Fashion & Beauty

Hats for Sun—and Fun

Keep your hat on. From left to right, a slouchy wide-brim hat from Free People, Eugenia Kim’s showstopper and a fringed visor from Lola Hats. 

By Janet Kelly

LAST WEEK Sarah Jessica Parker posted a photo of herself on the set of  “And Just Like That” in an enormous, puffy gingham hat. Soooo SJP to embrace such over-the-top choice. But she wasn’t alone. At the Cannes film festival, Anya Taylor-Joy wore a straw hat that looked like a flying saucer.

Head-turning hats are fashion statements on the French Riviera. But wearing oversize hats with generous, wide brims are also practical for keeping the sun off your face, neck and shoulders and keeping you cool. They can be stylish as well.

Something else to keep in mind: May is melanoma and skin cancer awareness month. (Some of the hats below are made with sun-protective fabric. Whatever you choose, though, remember to wear sunscreen.)

Here, our picks for the season’s best looks in hats.

Terrain has a terrific selection of garden gear and apparel. I hesitate to call myself a real gardener, but I would be delighted to don this wide-brimmed Kiara raffia hat to protect (along with sunscreen) my eyes and face while doing my necessary watering and weeding. The lush green color weaved in makes it special; an adjustable ribbon secures the fit. It sells for $98.


A wide brim (3.25 inches) at the front protects your eyes and the tender tips of the ears from the sun’s rays but the beauty of Solibar’s Wanderlust Visor UPF50+ ($49) is it can also be worn as a cap—a zip-off top section shields the top of your head from the heat of the sun. A strap ensures it stays on your head on a windy day. Want another color? It’s available in navy, beige, white, silver, coral, pink and black, too.

Cowboy looks never go out of style. Think Hollywood, Ralph Lauren, Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé. Our own Mary Carpenter started wearing her sons’ cowboy hats a few years ago and recently bought one for herself in Kansas City. I think she might like this cute textured one —in crocheted raffia— for summer. Trimmed in faux leather with an adjustable sweatband, it sells for $172 at Hat Attack.

The loose look of crochet is going strong for summer. Ganni’s cotton bucket hat in racing red offers a little coverage with its brim but in the main it’s just a darn cute choice. It sells for $145 at Shopbop.


What sun? Lululemon’s wide-brimmed hat ($58) in a lightweight, sweat-wicking UPF 40+ fabric keeps the rays off your face, while extra length at the back means additional protection for your neck. You can cinch the toggle on the back to adjust the fit. When it gets scruffy, handwash in cold water.


A big, wide brim and slouchy silhouette with dangling removable ties makes this shoreline bucket hat a great choice for staying shaded from the sun. Easily packable for traveling and/or taking to the beach, it comes in this espresso (above), plus it’s available in black, sand, tomato and light blue for $38 from Free People.


Frida Kahlo fans, take note. This reversible sun hat, digitally printed with floral patterns inspired by Kahlo, pays tribute to the artist’s legacy and influence. Not a sunny day? You’ll look fetching with the striped brim turned up. It sells for $55 at Wolf & Badger.

Look impossibly chic while also shielding your face from the sun with the extra-wide brim on this hand-crafted, fringed raffia visor from Lola Hats. It sells for $245 at Moda Operandi.

Outdoor Research is serious about sun protection. The brand’s Oasis Sun Hat (SolarShield™ UPF 50 sun protection) keeps you on the shady side with a 3.25-inch brim in the front and 4.5 inches protecting your neck at the back. A drawcord makes it easy to adjust the fit and a headband helps wick away sweat. It even floats should you drop it in the pool. It sells for $42 at Zappos.


No matter where you actually are, imagine  strolling along a beach path overlooking the sea as you watch heads turn to admire you in Eugenia Kim’s Giselle floral-print satin oversize sunhat—with a 9-inch brim and UPF 50+ protection. The stunner of a hat is also packable, so you can take it anywhere you travel. It sells for $375.


Grownup Girl Fashion by MyLittleBird

Fashion and beauty for women over 40. A Substack from the writers who bring you MyLittleBird.
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2 thoughts on “Hats for Sun—and Fun

  1. Nancy G says:

    Love big hats for the summer. And hats more like fedoras for the cooler seasons. Many of these are great. Not that I “need” another hat. But I’ll check out the Free People one in particular.

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      The Free People one is especially cute and has good coverage. Are you near an actual store?

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