When the Kentucky Derby began in 1875 in Churchill Downs, Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. looked toward the Epson and Royal Ascot races of England for inspiration—particularly for the dress code, which read, "all guests within the Royal Enclosure adhere to a strict dress code: male attendees must wear full morning dress including a top hat, whilst ladies must not show bare midriffs or shoulders and must wear hats." In the late 1800s to early 1900s, hats signified a certain societal status. But while the accessory became less fashionable over time in society, it remained a tradition at the races. Through the years, the style of hats began to evolve, reflective of fashion trends—the Flapper looks of the 1920s saw cloche and bucket caps worn with a dress and gloves or loose suit, while the 1980s re-popularized overly elaborate hats with long skirts in bright colors. To celebrate Saturday's running of the 140th Kentucky Derby, see the evolution of the race's most coveted accessory.