Make Your Kentucky Derby Hat at Dee’s

Its almost Derby time again! Like most residents of Louisville we love the Kentucky Derby. Its a time for family and friends to come together for good food and spirits as well as the excitement of the race!

If you like to get into the spirit of the Derby by creating your own hat you must visit Dee’s and see their large selection of hats, flowers and ribbons. Bring along your dress and use it as inspiration or let the staff help you design a winner. We visited Dee’s and got a little inspiration of our own…

To guide you in your inspiration we thought you might like a little help from an expert on Derby Hats.  We talked with Kathy Olliges from Dee’s Crafts in Louisville, Kentucky and she gave us tons of great advice…

How long have you been designing and making Derby hats?

Although we do make some of our hats, we mostly trim hats. We have been in business for 40 years and have been trimming hats for the last 20 or so years. Every year we increase the number of hats we decorate. Last year we created 1500 custom hats for our customers.

What inspires you when it comes to the design of a hat?
Sometimes I am inspired by the colors or the design elements of the customers dress that we are creating the hat to coordinate with. Sometimes I might start with a silk flower or ribbon that has caught my eye. Even the shape or style of the hat can be the inspiration for the design.
Are there style trends or color trends that hold true year after year?

Every year particular colors or styles begin to stand out as the season progresses, but of course a black and white combination for the Derby and pink for the Oaks continue to be popular.

If someone wanted to try and make their own hat, what advice would you give them or what supplies would they need? 

I would start by deciding on what you were going to wear and then find a hat blank (or one with only a few elements) that looks and feels good.l Bring both into the store with you and we can help with some ideas. If you go to our website, and click on the You Tube icon you will see two videos on how to decorate your hat.

What is the price range for Dee’s Derby hats? 

Our blanks start at $39.95 and the designer hats range from $100-$350. Go to our website to see the variety of styles available.

Do you make kids Derby hats? 

We do trim a few children’s hats each year.

Do you sell hats for men?

We have a few hats for men in the $25-30 range.

We noticed some beautiful feathered headbands in your Derby hat section, is this a still a popular trend to wear at the track?

Fascinators are still very popular. They are great for women who feel uncomfortable in a hat. They are easy to wear. They can be whimsical or dressy.

If you haven’t been in Dee’s lately, you must stop by and check them out. They also carry a large assortment of artificial flowers, beads, crafts and home accessories.


5045 Shelbyville Rd
Louisville, KY 40207
Mon-Fri 10am-8pm
Sat 10am-6pm
Sun 12:30pm-5pm