Even Preakness fashion wasn't immune to the recession. In the Corporate Village - itself downsized - many fashionistas used a bit more ingenuity instead of income to create their race day outfits, beginning with the event's iconic fashion symbol: the hat.
"When you look at the prices of hats, they're going for $400. And I'm not that good a bettor," said Bethany Chirico, 36. So the Falls Church, Va., meeting planner found an inexpensive white brimmed hat and wrapped a white feather boa around it.
Managing the Turf Club tent wasn't Denise Dotterweich's only Preakness duty. She had also used her trusty glue gun to create a Preakness hat decked out in silk black-eyed Susans, daisies and curly fronds of "grass" for her niece, Michelle Sweeney, 33.
However, there were still plenty of fashion trends to see and be seen in the "Village." Preakness' female champion, Rachel Alexandra, wasn't the only evidence of a female fighting spirit. This season's hot footwear trend, gladiator sandals, made a strong showing. Elena Speroni, 32, of Sparks sported a gold embellished pair of animal print gladiators, complete with little leopard heads on them.
And not every fashion statement was feminine. Ryan McDermond, 28, sports marketing manager for Under Armour, was hard to miss in his Burberry plaid pants and matching tie.
"Why not?" he said. "You gotta make some noise somewhere."