Reasons to Add Straw Hats to Your Fashion Ensemble

Straw hats double up as sun-shields and fashion accessories, and it is no wonder they are considered as wardrobe staples in most of Europe and Asia where they have been donned since the Middle Ages.

Straws of synthetic or natural material are interwoven tightly to make these hats brimmed to offer sun protection. Additionally, the tiny gaps between the weaves allow ventilation. Further, their lightweight makes them comfier. All these factors make these hats an obvious choice on a warm sunny day to be spent mostly outdoors.

Straw Hats

Do straw hats really provide sun protection?

Those who haven’t worn a straw hat may think if these are any good for protection from the sun. The answer to this would be both yes and no. While shopping, it is better to hold the hat up to see how much light passes through the holes. UPF rated sun protective hats are a good choice and those marked UPF 50 factor would deliver the right kind of sun protection. However, not all hats will have the same features and sticking to these factors would enable them to make a perfect choice.

What are the types of straw hats?

The most loved styles of straw-hats are the boater style, the lifeguard straw hats for men, and two other styles that have taken people’s fancy – Panama style and the Fedora style.

The Boater Straw Hat

Boater hats have been worn by men for a very long time, preferred mostly during summer days and also as part of the traditional dressing.

There was also a day when men would change to summer hats from their winter hats. Known as “Straw Hat Day” – traditionally on a Saturday falling in the second week of May -- when men would make the switch officially.

Woven with stiff straw, boater hats bear a distinct look, featuring a brim and a flat crown. The style continues to live and many schools in Australia, UK, and South Africa have made it a compulsory part of their uniform.

Women are also not behind in this. The type of hat is popular among fashionable women and the credit goes to Madame Coco Chanel who popularized the accessory as a classic style.

Fashion and travel bloggers can be seen sporting them. It is easy to find how popular the boater-style hats are by looking at Instagram images of travel bloggers, especially when they are touring Europe.

Gondolas wear it all the time. Their hats with short brims are not the best in protecting them from sun rays. Despite this, Gondolas prefer them over other styles and forms part of their distinct identity.

Panama Straw Hats

Breathability and easy wear make the Panama hats the quintessential tourists’ hats. It is best worn by men when they team with a light linen and silk suit in the summers. Traditionally woven using Toquilla straw, its light color suits the summer and heightens the fashion quotient.  As with most types of straw hats, tighter weaves raise the price tag.

Vacationers love to wear them for their superior cooling and ventilation along with classic style over hats of any other material. The popularity of this style soared when President Roosevelt wore a variety of them during his visit to Panama Canal in 1906. The images from the trip showed him as a man of style and confidence, who carried the Panama straw hat with perfection.

Unlike the past when Panama hats had been worn only by men, female style icons have been confident in using them along with their designer outfits. The latest examples are Khloe Kardashian and Amal Clooney, who added the Panama hats to their fashion accessories.

Floppy Beach Straw Hat

When on a beach, floppy beach straw hats with their brims are the best to guard against sunrays. As the brims can go up to 10” wide, they can even provide shoulder protection. These hats definitely accentuate a wearer’s appearance but sun protection is what most people have on their minds while buying them. 

Often beachgoers suffer sunburn whilst wearing a floppy beach hat when they end up buying inexpensive and cheaply made ones. Usually, these hats are loosely woven with thick straws that cannot be considered the rich pick for sun protection. 

Emphasis should be on the UPF factor and the tightness of the weave – the indicators of high quality. To keep the hat, secure on the head, chin straps are an essential feature.

The Garden Straw Hat

Audrey Hepburn wore this style in Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1961 and since then its popularity hasn’t dipped. Woven with fine straw, the lampshade style and wide brim adds sophistication to any woman’s appearance

Want to sport that understated fashionable look, straw hats can do the trick even with a simple outfit. Looking for adequate sun protection, a good quality hat can do that for you. Tradition, style, comfort, and protection, straw hats offer all the reasons to top anyone’s accessory list.


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