Sun Hats: How to Protect Your Skin And Still Look Stylish

There’s no denying the fact that we should be protecting our skin from the sun. Not only do the sun’s rays cause skin damage and wrinkles, they can be downright dangerous, especially if you have a family history of skin cancer. While we suggest you always wear sunscreen (it’s one of the keys to aging backwards!), nothing compares to actual coverage from clothing and of course, chic and stylish sun protection hats.

Stylish Sun Protection Hats

But hats in general can be tough to pull off without looking awkward, dorky, or like a grandma, but there are definitely sun protection hats that are utterly chic and will protect your skin. You just have to find the one that works for you. And there are options that are easily packable for that beach trip as well, along with sun blocking hats made from UV resistant materials.

Besides, who doesn’t want that glamorous vacation pic with sunglasses and a great hat? Here are some of our favorite sun hat styles.


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Madewell Packable Mesa Straw Hat, $38 | Melissa Odabash Jemima Hat, $136

Floppy Sun Hats with Broad Brims

A big floppy sun hat is probably what you’re picturing when you think of beach hats, and these are some of the best sun protection hats. Straw hats or other woven hats are common, but UV-resistant fabrics are becoming more common as well. We’re fans of this ultra versatile packable and crushable broad-brimmed Madewell hat or this oversize Melissa Odenbash style hat.

sun protection hats bucket style tie dye and burberry plaid fountainof30
Aqua Tie-Dye Bucket Hat, $38 | Burberry Checked Cotton-canvas Bucket Hat, $320

Bucket Hats

Bucket hats are super trendy at the moment, so if the style works for your face shape you’ll have plenty of options. We’re fans of this tie-dye style from Aqua for this summer, along with this classic Burberry tartan plaid canvas bucket hat.

best sun protection hats Baseball Cap fountainof30
Off-White Diagonal Graphic Baseball Cap, $230

Baseball Caps

A casual classic, especially with a ponytail sticking out of the back, the brim will keep the sun off your face but keep in mind that you still need to protect the back of your neck. Of course, you can always go with a cap repping your favorite team, but this Off-White black and white striped cap is super crisp and cool.

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Free People Baha Straw Visor, $34 | Prada Tie-Dye Visor, $280


Same as baseball caps, these are great for showing off your hair will but they will leave the back of your neck bare. So don’t forget the sunscreen! This Baha Straw visor from Free People comes in a bunch of fun hues, and this tie-dye Prada visor might be the perfect summer 2019 accessory.

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Gucci Grosgrain-trimmed Glittered Straw Hat, $520 | Cuyana Summer Hat, $95 | Express Black Trim Boater Hat, $34.90

Boater Hats

Similar to a cowboy hat but with a flatter brim (and no country girl clichés), these are great for protecting your face and neck from the sun. Splurge on this glittered straw Gucci number or if that’s not in the budget, this Cuyana boater hat that’s made in Ecuador out of the same straw that is traditionally used for panama hats. An even cheaper version is available from Express.

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Coolibar Megan Fedora, $55 | Rag & Bone Packable Straw Fedora in pastel colors, $225


These can work for the city as well as the beach. Coolibar’s “Meghan” fedora is easy to wear and would work with nearly any summer outfit, and the cool pastel colorways that this Rag & Bone straw fedora comes in are great as well. 

stylish sunhats for women Panama hats fountainof30
Treasure & Bond Open Weave Panama Hat, $39 | Sunday Afternoons Havana Hat, $28

Panama Hats

A traditional silhouette with a slightly curved brim, this can be a flattering choice. Besides, they look great with summer dresses. They are usually made of straw with a black band but there are definitely more modern styles out there, like this Treasure and Bond version or this packable Panama hat option from Sunday Afternoons at Amazon.

Best Hat for Your Face Shape

If you’re having trouble figuring out which type of hat is the best – and most flattering – for you, check out CoolBar’s excellent guide to finding a sun hat based on your face shape (and they have some great UV protection hats as well!). Here are some general guidelines for finding the best hat for your face shape.

Oblong or longer faces look better with broad brims (think boater style hats or larger Panama hats. Square faces look better with slouchy or floppy hat styles (think bucket hats or the standard big floppy sun hat). Rounder faces can benefit from the angles created by a fedora or Panama (or a baseball cap or visor). And people with heart-shaped faces can get away with pretty much anything.

Protect yourself and your skin this summer with a super-stylish sun hat!

–Jacqueline Zenn

You may also like to read more of Jacqueline’s styling tips like What to Wear to A Wedding This Summer and How To Dress For Your Body Type After 40.

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