Arguably the most adaptable fashion accessory of all, women's hats can be worn to emphasize individual style or make a personal statement but there are times when a hat is simply worn for practical purposes. So, if you’re on the lookout for a new hat to highlight your own sense of individual style, we bring you this quick guide to some of the most trending hats for women.
Fedoras were one of the most popular hat styles being worn as far back as the 1920’s. However, the classic appeal of the fedora still remains consistent with the ever-changing fashion trends of modern times. This would also include the likes of the trilby, the pork pie hat, and the boater. By design, the traditional fedora typically features a soft brim with an indented crown and a lengthwise crease across the top. This distinctive crease can be found in different shapes such as the popular teardrop or diamond contour.
Interestingly, before they became popular with men, fedoras were originally a common fashion accessory for women as far back as the 1880’s. Originally popularized by the French stage actress, Sarah Bernhardt, the fedora went on to become the fashion accessory of choice for women campaigning for gender equality. Once regarded as the defining fashion statement of the women's rights movement at the time, they continue to be worn by women today with their popularity again on the rise. These days, felt fedoras in particular have long been considered a unisex style and are widely available in different colours and come in a variety of shapes and styles.
Whilst Panama hats are still considered icons of timeless fashion, it is interesting to note that they do not originally come from Panama. They actually originated in Ecuador around the mid-1880's where they went on to become worn as essential everyday items. Genuine Panama hats are traditionally woven from the leaves of a palm-like plant known as Toquilla which is most commonly found in Ecuador.
Panama hats will always enhance any summer outfit no matter how casual or formal. They are especially popular with women because they always project a genuine sense of style while providing good sun protection at the same time. Essentially, the Panama is a fedora-shaped hat with a similar central crease through the crown coming to a pinched point at the front. The uptake of women wearing Panama hats has been significant, and given they are available in a variety of looks and levels of craftsmanship; it is not surprising.
Synonymous with long sunny days and deep blue skies, Panama hats are lightweight, breathable, and effortlessly complement any summer outfit. Whilst the various brim widths can vary, notably the wider round-brim options available for women, the heightened sense of style and individuality they represent is simply unmistakable.
The cowboy hat is often thought of as a conventional American style with its origins steeped in the Wild West. However, that has never stopped the likes of fashion influencers and designers from blending them with modern-day outfits. Because cowboy hats have their own unique way of adding that personal touch to an outfit, it is perhaps why so many women still love wearing them to this day. As with the fedora, cowboy hats have remained popular not only because many influencers and celebrities still endorse them, but because they can quickly transform any wardrobe into having a completely unique look to suit the individual.
Often referred to simply as sun hats, beach hats are perfect for those bright, sunny days where a little extra protection and minimalist style is all that’s needed. Available in a wide range of materials such as straw, natural raffia and other lightweight fabrics, it’s important that summer hats for women should always provide some level of protection from the sun’s UV rays. A combination of functionality mixed with panache should be something to look out for because you’ll still want to look good while wearing your sun hat.
In terms of being sun-smart, the brim size will of course have a bearing on the amount of protection your hat provides. As a general rule, it’s recommended that sun hats should have a brim measuring at least 6-7cm minimum. Hats with these size brims and wider should provide sufficient enough protection for your eyes, face, and importantly, your neck. That said, the wider the brim, the better! If having the maximum level of sunscreen possible is important to you, then you should consider a hat with a certified UPF 50+ rating. Hats with this particular rating means you will receive the maximum possible protection available against the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Also, check women's visor hats
Good quality wool felt hats are noted for their water-resistant properties and durability. So, whether it be an elegant wide-brim or a classic fedora to add to your wardrobe, felt hats have increasingly been trending upwards to become the go-to style of choice for many women. They look great with both formal and casual wear, so whether you’re dressing to impress, or just taking a relaxing walk through the park, felt hats are comfortable to wear, stylish, and provide great sun protection.
Not to be thought of more as a winter hat only, felt hats are absolutely perfect for wearing all-year round. Because they are so versatile, felt hats can be worn for any season and in all temperatures. Whilst they offer maximum sun-protection throughout the summer months, they’re also great in colder weather because they have a way of making us feel just that little more protected during the winter chills. Because of this, there is an array of felt hat styles that lend themselves well to individuality and personal style regardless of the season.
WRITTEN BY SHAUN CHARNLEY