Horse Racing Caps and Hats for Men and Women

Royal Ascot, an annual event where Britain’s elite gather together to watch horse’s races and enjoy the magnificence and grandeur of this most fantastic racing event. The annual Royal Ascot tradition started in 1711 when Queen Anne declared the field of the Windsor Castle to be a great place for horse racing. Since then, horse races were held in the very place. Horse races are almost always exclusive events simply because it’s a social gathering for the royals and the wealthy. During The Royal Ascot, the Royal Family parades in carriages to be led by the Queen and King Philip’s carriage. The rest of the Royal Family follows suit.

On the other hand, the Kentucky Derby held in the Louisville, Kentucky is the oldest running sport in the U.S. This event began in 1875 after Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark bought land from his uncles. The Kentucky Derby is known not only for the horse racing but also for the traditions that people have kept.

Ladies Hats: Kentucky Derby Occasion Cap (wine red)Kentucky Derby Occasion Cap
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Wide Brim Hat for Royal Ascot (beige/tan)Wide Brim Hat for Royal Ascot
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Wide Brim Derby Hat (various colors available)Wide Brim Derby Hat (various colors)
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Horse Racing Fashion

Even though the event itself is about horse racing, fashion has become as much of an attraction as the races themselves. Men and women alike come dressed in some of the most amazing attire. Horse racing caps and hats are particularly fashionable and on display, and ladies particularly seem to enjoy the event for buying a new dress and purchasing the latest style of fascinator.

For other racing events, the general dress code for ladies and gentlemen are as follows:


  • Daywear/spring wear like dresses and skirts just an inch above the knee or longer
  • Trousers and jumpsuits that are full-length
  • Hats or headpieces that have at least four inches as a base
  • Flats or heels, preferably wedges


  • Morning dress that is either black or gray (should not have a cravat)
  • Top hats that are either black or gray
  • Smart cap
  • Black shoes

Children are also expected to wear the same clothes according to their gender. Likewise, they are also required to wear hats.

Caps & Hats For Horse Racing Events

The history of wearing caps and hats in horse races dates back to the 1900s where horse racing was declared a fashion event were ladies were asked to be in their best day attire. Their hats became the symbol of their status, too because back then the bigger your hat was, the richer you were. There is no doubt that the women of higher society took this as an opportunity to don hats of all shapes and sizes usually designed by the famous names in the fashion industry.

But it isn’t only women who made this fashion event a way to show their affluence. Men also took part in this celebration and wore hats that made them look sophisticated. As they accompanied their wives, men made sure that even they uphold the symbol of the elite in the society.

As of today, hats and caps are honored as a tradition in any horse race. Despite the modernity the world is embracing, horse racing events have made it a point to preserve this tradition.

Flat Cap (Herringbone)Herringbone Flat Cap
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Classic Fedora HatClassic Fedora Hat
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Braid Boater Hat (with ribbon)Braid Boater Hat
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Classic Straw Panama HatStraw Panama Hat
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Premium Quality Pork Pie HatPremium Pork Pie
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Black Top Hat for MenBlack Top Hat
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Men’s Caps

Sure, women are always known to wear the brightest and the most extravagant hats. However, men still make a statement of their own even if they fall back under the women’s shadow. Nonetheless, men’s caps are worth noting as they can be as fashionable as women’s. Here is a list of the most common hat and cap styles men wear on horse racing events.

1. Flat cap

The flat cap is the most common cap worn by men in events like these. It has a round, almost oval, base and a flat top. Its brim is a bit hard and it is usually made from wool, cotton, and tweed. The most common material used is tweed.

There are many names for the flat cap – Wigens cap, ivy cap, driving cap, derby hat, gatsby cap, and many more. It was almost called a bonnet than a flat cap in the 1900s. Moreover, in the 1500s, the British Parliament required men who were above six years old to wear caps during Sundays and holidays. This made the flat cap very famous and even when the decree was lifted, men were already so used to wearing some sort of hat when going outside. In the United States, it became a standard cap for boys in the 20th century. It’s also the most common cap worn on the Kentucky Derby.

2. Fedora hat

What used to be part of a business attire, fedora hats are one of the favorite types of hats worn by men to horse races. Fedoras are very versatile because of the many shapes and styles you can do with it. It is characterized by having a soft brim and having a crease right in the middle at the top part. The material used can range from rabbit, beaver, wool, or cashmere. They also have a lining (similar to the ribbon you find on women’s hats) that wraps the whole hat just above the brim.

It was made famous by gangsters in movies and of course, Frank Sinatra. Even Indiana Jones is known for wearing a fedora. Until today, fedoras are still used to accent suits of men during social events.

3. Boater hat

One kind of hat that you might find more unusual than the others is the boater hat. The boater hat is a perfect head accessory during the summer because it is light and can easily cast a shadow over your eyes when the sun is high up in the sky. These hats are best worn when you are wearing blazers rather than coats.

Boater hats are made of straw and vary in the ribbon that is wrapped around them. Most of the time, the ribbon has two colors, the first and third layers having the same dark hue while the middle layer has a light or bright color.

4. Panama hat

Even though Panama hats are made of straw and was originally made for hot climates, a lot of men are said to pull off this hat by wearing suits or coats and ties. Aside from its fashion, Panama hats are said to be functional because they can easily shield your eyes from the glaring sun.

The Panama hat was created in Ecuador and it is always of a light color. If you own a Panama hat, one way to know if it’s high quality or not is by checking the weave. The tighter the weave, the higher the quality.

5. Pork Pie

What sounds like a pastry turns out to be a hat that is best suited for men who have round faces. The pork pie hat is round and short, with a low top that is very close to the brim. Brims of pork pie hats can vary in width. Some pork pie hats that have wide brims are accessorized with a small feather to balance it. It is also accompanied with a ribbon, often a darker shade of the overall hat.