Grab Your Hat—Opening Day at the Del Mar Races Is Coming

Don’t be caught without your fashionable headwear; plus, it’s good sun prevention.

Where the turf, meets the surf at Del Mar … you know the tune (and it’s a good thing you can’t hear me sing it). July 20 marks opening day at the Del Mar Race Track. Whether you’re dining at the Turf Club or picnicking in the infield, why not join in the fun and dress up and wear a hat.

Every year the head wear gets more glamorous and interesting; have you seen the entries for the Opening Day Hat Contest? If you don’t have a hat, or wouldn’t be caught dead wearing last year’s hat again, here’s our Patch Picks to find that perfect piece for your head. I’ll be wearing my big brimmed hat, so don’t get in my way as I place my winning bet.

Del Mar Hat Company: Carol Bader, designer and owner of the Del Mar Hat Company, has been designing and selling custom hats since 1996. Her company offers everything from a wide variety of custom hats and fascinators to a nice selection of stock hats for men and women. During their opening day hat shows this weekend, the Del Mar Hat Company will have a daily giveaway and a grand prize. The shows run Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring their opening day outfits and to RSVP so that the shop is staffed accordingly during this rush period. Custom designs are arranged by appointment only. RSVP to info@delmarhat.com or 888-424-4287. Del Mar Hat Company is located at 11689 Sorrento Valley Rd., San Diego.

Designer Millinery: In a fashionable loft in the Gaslamp district, you will find Diana Cavagnaro, owner of Designer Millinery. Her 28 years in the hat business is evidenced by her work being worn by clients at the Del Mar Race Track, Kentucky Derby, Dubai and the Royal Ascot. Recently, several clients wore her hats to the Royal Polo Match in Santa Barbara, and her hats were featured on the TODAY show. She reflects: “For years my customers enjoyed large hats at the races but for the past few years I have customers that are starting to wear the small hats [fascinators] to all the races. Since the Royal Wedding my customers are even more excited about the fascinators.” Diana only sees clients by appointment, but you can see her hats at the Summer Style Runway Show at UTC Westfield Shopping Center on Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. Visitors may win an opening day hat from Diana. Designer Millinery can be reached at 619-239-4287.

Village Hat Shop: The Village Hat Shop originally sold cowboy hats when it opened in 1980. Now it sells over 1,000 styles of hats, and their remodeled flagship location in Hillcrest boasts over 5,000 square feet of retail space. Their tip for hat buyers: “Pick the hat, then the dress!” The Village Hat Shop has something for everyone in prices ranging from $20 to more than $300, simple to extravagant. They also encourage men to get hats for opening day, such as a straw fedora or an ivy cap. Two free trunk shows are scheduled for this weekend: Saturday from noon to 3 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 2 p.m. Village Hat Shop is located at 3821 Fourth Ave., San Diego, 619-683-5533.

: With a local store in La Jolla, Hats Unlimited has more than 10,000 hats in stock in a variety of styles, including fascinators and big brim hats. For men, they offer bowlers, top hats and Panamas. Hats Unlimited also focuses on educating customers on sun protection, especially for sports enthusiasts and the “Boomer” generation, which spent lots of time sunning for the perfect tan (remember slathering oil all over yourself?). Hats Unlimited is located at 955 Prospect St., La Jolla, 858-551-5535.

Opening Day After-Party: Okay, not a place to buy hats, but an event to wear hats. L’Auberge Del Mar is having an Opening Day After-Party where you can show off party hats, enjoy treats from Kitchen 1540, and be entertained with fabulous music by the sea. Of course it’s on Wednesday from 5 to 10 p.m. Cost is $75 in advance, $100 at the door. L’Auberge, 1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, 866-289-0445, openingdayafterparty.com.

For info on the races visit dmtc.com.

See you at the track!

Margo Schwab July 15, 2011 at 01:47 PM
Will be wearing a custom hat by Diana Cavagnaro.....


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