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The Best Hats to Wear for Summer
Milliner Linda Pagan on the Perfect Design That Combines Style and Adequate Sun Protection
WALL STREET JOURNAL:
By CHERYL LU-LIEN TAN
July 9, 2014 6:15 p.m. ET
Hats have become a summer essential, but how to pick just the perfect design that combines style and ease with adequate sun protection? Milliner Linda Pagan, owner of the Hat Shop in New York, says the key is to find a piece that “makes you feel comfortable and confident.”
The first thing Ms. Pagan looks for in a summer hat is ample protection. “Wide-brimmed hats are the way to go for summer,” she says.
Ms. Pagan says women should look for brims that span at least 4 inches. “That will cover your face, your neck, your decollete,” she says. “Fedoras have been popular recently but that’s not going to give you sun protection unless they’re wide-brimmed fedoras.”
The brim of a summer hat should span at least 4 inches, though petite women might want to start with a 3-inch brim.
Avoid wearing fabric and lacquered straw hats in the heat.
A hat with an exaggerated wide brim should have wire in it to keep the brim from drooping in your face.
Match the hat’s crown to your cheekbones. Tall hats work well with pointy faces and squarish ones suit round faces.
A big no-no for summer: hats with stingy brims, such as pork pies and baseball caps.
For that reason, styles such as pork pies and baseball caps, though a popular summer staple, are a big no-no, Ms. Pagan says. “Stingy brims,” she notes. “You’re not getting sun protection.”
Proportions are an important consideration when it comes to brims. While brims as large as 7 inches can sometimes look glamorous in the pages of a magazine, “if you’re petite, it’s going to make you look shorter.” In fact, petite women might want to start with 3-inch brims, Ms. Pagan says.
Also, if attempting a hat with an exaggerated wide brim, she suggests looking for one that has some wire to give it some shape.
"The thing about floppy hats is they look great in photographs but when you wear them in real life, the brim might droop so much that you won’t be able to see," she says. "Look for a good quality floppy brim that has some body to it so it doesn’t fall right in your face."
The Nomad with a square crown Rebecca Greenfield for The Wall Street Journal
Fabric hats should be avoided in warmer climes. “They are hot because they don’t breathe,” Ms. Pagan says. Think about how hot cotton would be “as opposed to something made out of straw that the wind can pass through.”
There is one type of fabric she likes in a summer hat, though: handkerchief linen. “It’s lightweight, not as heavy as some of the canvas hats out there,” she says.
Generally, Ms. Pagan favors straw hats that aren’t too stiff. “I like a hat that you can squash in your bag and take to the beach, wear gardening or in the city,” she says.
Her favorite type of straw for hats is balibuntal raw straw, which is very fine and lightweight. “You can wear it swimming and when you dip the hat in cold water and put it on your head and let it dry off, it’s like primitive air-conditioning,” she says.
Lacquered straw hats, on the other hand, will have the same effect as a fabric hat. “It isn’t going to breathe. It’s going to make you hot,” she says.
A Panama fedora Rebecca Greenfield for The Wall Street Journal
When picking a style and shape of hat that suits you, Ms. Pagan says to start by “matching the cheekbones to the width of the crown.”
There are many potential style pitfalls here, she adds. “If you’re wide cheekboned and you have a skinny crown, it’s going to make your face look bigger,” she says. “If you have a teeny tiny face, make sure to scale the hat down.”
Taller styles such as fedoras work well with pointy faces “because it creates a diamond effect,” which is flattering, Ms. Pagan adds, while rounder faces should seek out squarish crowns. “If you have a round face and you wear a round brim, it’s going to make you look rounder.”
Women with angular faces have all the luck, Ms. Pagan says. “If you have a very angular face, you can wear anything,” she says.
An extra wide brimmed fedora. Rebecca Greenfield for The Wall Street Journal
If you have several options, different styles do convey different moods. “Round crowns are more soft and romantic,” she says. “Squares are classic, tailored; fedoras are more casual.”
For some added style, Ms. Pagan likes to have a collection of scarfs or ribbons that she can tie around her straw hat so the look is easily changeable and can match many ensembles.
Similarly, a summer straw hat with some malleability is a good investment. “What you can do is you can wet it and make a fedora shape,” she says. “But if you decide you don’t want that you can wet it again and make the crown rounder or curl up the brim.”
Finally, she adds, “What you really want to feel is confident in that hat. When you get the right hat, you should feel like it’s part of you, that you’re wearing the hat and it isn’t wearing you.”
Write to Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan at email@example.com
HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT SUN PROTECTION HAT
Summer is here and at The Hat Shop we now sell more summer hats than winter hats (thank you climate change!). The summers are longer and stronger and everyone needs
to be cautious about the sun’s harmful rays.
The Hat Shop stocks a full collection of sun hats throughout September and early October and carries a capsule collection for the ever increasing customer from south of the equator and those who travel to the sun during the cold months.
When looking for the optimum sun hat we suggest at least a 4” brim as it protects the
face, neck, ears, décolletage, and that expensive hair color! For every 1” of brim there is
a 10% reduction in your risk of getting cancer. So a 4” brim slashes that risk to 40%.
Unless you are allergic to the sun we suggest avoiding cloth hats as they are hot.
Opt instead for a tightly woven straw such as panama or Milan straw, as they are protective and cool. Also, you may want to choose a hat that has a medium or high crown as this allows the air to circulate, close fitting caps make you hotter.
Baseball hats don’t cut the “mustard” (no hotdog pun intended) when it comes to sun
Protection. They were designed to keep the sun out of baseball players but don’t give
the overall protection needed. There has been an uptick in baseball cap wearers getting
skin cancers removed from the tips of their ears and the sides of their faces due to inadequate sun protection.
The Hat Shop has many appropriate styles for women and men but we will focus on three:
Available in Milan straw it has an asymmetric brim: 4” in the front, 3” in the back. The smaller back brim allows for comfort when driving or sitting in a deck chair.
The brim can be worn up, down or even asymmetrically. A versatile hat for beach, town, and country.
Nomad Travel Hat: Women
This hat is the best travel hat on the market. It is made of balibuntal straw which is very durable and extremely lightweight.. It is ideally suited for very hot climates as it can be put into cold water and worn on the head as a coolant. It loves the water so you
can swim with it on and take it sailing without fear of damage. When you wet the hat you can also shape it into the silhouette of your choice: round crown, square crown, fedora or cloche.
It is completely packable so you throw i it in your bag or sling it into the overhead.
Like the Mrs. Peel it has a 4” brim with a 3” back brim. Grommets in the back of the hat allow you to interchange ribbons which you then cinch to your size. You can even dress it up by pulling your favorite scarf through the grommets.
Nomad Travel Hat: Men
Classic Fedora shape made from balibuntal straw. Lightweight and durable it can be put into cold water to keep you cool.
The Hat Shop has many more styles, and we work closely with every customer to ensure that they get the most comfortable, stylish and protective hat possible!
To see photos of the above mentioned styles contact us via message or call us on 212 219 1445
Summer time …. it’s sun hat protection time… watch for our upcoming tip sheet on finding the perfect sun hat!
The Hat Shop highly encourages wedding hats to wear a fabulous chapeau to nuptials! It makes the whole thing sooooo much fun.
You don’t have to be the bride to look fabulous at a summer wedding! More wedding guests are showing up wearing the season’s most fashionable custom-made hats. If you’re attending a summer wedding, The Hat Shop must be your first stop for men’s and women’s hats!
A wedding is cause for celebration, and any celebration is grounds for looking great! The Hat Shop provides custom hats for family members, friends, and acquaintances. Whether you’re the mother of the bride, the mother-in-law of the bride, or the mother of the groom’s coworker, you deserve a custom hat that fits your style and wedding outfit.
Consider this summer’s trending colors. Simple blacks, whites, or a balance of both will suffice when it comes to your wedding hat. Icy pastels, such as pale blues and pinks, will also make a trendy statement when you show up to the ceremony. If you’re looking to make a bit of a bolder statement, try a pink hat, or a neutral-colored hat with a pink accent. Either of these choices will send whispers through the crowd at the wedding, and will make you the talk of the reception!
The Hat Shop has the widest selection of hats for any occasion, especially when it comes to wedding season. Summer is a busy time of the year, so make sure you visit soon to order your custom-made hat for the next wedding on your list! To discover The Hat Shop’s selection of hat styles, visit their website or call (212) 219-1445 to arrange an appointment at their store in SoHo.
It’s a win-win: the customers, the creative milliners, the Brooklyn hat factory that makes the boxes, an independent shop in Soho & the world is a more friendly place when they see someone in a hat!