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Marjae Hats has been part of the Preakness tradition for more than a decade

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Posted at 5:00 AM, May 17, 2024

CROFTON, Md. — You wear the hat, the hat doesn't wear you.

That's the motto of Marjae Hats, owned by milliner Margie Hicks. She's been making hats for more than 20 years and started her business 14 years ago.

"My mom and aunts wore hats all the time," she said. "I just love the beauty of the hats, I love the flowers, the materials. I just love for women to look the best that they can be."

She offers a variety of styles, from hats to fascinators and hat-inators, which are hats with a crown but worn with a headband.

Her hats can be worn for a number of occasions but for Hicks, the Preakness Stakes is the equivalent of the Super Bowl. She usually does a pop-up shop in the Grandstand the day before and day of the race.

"It's just the excitement to see all the pageantry, to see the horses, the tradition, to see all the people come support Pimlico and Preakness," she said.

Hicks also sells hats for men and carries several styles including the classic Panama hat, cowboy hats and unique ones like the steampunk.

"[The men] want to look just as wonderful and elegant as the women would like to look," Hicks said.

She's confident she can find a type and style of hat to fit every person.

"When I have someone who comes in and says they're comfortable about a hat, what I tell them is... this is where you can oooh and you can ahhh and you can just try on. You can bring the hats to life."

Follow Marjae Hats on Facebook and Instagram.