Friday, April 22, 2016

Talking Derby Hats with the Hat Designers

By Jessica Alyea

Part 6 — Elizabeth Russell


Kentucky Derby Festival princess Andi Dahmer is wearing: Hat by Abbie's Designer Hats, $165. 
Photos by Melissa Donald

Hat designers from near and far send us their best creations for our Derby issue. We asked these experts the hat questions you need to know to put your best brim forward this Derby season.

The designer: Elizabeth Russell has been creating hats for Abbie’s Designer Hats in Kentucky since 2009. Find her hats at Olivia & Co. Boutique this year.

Hat by Abbie's Designer Hats, $175.


What trends are hot this year?
Elizabeth: Anything goes when wearing a hat on Derby Day. Classic colors like black, navy and red never go out of style. Neons and pastels do follow fashion trends. This year, pastels and pillboxes are popular.

Do certain hats go with certain clothing styles?
Elizabeth: Fascinators look great with a sleeveless dress. A long- or three-quarter-sleeve dress usually requires a hat with a brim of some size. A pant suit pairs perfectly with a fedora. A wide-brim hat looks great with an off-the-shoulder dress. I try to not focus on rules as much as I listen to what the client wants and how comfortable they feel in a certain hat style.

Do you have any hair suggestions for certain hats?
Elizabeth: Fascinators are worn best with your hair down. Side ponytails look great with a larger-brimmed hat. Cloche hats look best with shorter hair.

What is your best advice for wearing or buying a hat?
Elizabeth: Look for a hat that defines your personality. Don’t hesitate or hold back. Be bold! Feel beautiful!

Find more hat advice in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 of this series.

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