I love hats. I love them as fashion statements, but they’re also a must to protect our skin from the heat of the summer sun.  Form and function? The two don’t always go together. Hats that provide real protection are often not that…attractive.  So, how to choose a hat that flatters you?

Choose a hat based on your face size. If you have a small face, don’t pick the biggest hat you see.  Really large brims and crowns dwarf you.  Conversely, don’t pick a face-hugging hat if your face is bigger. And, your hat’s crown shouldn’t ever be wider than your cheekbones.

Some of the most beautiful hats are hugely expensive, it’s true. But when I started looking around on line for summer hats, I found some really great deals. No one paid me a cent for this, I just wanted to share.

The $20 hat from American Eagle pictured above is a medium brim Panama style made of woven paper straw. It’s not going to provide much sun protection, but I fell in love with it. Only $20. What do you think?


That one is more of a fashion statement than it is practical, so to make up for it, I started looking at bigger brims. Because I travel, I prefer a hat that is collapsible. Made of resilient paper straw, this big-brimmed beauty flattens and folds for packing and its extra-wide brim provides plenty of shade. About $35 from JCrew.  What do you think?

shopping-3Here’s the deal of the day from It’s oversized, straw, has a UV sun visor and if you don’t want to wear black in the sun, pick another color–it comes in 11 colors and is only about $12.  That’s a steal for such a fashionable chapeau!


Fedoras create length in a round face, especially if they have a high brim and sharp angles. Want this Indiana Jones style straw fedora?  I found it HERE for less than $20.  Again, it’s more fashion than function, but if you’re not going to be in the sun for long, it’s a great accessory.


For $15 you may be able to find this Booney hat at Costco–it’s the ultimate in sun protection.  We’re heading to Hawaii in late August and I have to admit to buying this for reading on the beach.

Here are a few other hat-wearing tips:  If your nose is on the large size, you’ll want a hat that sits forward on your head and has a distinct brim.  If you think wearing glasses cuts you out of the hat-wearing fashionista crowd, no worries. You’ll look best in a hat with a swept up or angled brim. Show off those specs!

So grab a hat and try different angles to see which looks best. It’s hat-wearing season — enjoy it!

Got a favorite? Want to talk hats? Comment below!

You can find more from Carol at

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