and 2012 Kentucky Derby hat
Costume jewelry stores are a good place to look, too. My first Kentucky Derby hat came from one of these stores. It was inexpensive and it didn't stand the test of time but it was a good place to start.
My first Kentucky Derby hat, 2008
And then there's the internet. Here are some websites with a good selection of hats
Etsy has a ton of sellers with Kentucky Derby hats. A few of my favorite Etsy shops- The Original Tree, Carolina Hat Girl, and Award Design.
Dee's Crafts in Louisville has a mind blowing selection of hats.
Hats in the Belfry
Lady Diane Hats
Maggie Mae Designs
Just be sure to check the return policy if you order online!
Another tip- if you need a hat box, the Container Store has square hat boxes with string handles.
I'm going to try again in a couple weeks. I hope I have better luck!