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What do we do if it rains on Derby Day? (And, I hate to tell you, it’s not looking good for Saturday.) If you ask a horseman, he’ll tell you to re-evaluate your Derby picks. Look for a “mudder”. If you ask a milliner, she’ll fall on her knees and beg you to save the hat.
Something that can make the difference between enduring a rainy day and feeling like singing in the rain is a common plastic bag, the kind dry cleaners carry. We try to pack one with every hat that goes out. A thin plastic bag can be rolled into a miniscule package, stowed in a hand bag and will be a lifesaver if raindrops start falling on your head, or worse yet, falling on your lovely new Derby hat. We always warn our customers not to expose their hats to inclement weather.(See Hat Chat entitled “Hold on to Your Hat”) If it starts to rain, remove your hat and pop it in the plastic bag, saving your hat for fair weather and many more wearings. If space allows, take pack 2 bags. You’re bound to be someone’s hero if the skies open up.
Let me reiterate. Please do not wear your hat in wind or rain. Polly Singer hats are made with great care; they are hand blocked and hand sewn for a reason – a well made, well cared for hat can be enjoyed for decades. A few minutes exposure to wet or windy weather may damage a hat irreparably. We stand by the quality of our hats but cannot be responsible for damage that occurs in bad weather.
So, when you pack your hand bag, don’t forget to pack your little handy-bag. Remember, sometimes discretion is the better part of fashion valor.
More Quick Derby Tips
It’s a Wrap
I can tell from the many emails and phone calls we take each day that most of you are going bare for this year’s Derby. Let me strongly suggest that you take the option of additional coverage. A pashmina or light weight wrap is graceful, easily carried and looks particularly well with the large romantic hats. Pashminas are treasures; they come in an array of delicious colors and are widely available. For another idea, look to our ever stylish First Lady, Michelle Obama. Mrs. Obama, who often wears sleeveless dresses has brought back the cardigan. A fine gauge cotton or cashmere cardigan works well with a tailored sheath or sundress and, again, is easily carried.
I’ll spare you the full tilt nag (Fulltiltnag, great name for a racehorse!). Here is a list of things you might want to add to your hand bag:
Rice Paper Sheets or a Compact
an extra pen or pencil
Energy bar or similar quick snack.
Ballet flats or flip flops
What not to Bring
Weapons of any kind (includes all knives and scissors)
Bottles and cans of any kind (includes all beverage and lotion containers – glass, plastic or metal)
Backpacks, luggage and duffel bags
One More Thing
We get a vicarious thrill when we see photos and hear stories of the events our hats attend. When the dust settles after Derby, we’ll be delighted if you send photos and anecdotes from your Derby weekend.
Now, go out there and have a wonderful Derby weekend — rain or shine.
by Jan Masters Yon