Summer fun and straw hats are just inextricably linked. Quintessential summer hats, they are the perfect accompaniment to the sunshine, blue skies and warm weather that seem to conspire to lure everyone outdoors. What’s more, straw hats have so much to offer. First, it's their ability to provide great sun protection for virtually every summer sport or activity that makes these hats the go-to summer accessory for both men and women. Yet what makes them an even bigger draw is their availability in an extensive array of styles, shapes and colors, facilitating anyone’s ability to find a genuinely flattering hat. Adding a touch of whimsy and personal panache to all summer attire, these summer hats are powerful fashion statements.
Sun Inspired Hat Styles
Handwoven from a variety of different types of straw, from the crisp raffia straw of the man’s driver hat to the softer texture of a woman’s shantung straw sun hat, straw hats have graced the heads of men and women since the Middle Ages, offering the same level of individual élan throughout each era. Like spring hats, summer versions may be adorned with flowers, ribbons and even fishing themes, among other decorative details. However, the clear distinction is that summer hats are just as often unembellished, allowing the shape and size both to enhance and be enhanced by the wearer.
That level of fashion finesse, displayed in something as simple as a hat, is evident at every summer venue. Whether you are relaxing on the beach, playing a few rounds of golf, boating, viewing sports or attending a gala event, your summer hat bespeaks your innate style.
An exotic resort on a tropical island may be your annual vacation destination. Or perhaps lazing on the sand, lolling away peaceful hours at a local beach is your ideal. Whatever you select, a beach hat such as the Gambler or Banyon for men or the Sunny for women is likely to be your companion. Not the locale for diminutive, unobtrusive chapeaus, the beach presents an excellent opportunity for a bit more flamboyance. Pairing your swimwear with a large beach hat is not merely a necessity for sun protection but also a great way to insert a captivating fashion note. Try one. You may well find yourself sauntering across the beach with a bit of swagger under one of these hats.
Playing 18 holes of golf on a sunny day may be precisely the way you long to spend a summer Saturday. Go ahead, do it. Just be sure to bring along a great golf hat for cool comfort. Whether your choice is a classic such as the Natural Twisted Seagrass Straw Ivy Cap; a modern update such as the Seminole, devised of raffia straw; or a marked departure from straw designs in a Stetson Fairway Khaki Cotton Blend Bucket Hat—a decidedly contemporary take on a golf hat—it’s sure to be the buddy you will most want to have with you when the intensity of the sun reaches its peak. Walking the golf course or riding along in your golf cart, a golf hat is a nod to tradition that is particularly fitting in a game that has been played for so many centuries.
Sailboats, motorboats, canoes or yachts—simply being aboard one of these vessels is an unmitigated pleasure of summer. Enthralled by the breeze, the waves and the sense of carefree abandon, comfort is the operative word when it comes to attire. Nowhere is this more evident than in boating hats. While a cotton captain’s hat would certainly be appropriate and the time-honored boater hat such as the Classic, the Sennett or the Scala Natural Panama Straw Boater might even be expected, consider the individuality of a softer straw and smaller brim such as the Jeanne Simmons Toyo Straw Stingy Brim Fedora Hat. That touch of the unexpected effectively melds form and function in a manner that is nothing short of sensational style.
Summertime is second to none in the offering of spectator sports, from horse racing to baseball, among others. Naturally, this calls for sporting hats to accompany each event. Indeed, donning a hat is often integral to being a spectator at these sporting events. Take, for instance, the Kentucky Derby, a perennial showstopper for showcasing fabulous spring hats. Providing ample opportunities to put your best hat fashions on display, spectator sports take place during the heat of the day when shading from the sun is a necessity. That’s when hats such as the Madrigala and the Andover become great choices for their versatility in being worn to virtually any sporting event.
What would summer be without gala outdoor events, including garden weddings and other stately celebrations? Consider a glorious picture hat such as the Jeanne Simmons Tan Wide Brim Hat 1999, worn with a tea-length dress and seductively shading a woman’s face. Not to be overlooked is the dapper silhouette created by the man who wears a well-tailored suit accompanied by a hat commensurate with that standard of elegance such as the Quito or the Gulfport for men.
With a plethora of inviting outdoor events, activities and sports to attend this summer, you may want to begin expanding your summer hat wardrobe now.