what are horse racing hats called

Horse racing hats, often seen at prestigious races like Royal Ascot or the Kentucky Derby, are known as fascinators. These elaborate headpieces are traditionally worn by women and are characterized by their unique and decorative designs. They are typically small in size and can vary in shape, from wide-brimmed to intricate feather arrangements. Fascinators are meant to complement the outfits of race-goers and add a touch of elegance and sophistication to the event.

Horse Racing Hat Styles

Attending horse races is an exciting experience, especially during major events like the Kentucky Derby. And what better way to enhance your style and become part of the lively atmosphere than by wearing an elegant race day hat? Here’s a quick guide to some of the most popular horse racing hat styles:


Fascinators are small, decorative headpieces attached to a headband or clip. They add a touch of sophistication and flair to your outfit without overpowering it. They come in various shapes and sizes, from delicate feathers to elaborate bows and floral designs.

  • Pros: Lightweight, comfortable, and easy to wear.
  • Cons: May not be suitable for windy conditions or more formal events.


Headbands provide a more understated yet elegant option. They are typically made of fabric or ribbon and can be adorned with embellishments like beads, crystals, or feathers. Headbands are perfect for those who want a less fussy but still chic hat.

  • Pros: Comfortable, versatile, and can be worn with various hairstyles.
  • Cons: May not be as visually striking as other hat styles.

Table of Hat Styles

| Hat Style | Description |
| Fascinator | Small, decorative headpiece |
| Headband | Fabric or ribbon band adorned with embellishments |
| Wide-brim Hat | Large, statement-making hat with a wide brim |
| Pillbox Hat | Small, round hat resembling a pillbox |
| Boater Hat | Flat-topped hat with a rigid brim |
| Panama Hat | Lightweight, woven straw hat |

Remember, choosing the right hat for a horse race depends on your personal style and the specific event you’re attending. Whether you prefer a charming fascinator or a chic headband, make sure your hat complements your outfit and adds a touch of glamour to your day at the races.

Horse Racing Hats: What They’re Called

Horse racing is a sport steeped in tradition, and one of the most iconic traditions is the elaborate hats worn by spectators. These hats are known by a variety of names, depending on their style and shape.

Breeders’ Cup Millinery

The Breeders’ Cup is one of the most prestigious horse races in the world, and it’s also known for its over-the-top millinery. Spectators at the Breeders’ Cup often wear hats that are elaborate, colorful, and sometimes even whimsical.

  • Some of the most popular styles of Breeders’ Cup hats include:
  • Fascinators: Small, feather-adorned hats that are worn on the side of the head.
  • Pillbox hats: Small, round hats that are worn on the top of the head.
  • Wide-brimmed hats: Hats with wide brims that provide shade from the sun.

No matter what style of hat you choose, make sure it’s something that you’ll feel comfortable wearing all day long. The Breeders’ Cup is a long event, and you’ll want to be able to enjoy the races without worrying about your hat.

Common Horse Racing Hat Styles

Hat StyleDescription
FascinatorSmall, feather-adorned hat worn on the side of the head
Pillbox hatSmall, round hat worn on the top of the head
Wide-brimmed hatHat with wide brims that provide shade from the sun
SunbonnetHat with a long brim that covers the face and neck
Boater hatStraw hat with a flat crown and a wide brim

## What Are Horse Racing Hats Called?

Horse racing hats are an iconic and stylish accessory at racing events, and they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. Here’s a look at the different types of horse racing hats and their unique characteristics:


Panamas are lightweight, woven hats made from straw. They are popular for horse racing because they are breathable and provide shade from the sun. Panamas typically have a wide brim and a high crown, and they can be decorated with ribbons or other embellishments.


Fedora hats are a type of soft-brimmed hat that is made from felt or straw. They were originally popularized in the 1920s and 1930s, and they remain a popular choice for horse racing events. Fedoras have a slightly indented crown and a brim that is turned up at the sides. They can be decorated with a variety of ribbons, feathers, or other embellishments.


Boaters are flat-topped hats that are made from straw or other lightweight materials. They have a wide brim that is turned up at the sides, and they are typically worn by women. Boaters are a popular choice for horse racing events because they are lightweight and stylish.

Royal Ascot Hats

Royal Ascot is one of the most prestigious horse racing events in the world, and it is known for its strict dress code. Women attending Royal Ascot are required to wear hats, and there are a variety of different styles that are popular. Some of the most common Royal Ascot hats include:

  • Fascinators
  • Perchers
  • Hats with feathers
  • Hats with flowers

Royal Ascot hats are often quite elaborate, and they can be made from a variety of materials, including straw, silk, and feathers. They are a unique and stylish way to add a touch of glamour to your racing day outfit.

## Table of Horse Racing Hat Types

| Hat Type | Description |
| Panama | Lightweight, woven hat made from straw |
| Fedora | Soft-brimmed hat made from felt or straw |
| Boater | Flat-topped hat made from straw or other lightweight materials |
| Royal Ascot hats | Elaborate hats worn at Royal Ascot, often made from straw, silk, and feathers |

Horse Racing Hats: The Fascinators of the Track

Horse racing is a sport steeped in tradition and grandeur, and the hats worn to these events are no exception. From the iconic brims of the Kentucky Derby to the elegant fascinators of Royal Ascot, horse racing hats have become as much a part of the spectacle as the horses themselves.

Kentucky Derby Millinery

The Kentucky Derby, held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, is perhaps the most famous horse race in the world. Its signature fashion statement is the wide-brimmed hat, known colloquially as “the Derby hat.” These hats come in a variety of styles, from classic straw fedoras to elaborate creations adorned with feathers, flowers, and even entire scenes.

  • Classic Straw Fedora: A timeless and elegant choice, the straw fedora provides ample sun protection with a touch of sophistication.
  • Wide-Brimmed Sun Hat: Offering maximum coverage from the sun, these hats often feature a wide, floppy brim that adds a touch of flair.
  • Fascinator Fedora: A hybrid between a fascinator and a fedora, this hat combines the sculptural element of a fascinator with the practicality of a fedora.
  • Oversized Floppy Hat: A bold and eye-catching choice, these hats boast an oversized brim that drapes over the wearer’s head and shoulders, creating a dramatic effect.
Hat TypeDistinguishing Features
Straw FedoraClassic, elegant, provides sun protection
Wide-Brimmed Sun HatMaximum sun coverage, floppy brim adds flair
Fascinator FedoraCombines sculptural fascinator with practical fedora
Oversized Floppy HatBold, eye-catching, oversized brim creates drama

Well folks, that’s all there is to know about the grand headwear that adorns the spectators of the track. Hopefully, you’ve found this little excursion into the world of toppers and fascinators educational and entertaining. Next time you find yourself at the races, be sure to take a moment to appreciate the vibrant kaleidoscope of hats that adorn the crowd. And remember, whether you’re a seasoned milliner or simply a curious observer, there’s always more to discover in the captivating world of horse racing fashion. Thanks for stopping by, and we hope you’ll visit us again soon!