Former congresswoman reveals hat trick

Kentucky Derby-goers at Saturday’s race — whose array of hats have become nearly as famous as the horses — could’ve turned to former Rep. Connie Morella for some advice on how to pick out the perfect piece of headwear.

The Maryland Republican got a head start on some serious cranial fashion at last week’s Trust for the National Mall benefit lunch, where hats are almost an unspoken requirement.

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The ex-congresswoman explained at the fifth annual fundraiser, held on the Mall and keynoted by former first lady Laura Bush (who topped off her coral-colored dress with a white wide-brimmed hat), “That’s a tradition here that you must wear a hat. So I think people either go buy a new hat or find the old hat that they had, that they thought they’d never wear again.”

Morella, 81, ended up pairing a long-sleeved black dress with a straw-colored lid adorned with a matching black feather.

She then disclosed her secret to hat-wearing, saying, “You have to plan your outfit according to your hat. So originally, I was going to wear something, and then I put the hat on and I had to wear something else with the hat.”

Whatever her method, Morella’s hat selection was a hit with at least one Democratic lawmaker.

Upon seeing Morella, Rep. Jim Moran (Va.) tipped his cap to his former colleague, enthusiastically exclaiming, “She looks great!”