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Kentucky Derby Hats And Fashion 2012

Despite being dubbed as the Fastest Two Minutes In Sports, the Kentucky Derby is a day-long event, that has almost become a type of gala for the public and celebrities alike. Part of this pageantry involves women's head wear, specifically, those gigantic, crazy looking, stylish hats, which have been dubbed Kentucky Derby hats.

The Kentucky Derby's own website embraces this as well, with a page under the 'Fashion' tab to talk specifically about Derby hats.

Part Southern tradition, part spectacle, the Kentucky Derby hat parade is much of what makes "The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports" one of the greatest people-watching events in the world! From the fantastic to the sublime, there are no rules or limits when it comes to choosing your Derby hat.

Whether to make a statement or just keep the sun at bay, Kentucky Derby hats are part of the tradition and the pageantry that make a trip to the Derby an unforgettable experience.

If you're going to be attending this year's Kentucky Derby, and you're not sure what to wear -- don't fret, the Kentucky Derby's website once again gives you a guide on what you should wear, but bear in mind, the Derby's website also said there are "no rules or limits" when it comes to the Derby Hats, so the same should be somewhat applicable to the outfit -- just keep it reasonably classy.

In the reserved seating areas (grandstand, clubhouse, suites and corporate hospitality areas), ladies typically wear pastel-colored suits, frilly dresses or bold separates that coordinate with their Derby headwear and accessories.

While high heels are certainly part of the total Derby ensemble, experienced Derby divas also pack a pair of fashionable yet comfortable flats or flip flops to wear home.

As for guys, don't try to out think it. Khakis and a shirt, tie and navy blue blazer is perfectly fine and preferred. If you do try to over-think your outfit as a guy, well, you'll end up looking like that guy -- and nobody wants to be that guy, right? Right.

If you're just going to be hanging out on the infield, though, then it's just another day at the park. Literally.

The Kentucky Derby infield comes with its own agenda and dress code. Unbridled fun and frivolity is the focus of infield fans and with that attitude comes the need to be practical in all apparel choices. Infielders typically sport jeans or shorts, T-shirts, tanks or polo shirts, sneakers or comfortable sandals and other varieties of durable (and washable) attire.

So, there you have it. A quick, easy and basic guide to fashion for the 2012 Kentucky Derby. You can thank me later.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.