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Kentucky Derby Hats 2012

Expensive hats with wide brims and/or bright colors are the norm at the Kentucky Derby. Fashion has become such a notable aspect of the Derby weekend that the event's official website has a section dedicated solely to hats:

Part Southern tradition, part spectacle, the Kentucky Derby hat parade is much of what makes "The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports" one of the greatest people-watching events in the world! From the fantastic to the sublime, there are no rules or limits when it comes to choosing your Derby hat.

Whether to make a statement or just keep the sun at bay, Kentucky Derby hats are part of the tradition and the pageantry that make a trip to the Derby an unforgettable experience. Check out some of our favorites from prior years!

If you're looking for examples of hats one might wear to the Derby, the race's website has a gallery of past head attire. The biggest rule of Kentucky Derby fashion seems to be that there are no rules. But if you don't look a little different, chances are that you probably won't fit in.

See SB Nation's And Down The Stretch They Come for full race analysis. You can also follow the SB Nation StoryStream, as well as our coverage here at SB Nation New York.