A little About Alot Saratoga


Just over two weeks away before we celebrate the excitement of the Kentucky Derby!

Whether you attend the derby and Kentucky Oaks or you simply enjoy "the most exciting two minutes of sports" right here in Saratoga at your favorite local establishment of your choice or at your home sipping a mint julep with a group of your favorite friends, why not wear a terrific hat to get into the full mood of the coming season?

Make that hat distinctive, expressive and colorful. A full expression of your vibrant personality.

And, ladies, I am not talking only about your desire for a sizzling look atop your pretty brow, I am also talking about hats for your men wear to help them strut their stuff. 

Gentlemen, you are more than invited to join the festivities in style.

Make it festive, fun and an event.

I had tremendous fun Thursday morning researching and exploring the world of hats and fascinators. Every style, look and color. There are so many options, price ranges and designs. If you love the big hat, go for it. For those of you who do not think that is for you, the stunning wedding of Kate Middleton last year made it a wonderful option for women to wear amazing fascinators.

Do you enjoy feathers? Do you want netting? Do you want flowers? Do you enjoy bows? What types of fabric do you want to match your dress or outfit? Countless ways to show off the season and your creativity.

Do you want an up turned hat, a down turned look or a subtle look with maybe one long feather?

Do you want a classic look, stark, or are you a bit more outrageous? You can also go very simple look or more casual. What is in your heart will show up on your head, if you are game! No fear, I say.

This all started today because a reader who is celebrating her birthday visited Oklahoma track this morning, got in the more and contacted me about where to find customized hats because she is headed to the Kentucky Derby. She will look beautiful on Saturday May 5th. And, we agreed, time to find the right hat, is of the essence.

The local stores up and down Broadway have beautiful hats to purchase. And, the beauty of that is you can try them on easily with the dress or outfit you will be wearing. 

But, there are so many ways to find and figure out the best look.

If you go online, you can easily contact the millinery, the designing and manufacturing of the hat can be worked out over the phone or via e-mail. 

Send a photo of your dress and accessories. The employees are working every minute of the day, just like Christmas elves, to design the perfect look for each customer. Talk to Bobby, the Hat Design Crafts Manager, and she will take you through the simple process. The hard part, your decisions on the look and style of your hat. Depending on how many functions you will be attending will decide how many hats you will need or want! 

And, don't forget, any hat you have can be changed up with a simple glue gun and some craft items you choose yourself. Make it fun and fabulous. 

Personally, I do not trust myself with a glue gun, so, I leave it to the pros!

The milliner will take into consideration all your questions, how you want the hat to look on your head, your hair style as well as your clothing to match. Your personality will also come through with the design you favor.

Start the process by taking a long hard look at a variety of pictures of hats and the hairstyles that go best with them. I know many times you think your hair will not be important but for some hats, your hair is a crucial part of that derby hat decision making process.

I went directly to one of the sources: Dee's Crafts in Louisville, Kentucky where they've been designing hats for decades. The prices range from $150 to $300. I spoke directly to the extremely helpful Crafts Manager, Bobby. She guided me through the derby hat decision making process:

1. Decide your outfit and colors.

2. Decide your accessory colors including shoes, purse, nail color, makeup and lipstick.

3. Measure your head; most hats run from a size 21 to 23", about 2 fingers above the brow; make sure you measure the oval of your head where you want the hat to rest; consider if you want the hat to cover a part of your face or frame your face.

4. Decide if you want a full hat or a fascinator (which can be over the top).

5. Decide your personal style: WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE ON DERBY DAY?

Once you've made those crucial decisions, let the masters take your ideas, create and design. Then you make your final decision once the derby hat has been fabricated. I just know you will be thrilled.

The hat maker or designer knows their stuff, ask questions, take advice and let them guide you to the best look for you.

For fun, I posted a ton of pictures on my Facebook page. Take a look and salivate! I did as I viewed each and every shot. My imagination went wild.

Whether you are flying to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby, at a local pub, or simply staying home to watch it on TV or online, wear that hat in style. Make whatever you do an unforgettable experience and enjoy a hat that suits your personality.

It is a time to celebrate the coming of our Saratoga meet, practice now with the chapeau of your choice. Be inspired. Our season is coming very soon. So, hats off, Saratoga!

Ask for Bobby, Dee's Craft Manager


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Elaine Hume Peake

Elaine Hume Peake has vast experience covering news, lifestyle and entertainment since 1976. As an award-winning media executive, senior producer and show runner for a variety of multimedia, Elaine has a deep sense of curiosity and enjoys digging deep to find not only the serious side of life but also the immense joys. Elaine's proven expertise on the national and the local level while working in Washington, DC for Post Newsweek stations, WPLG in Miami, WABC in New York City, WCBS in New York City and WTEN in the Capitol region, she has found a wonderful home in Saratoga. Elaine has extensive experience on the editorial and the creative production side. She has developed several news and talk shows, documentaries, non-fiction television series, major live events and specials has taken her on a fantastic journey she will share with her audience of A LITTLE ABOUT A LOT. Elaine's perspective after covering riots, Princess Di's death, Pope John Paul II funeral and others such as the search and recovery of the body of John F. Kennedy, Jr, numerous political campaigns, major crime stories to the amazingly life changing days of 9/11 created her level of news gravitas. Elaine has been the driver of numerous newsrooms in the nonstop 24/7 news cycle of New York City, Miami, Washington, DC and now this region. She is well as traveled and enjoyed her globe trotting in search of great tales to share. Elaine loves to communicate the story in an interesting, compelling and enjoyable way. She is a passionate idea generator and program innovator with a news metabolism for innovation, change and a focus on the future while a perspective from over the past 35 years of news. Elaine maintains a keen awareness on delivering enjoyment to her readers whether it be a major news happening or a compelling, memorable moment in time. Elaine is on board with Saratoga.com for a fun ride deeper into the world of this region and wants her readers of A LITTLE ABOUT A LOT to be a part of the journey but also a major participate in the ongoing conversation. Readers can e-mail me with comments, suggestions, ideas, stories at