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Roxy 'Seaside' Sun Hat
Roxy 'Seaside' Sun Hat

How to Buy a Summer Hat

Hats put the 'fun' in 'functional:' They're a hot accessory that shows off your personality, plus, they protect your skin and eyes from the harmful rays of the sun. Who doesn't want that? Figure out the style of hat that works for you, then experiment with color and material. Hats off to you!

The Basics

Step 1Hats come in endless styles, colors and fabrics; the most important thing in choosing one is to know which kinds work with your face shape: If you have a round face: Try a hat with a straight brim worn low on the crown-you want something angular to contrast the shape of your face. A fedora will look fantastic, but steer clear of large floppy hats!
Step 2If you have a long face: You'll want a hat that bisects the face, ideally something with a wide flat brim. Go for a western style hat, but stay away from anything with too much height!
Step 3If you have an oval face: Lucky you! You can experiment with anything.

The Lingo

Fedora: Originally made of felt, the fedora is a hat with a crease lengthwise down the crown and pinched in sides. The hat now commonly comes in straw and felt versions.
Bucket hat: A wide and downwards sloping brim.
Boater: A stiff short flat top hat with a small flat brim. It is often trimmed with a wide ribbon.
Bowler: This hat has a small pencil-curled brim with a matching band. It's also called a derby.
Slouch hat: A hat with one side of the brim bent downward. It's also called a Garbo Hat after actress Greta Garbo.

The Experts

" Tommy Bahama 'Gail' Hat. Even if you're hiding under the palm trees, this raffia hat still garners attention." -More.com
"The Straw Sun Hat from Newport News...a good hat, that provides both protection and style, is a must-have." -The Budget Fashionista "Best Sun Hat: Paper straw, George, at Walmart." InStyle.com, Shop Summer's 5 Best Trends

The Brands

Scala A brand that produces of a large variety of casual hats for men and women Gap carries fashion clothing as well as uniform pieces online
Newport News Each year, this catalog and online store carries a good selection of womens' hats at reasonable prices.
Barbour A more than 100-year-old, family-owned company that makes hats, clothing and accessories for the English "country lifestyle."
Orvis An outdoor apparel store that stocks travel-friendly hats.

The Price

$: Sun N Sand Sandpaper Cottom Brim/Self Trim Hat $11.95
$$: Straw Cowboy Hat with Bead Detail $12.99
$$$: Metrostyle Metrostyle Floppy Straw Hat $24.99
$$$$: Vestal Echo Fedora Hats $32.00
$$$$$: Talbots Straw Sun Hat $39.00
$$$$$$: Tarnish Embroidered Fedora $48.00