Not unlike Coachella, the Kentucky Derby boasts its own very specific genre of fashion. While the theme is generally pretty preppy—think eyelet, lots of seersucker, and Vineyard Vines everything—there is one accessory that outshines it all. The hats! It’s kind of like the flower crown to music festivals, but it’s based on the founding tradition that men and women should be in “full morning dress” like European-style racing events.
However, according to the Kentucky Derby’s website, the extravagant hat business kicked in come the ‘60s. Today, it’s very much an integral part of the event, but that doesn’t mean you have to wear one. Whether you just don’t dig them or you’re not even about to deal with hat hair, we’ve rounded up chic, unique, and on-trend hair accessories that are worth the swap.
VIDEO: Kentucky Derby Stud Fees
LELET NY Palm Leaf Halo gold-plated headband
Go matchy-matchy and give your palm leaf A-line a corresponding accessory with this Grecian-inspired gold palm leaf headband. It's pricey, but don't you think the Derby is worth the splurge?
MAISON MICHEL Calie embellished gingham cotton headband
Gingham is trending hard this spring, so let it show up in your hairstyle, too. This embellished headband is so cute… it might even draw attention away from the race.
ROSANTICA Fluffy tinsel hair tie
Whimsy is defined in this tinsel hair tie.
Coast Bow Mono Fascinator
Go for a fascinator-like vibe (without the bobby pins to keep it in place) with this elaborate bow headband.
Chloe + Isabel Starburst Convertible Hairpiece
Maybe you don’t want to hide your blowout under a hat. Can’t blame you! Up the ante with hair jewelry, like this glitzy coverable chain that can detach from the comb.
Fromm 1907 Bright Pink Bow Hair Ties
Not into straw hats decorated with ribbons and bows? Ditch the topper and take a minimalist approach to the girly accessory. These vegan leather bows are fastened on hair ties, giving your ponytail a subtle yet super feminine costume.
Regal Rose Sunflower Hair Bead Set
Bring in spring by accenting your braids with sunflower beads.