July 22, 2009

I finally, FINALLY get my chance to wear a big hat!

Yes, ladies. Next week I will be up in lovely Saratoga for Opening Weekend at the track!

But it gets better.

Much better.

August 1-2. At Saratoga. Is... the...


Yes, you read that right. I squealed like a pig on helium when I found out about this. The entire weekend is a festival of live music, local gourmet food and big effing hats.

A little background here: I wrote a post some time back in adoration of the gorgeous and enormous toppers ladies wear to the races, polo matches and such. The absolute Mecca of big hats is, of course, the Kentucky Derby. Churchill Downs becomes inundated with gentlemen in bow ties and croakies, and ladies in sundresses and wide-brim hats, fedoras, deep-rolled brim hats, and even couture creations that'll set you back several hundred dollars.

I adore huge hats on women. To me, they are the perfect concoction of grace, elegance, femininity and whimsy. And there are very few places in which one can still pull this look off. Even less in the North than in the South.

So while it may be a few years before I get to the Derby, I am thrilled to be attending Hats Off to Saratoga. Hats are a long-standing tradition at this gorgeous park, and next weekend, Saratoga will be hopping with people and live music. They even cap off this weekend with a hat contest on Sunday. I am in a wedding on Friday night, but I will rise early and come hell or hangover, I will be at the track by noon on Saturday.

But wait, it gets better.

I have decided that instead of shelling out $300+ for a custom hat I'll wear once (I'm saving that dough for Italy), or settling for the gramma-style pink straw numbers they sell at Sears, I am going to make my own hat. Not the hat itself - that I'm buying - but once I have the dress picked, I am shopping for a wide-brim hat and tricking it out with flowers, feathers, and ribbon. Maybe even some netting, if I'm feeling frisky.

Next post: the right hat for you, and dress/hat combinations to die for.


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