How To Choose a Summer Hat
Unless you have unlimited resources, odds are good you will buy just one or two hats or caps for your summer wardrobe this year. And that’s where the trouble begins. With more than 600 different models to choose from at Hats Plus, this isn’t necessarily your easiest task.
Your best bet is to assess what you need. Whatever you choose should clearly be “you” but if you are spending 8 hours a day outdoors in the sun, your first choice for a hat probably shouldn’t be that open-weave party hat with a stingy brim.
Ask yourself these questions: Where am I going to wear this the most? (The office? In the car? Out socializing?) How much solar protection do I need? Is it always windy? If so, do I want the wind blowing through my hair or do I want to make certain my hat won’t go flying? As you start narrowing down your choices, keep your wardrobe in mind. A shantung or natural straw hat will go with anything, but that really cool looking peach color fedora you like might only work with one or two of your outfits.
Assuming you have already read our post about the different types of straw used to make straw hats, let’s dive into some good ideas for helping you to pick out the right hat for you this summer.
No one will ever go wrong with a straw fedora or even a linen newsboy cap. Both will keep the sun off the top of your head and provide a little shade for your eyes. Plus, they are appropriate to wear for most occasions. A fedora with a 2-inch or 2 1/2-inch brim will give a little better job providing shade.
However, a straw hat or linen newsboy will work well with a suit or a T-shirt and shorts. Each adds a little class to your wardrobe without making you look pompus or stuffy. Many fedoras can look downright playful, especially if you snap the front brim in the up position.
If you are outside all day gardening, doing lawn care, working as a lifeguard or any other outdoorsy job, you are going to want to protect yourself from the sun’s harsh rays. If you are especially fair skinned, you can get a sun burn in just 20 minutes between noon and 2 p.m.
You will most certainly want the most protection you can get and will likely want to get a hat with a 3-inch brim at the least. You will also want to make certain the crown either tightly woven or layered like a milan hat. This helps keep the sun from baking the top of your dome. The Stetson Rustic is a nice option. The downturned brim Capas Panama is another good choice. It only has a 2 1/2-inch brim, but the downturn brim helps to shade more of you.
Some straw hats come with special cloth liners in the crown or under the brim of the hat to make certain to block 99% of UV rays. The Stefeno New Mexico features these special linings.
If you need a little more pizzazz with a wide brim, try a gambler such as the Ozark Panama Gambler or Ozark Milan Gambler. Some golfers really enjoy the style and shade while the hat doesn’t get in the way of their play.
BATTLE the ELEMENTS
There is nothing like a day out on your sailboat or a weekend camping with your family, but we all know nature can be one bad mother. There is only one brand who can take all that she can dish out: Tilley.
These Canadian-made hats are made of a light-weight cotton that will deliver unparalleled solar protection. It will also help keep your head dry in the rain. Even if the hat (and you) get completely soaked, these hats are washable and guaranteed not to shrink. Many of the Tilley hats can float, which makes them easier to retrieve on the lake. PLUS, many Tilley hats have straps to go under your chin and the back of your head, thus denying the wind the opportunity to steal your hat.
If you just want to look your best while out socializing, you have a ton of options. Stingy brim straw hats are all the rage. Be sure to check out our popular straw hats by Bailey. You also might like the Bailey Mannes Crushable Fedora.
We probably should have mentioned these first, but Kangol carries a wonderful line of ivy caps like the Tropic Ventair, and ball caps, players, and army caps. They come in many colors and are instantly recognized as a fashion leader all over the world.
POMP & CIRCUMSTANCE
Finally, there are those who have a zillion special events to attend this summer: weddings, graduations, company picnics and more.
With so many events for which you must dress well, you might want to consider getting a more formal hat. A highly refined Montecristi panama hat by Biltmore will make you look like a million bucks. Maybe you would rather go Great Gatsby with a straw skimmer. Or you could really take it up a notch and get a straw Homburg, also known as a Godfather. From its upturned, bounded-edge brim to the crease of the crown, a hamburg like the straw Dobbs Eldorado is a hat that always is sophisticated and debonaire.
We hope this has helped you to sort out what hat might be best for you this summer. Always feel free to ask any questions. We love hearing from you.