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A huge weekend for hats is approaching with the Kentucky Derby on May 7 and Mother’s Day on May 8.  Add to that the Jazz Fest in New Orleans and there is plenty of interest in hats.  Milliners have been pressing to come up with fresh designs to please consumers for this big weekend as well as the summer as hats return to fashion in a big way. 


One surprise this spring was the overwhelming popularity of organza dress hats.  Organza is a light and airy fabric ideal for spring and summer.  It has a semi-transparency and natural sheen.  Bridal and formal wear make abundant use of the fabric and it is growing in popularity for milliners.  Demand has really grown this spring, which leaves us short of supply.  Still some gorgeous organza hast remain in white and ivory, excellent colors for spring and summer.   


Polypropylene dress hats return year after year as classic dress hats for church, Mother’s Day, special events, and the Kentucky Derby.  How do milliners continually innovate these hats for new designs that take your breath every season!  This year high, angled crowns are making impact.  Trims often include horsehair.  When you watch the reviews of hats after the derby, be sure polypropylenes will be there. 

These dress hats are also popular for church and Mother’s Day.  They have a classic look that continues to be popular every spring and summer.  The polypropylene sewn-and-weaved construction gives the appearance of the fine weave of a Milan straw, plus the color selection really pleases women shopping to match outfits. 


Expect to see sinamay hats whenever there is a derby day at the racetrack.  Even the Queen wore one in her appearance at the Kentucky Derby in 2007.  Sinamays have an open weave, making the headwear airy and comfortable in warm weather.  The wide brims as well as rolled down brims are stunning and these dress hats can really match personalities with cavalier shapes that are sassy and shorter rolled down brims that are conservative. 

A wonderful color selection also expands the popularity of these dress hats that have enjoyed a growing market share over the last decade.  Wonderful for Mother’s Day and church as well as the Derby, this dressy headwear is a must for retailers carrying millinery for special occasions. 


Super wide brim hats ooze with a high fashion look.  J-Lo reinvented the look with a floppy brim.  Ralph Lauren reinforced the look when models strutted the runways sporting super widebrims with the latest fashion designs in women’s apparel.     

Super wide brim hats have continually grown in popularity with consumer demand for wider and wider brims.  This season, seven inch brims are common.  Among them is the ribbon hat that uses ¾ inch grosgrain ribbon continually sewn to create a hat with body that is also packable for vacation wear. 

Of course, not everyone wants the super size of a seven-inch brim.  Five-inch six-inch brims are also popular and suit a different personality.  Stock a variety of brim sizes and colors because, judging by early spring sales, widebrims along with cowboy hats and fedoras are the leading headwear for this summer.

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