The Best Sun Hats for Women
by Christina Gregoire
There are so many options for sun hats, and I’m a confirmed "hat freak," so you’ve come to the right place for unbiased women's hat information. I wear hats every single day, year round. My husband says I have 100 hats (including little toques that cost $6), but I think he's exaggerating. Some of my hats are cheap; some are expensive.
Hey, I’m worth it.
How Much Should Your Sun Hat Cost?
If you’re just looking for a chic little hat that will keep people from noticing your wrinkles, you can get a trendy topper for around $20 (or less). However, you need to spend more than that to get "decent-to-really-good" sun protection.
Yet, no matter how much your hat costs, I guarantee that your hat will be cheaper than the thousands of dollars you would pay a plastic surgeon to laser your wrinkles away. (And, I shouldn’t have to remind you about skin cancer.) My personal belief is that almost any wide-brimmed hat is better than nothing, even if it doesn't offer full shade, but I'm not your dermatologist. If you're a baby boomer or you live in a sunny climate, you should ask your doctor what he recommends for your skin.
Expensive High-End Summer Hats
If you want a spendy, fabulous, summery hat to wear to a wedding or a fancy-dancy occasion, I love Louise Green Millinery, but look around on other hat sites because places like Hatagories and Samuel's Hats often have sales on Louise Green hats(and similar brands that I love). The hat in the main photo (above) is $275 and probably worth every penny. It will make you look absolutely fabulous. It's the type of hat you could pass down to your grandchildren. It's the type of hat that will keep people from noticing the crow's feet around your eyes and the saggy lines in your neck.
I have the summery lavender hat in the photo. I bought it when I had more money, but I will wear it forever. It's a fabulous work of art that will never go out of style. Also, it makes me feel beautiful and that's important... especially at the age of (almost) 60.
Hats for Sun Protection
I became addicted to hats about 15 years ago, after I had my face lasered, and my cosmetic surgeon said that I needed to wear sunscreen and a hat whenever I went out in the sun. And, I’m glad I followed his advice. I’ve been told by a dermatologist that my skin is really good for someone my age (59), even taking into account my wrinkle-removing procedure.
Best Sun Hat: Solumbra Cloche at Sun Precautions
If you absolutely must have total sun protection because you’re fair or your doctor told you to stay out of the sun, my favorite hat is the Solumbra Cloche Hat from Sun Precautions. Sun Precautions is the hat company that my plastic surgeon recommended after he magically made my wrinkles dissapear. And, while the cloche is the cutest, the flat "Wide Brim Crusher" or one of their other wide-brimmed hats gives better shade.
Solumbra hats have 100% UV sun protection. I like the cloche because it’s packable (you can smash it into the corner of your carry-on bag and whip it out in seconds). And, it has a chinstrap, which keeps the hat on your head when you’re walking around on the deck of a cruise ship...or even when you're in a windy storm and using the cloche as a makeshift rain hat. (It works fairly well.)
My Favorite Sun Hats Without Chin Straps
I, also, love my collection of Scala Lanikai Sun hats. The Lanikai hat stays on your head in all but the strongest of winds, because it has an inner drawstring to tighten it up. It’s also a lot cheaper than the Solumbra hat, and it has reasonably good UV sun protection (50%). The Scala Lanikai hat has a 4” brim, which looks just super on most women. (Actually, I like every Scala hat I’ve ever tried.)
Even though every woman has her own unique style, here are some casual sun hats I recommend for people who are not going to be in direct sunlight for very long.
- Scala Lanikai: This is the hat I just love. You can turn the brim down when you need more sun protection.
- Betmar Fab Faceframer: I wore this little number (in white) when I had a convertible. It stayed on very well and gave good coverage for a cap.
Cute Straw Hats for Women Over 40 or 50
When I was young, I looked good in any old hat. However, now that I’m older, I like nicer (hipper) straw hats. In general, straw hats will give you some shade, but most of them offer less protection than good fabric hats.
- Scala Crochet Toyo: This is what I would try if I were looking for an inexpensive style. If you have dark coloring, you might look cute in the black version, but I look better in the natural color or one of the lighter hues.
- Cappelli Seashells Swinger Hat: I love this royal blue. This will make your face look fabulous. And, it doesn't have to match your swimsuit or outfit.
These are not the only sites for good hats, so look around. If you want a posh hat, you can also order goodies from the UK. (The world is totally global, now.) If you want a basic sun hat to keep your skin from looking like leather, you can spend anywhere from ten dollars to several hundred dollars. And, if you have further questions, I'd love to help. Hats are one of my passions.
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