While the Kentucky Derby has a new date, the festive fashion that comes along with it will still be in full swing — but with a slightly different flair.
This year’s horse races will take place on Sept. 5 and 6 as opposed to the original postponed dates originally slated for May. However, fans will not be in the stands during the races and events will be held at reduced capacities along with outdoor reserved seating.
Attendees will also be donning face masks in addition to their Derby style as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are still highly recommending for them to be worn to help further stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. With that, many top milliners have created stylish options to accompany the headdresses usually worn during The Derby.
Kenzie Kapp, a milliner and creative director of her own namesake hat-making business, grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, where she explained to “GMA” that while there won’t be many fans at this year’s Derby, there will mainly be owners in attendance who will still wear full-on fascinators and face masks.
There are also other Derby enthusiasts who will be hosting their own parties and will partake in full Derby attire.
Kapp has designed a variety of matching face masks in everything from unique patterns to embellished textures. “It’s intuitive,” she said. “I see the person, the dress, it clicks, the wheels in my head spin, a download comes in and I just know.”
She continued, “It flows through me and out of me. The fascinators and looks all have personalities and lives of their own.”
“GMA” also tapped master milliner and owner of Formé Millinery Jenny Pfanenstiel, who suggested that hats should still be your main focus on Derby Day, but now that masks are an added accessory, there is no reason why you can’t spruce them up a bit.
“Keep in mind, however, you want it to complement your whole look,” she advised.
5 Kentucky Derby day face mask tips from Jenny Pfanenstiel:
Tip 1: If you plan to go with a hat and outfit with a lot of colors and maybe a print, go simple with the mask. Bring out one of the colors from the outfit and hat so it blends in, more than standing out.
Tip 2: If you like to stick out from the crowd, then do it with your mask, too. If you have a solid outfit and a hat with lots of color and feathers for example, why not create a mask, similar in style to the hat? Consider a bright-colored mask with a variety of colored feathers to match the hat.
Tip 3: Just as hats are on Derby Day — where you will see almost anything as far as look and style — I think you will see the same thing with masks. You will see simple, solid color masks that blend in with one’s outfit. You will also see the opposite with masks where they are the focal point, with large flowers, a lot of feathers, beading and maybe even some that are attached to the hat and cover the whole face.
Tip 4: Regardless of what direction you choose to go with your mask, the one tip that should be at the top of your list is comfort. Fit is key. It should cover both your nose and mouth, with a close fit to the skin, for optimal protection. Think about how your mask will be secured: ear loops or around the head and neck? Will the ear loops irritate your skin after a while? Will it be easy to take your mask on and off with a hat on? How hot will it be wearing it for a long period of time? Kentucky can be very hot at the beginning of September, so consider a lightweight fabric mask such as cotton or linen.
Tip 5: The last tip is to practice wearing your mask. You don’t want to put it on for the first time the day of the races. It may take some time to get used to. Wear it around the house, go outside in hot weather and wear it with your hat on to see if there are any issues with fit. This way, if adjustments need to be made, you have plenty of time to address them.