Great Louisville Shops for Buying a Last-Minute Derby Hat
Ladies and distinguished gents, we’re down to the last three days before the big horse race. And you know what that means—it’s time to start putting your Kentucky Derby ensemble together, mixing and matching your brightest and most patterned pieces for the South’s coveted event of spring. Whether you’re attending Oaks Day or Thurby, heading to the Churchill Downs Racetrack, or hosting your own viewing party at home, you can’t forget the most important accessory to complete your outfit: the hat. But the clock is ticking, so you’ll have to nix those previous plans to DIY your own wide-brim covering. Luckily, though, there’s still enough time to purchase an outlandish hat or fancy fascinator to complement your beautiful dress and his pastel-colored suit. Here, we’ve compiled the best locally owned shops, boutiques, and millineries in Louisville to solve your headwear woes. You’ll be trotting out in style before you know it, long before the Thoroughbreds “run for the roses.” Now, off to the races—and stores—you go!
Dee’s stands for Derby. You can order a custom-designed hat for men and women or a fascinator. And the Louisville destination is about as close to finding something last minute as it comes, considering you can place your order as late as Friday, May 5, where your hat will be ready and waiting for you on Saturday morning.
5045 Shelbyville Road; deeshats.com or 502-896-6755
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Work the Metal
This store’s tagline is “sophisticated, smart, and affordable.” That just so happens to be our favorite three things, too. We’re sure you’ll find a hat at Work the Metal that checks off all three boxes for Derby Day. The inventory here ranges from clothing and jewelry to accessories and home decor.
1201 Story Ave.; workthemetal.com or 502-584-2841
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Apricot Lane Boutique
Apricot Lane boasts a robust collection of West Coast-meets-South inspired fashion. No matter the occasion, you’re sure to find an attention-grabbing hat or fascinator here.
1301 Herr Lane, Ste 170; apricotlaneboutique.com or 502-708-2822
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
If you're in search of a head-to-toe Derby look, make a pit stop at Liv’s, a contemporary lifestyle boutique that showcases the best in Southern fashion, home, and beauty. You can grab a hat, a pretty spring dress, and matching shoes and accessories at this one-stop shop.
3704 Lexington Road; livboutiqueonline.com or 502-654-7337
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Stella's Resale Boutique
As it goes in fashion, once you've been photographed wearing something, out it goes. Well, Stella's is the place where Derby hats of the past can come and have a second shelf life. You'll find inexpensive yet upscale consignment clothing, shoes, and accessories to help you blend in with Churchill Downs' most fashionable set. Case in point: the vintage Christian Dior feathered creation pictured above. Swoon.
401 Wallace Ave.; stellasresale.com or 502-649-5204
Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
You may have seen Jenny Pfanenstiel’s work on The Oprah Show and the Grammy Awards, in Vogue magazine, and at Churchill Downs. In addition to being the owner and Master Milliner at Formé Millinery, she’s also the official milliner of the Kentucky Derby Museum. So if you’re looking for something slightly quirky and one-of-a-kind, stop by Mellwood Center and snag one of her highly sought-after designs before it’s too late.
1860 Mellwood Ave., Ste 111; formeonlineshop.com or 502-708-2822
Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., and by appointment
As the name implies, Something Blue is the perfect destination for wedding accessories and gifts. But also among its festive selection are rainbow-colored hats and fascinators. You’ll definitely stand out in the crowd with a head piece from this store.
9448 Norton Commons Blvd; somethingbluelouisville.com or 502-749-6441
Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Griffin Hatters at The Mysterious Rack
Surprisingly, it was the genteel Derby affair that inspired Olivia Griffin—owner of The Mysterious Rack and the Griffin Hatters line of hats—to make the move from San Francisco to Louisville. Truly the mad hatter, she’s been keeping Derby City’s fashionable mavens on trend since 2015. All of Griffin’s hats and fascinators for men and women are carefully crafted with her signature accents.
558 S. Fourth St; griffinhatters.com or 650-731-2546
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.