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June 27, 2011 10:44 AM   Subscribe

I would like to wear a wide-brimmed hat to keep a little cooler this summer. But I would rather not look like an idiot. Difficulty: short woman, gigantic candy apple head.

Can you point me toward cute sun hat silhouettes, or even pictures of people wearing sun hats well in public? And perhaps some ideas on where to obtain said hats?

I really do have an enormous head - I wear a 7 7/8 fitted hat - and I worry that a lot of the big-brimmed, dramatic hats I see will look ridiculous on me (if they're even available that large). Any suggestions for styles that will work better but still keep off the sun?

I am young, but not especially hip, and I'd rather not wear cutesy stuff. Classic more than anything else, probably. The perfect hat would hopefully look okay with both a sundress and jeans and a tee shirt.
posted by peachfuzz to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
The Wallaroo Hats are pretty good. They adjust to fit different sizes, and are designed for sun protection. Lots of outdoorsy shops sell them if you want to try some on.
posted by cushie at 10:49 AM on June 27, 2011

Go here and make like Jack Black.

I think something like this is what you want. It doesn't have the narrowest band, but it has a medium taper, medium crown height, and wide brim.
posted by tel3path at 10:53 AM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

Personally, as a hat wearer, I would recommend a straw farmer's hat like this one. One way to look at this is, that the bigger your hat is the smaller your head will be in relationship to it. Just don't worry about how it looks and have fun.
posted by DaddyNewt at 10:54 AM on June 27, 2011

Best answer: There are some good hats at Goorin Bros that also have photos showing what they look like on actual heads.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:56 AM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

I love these Scala hats. Sturdy, cottony, take-anywhere. Just wide enough of a brim to shield face from sun, not wide enough to approach theatrical. More function than fashion, which sounds like what you're seeking -- though they've plenty of the latter, too. They're also amply sized, with an inner drawstring for adjustment.
posted by taramosalata at 11:06 AM on June 27, 2011

Living in Kentucky, I have lots of opportunity to wear a giant hat and not look like a jerk. I too have a giant head and I'm short. I put my hats in two categories: special event and every day. I wear my bigger, more colorful hats to sporting events, picnics, etc and my causal, straw hats everywhere else.

I have found some great deals at TJ Maxx, Marshall's and discount stores like that. Also, check out a farm supply store or Garden Ridge. They have straw hats on the cheap.

I've also found some nice packable ones at J. Crew and Lands' End.
posted by ACN09 at 11:11 AM on June 27, 2011

Best answer: I am a hat lovarr, freshly back from being the only hat wearer at a garden party wedding! Sad but true.

The key for someone who is younger (in my experience) is to avoid things that make you look like, say, a middle-aged mom who just got out of the garden. Clean lines and angles help, so you might go for things that have a flat crown instead of a round one, and a plain band/one with some sort of studs or something instead of a gauzy scarfy thing. (Unless that's what you're going for.) You could also get away with a floppy hat, since it looks a wee bit hippie-ish and nobody really cares.

Good brands to look for that are fairly low-cost but still good quality: Betmar, Scala, Stetson. Helen Kaminski is pricy. TJ Maxx and Marshalls (especially) as well as other old-school department stores usually have more styles than expected.

Golf hats with brims tend to look good on just about anyone.

Be mindful of the weave of the hat, and make sure that the sun won't get through gaps in the weave -- small or large. You might consider buy a hat with a fabric underside, or cementing a fabric underside to an existing hat so it doesn't let the sun through. You can do it just in the front or all the way around.

So, for example: here and here are photos of someone (ahem) wearing a hat like I've described (brand: Betmar). Note the flat top and the cleanly turned up brim. You could dress that hat up or down pretty well.

Here and here and here are some photos of my dad wearing my Stetson seagrass hat. It has kind of a flip to the brim that I like, but it doesn't look like I'm trying to go for the Indiana Jones look. (This hat is well worn and kind of squished, so any weird shapes are my fault.) A straw cowboy hat would also work well.

Tilley Hats aren't the world's most stylish thing, but... gosh, looks like they have a whole line now that look way better. They do their job very well, and as you live in Colorado they will likely pass fashion muster with the REI crowd. REI and its ilk, who sell the Tilley Hat, also sell many waxed cotton/canvas hats suitable for a girl or guy.

With any hat, just wear it like you mean it and not be self-conscious. Always easier said than done, but definitely doable :)
posted by Madamina at 11:17 AM on June 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: As another round-faced individual, I've just kinda gone with the straw hat look. :)

(jeans and a tee shirt) This one I bought at a Walgreens in Florida. It had a nice little string of multi-colored shells around the band.

(sundress) This one I think I bought at a JCPenney's. It has a brown scarf around it that ties in a nice bow at the back.
posted by jillithd at 12:12 PM on June 27, 2011

Best answer: I too have an enormous head. This cowgirl hat from REI has served me well. Yes, it costs a lot, but "one size fits all" hats just perch on top of my hair -- this L/XL really is L/XL.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:15 PM on June 27, 2011

Best answer: I will have to borrow your phrase "candy-apple head" for future use, because I have one too.

I don't know if the brim is as wide as what you are looking for, but I have a linen cloche that looks like this one. It is one of the few hats I've tried that didn't look dorky on me. It shades my face (though probably not as well as a very wide brim would) and I do use it as a sun hat.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:24 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Not a specific hat suggestion, but it really sounds like you need to go to your local large, upscale clothing retailer at the mall & try on every. single. hat. Once you've figured out what general shapes work with your hair, face & style, you'll feel more confident picking out hats. Hats are AWESOME, once you figure out your style.
posted by Ys at 2:15 PM on June 27, 2011

If youwant more of a sports look, cricket sun hats are neat. The Albion Greg Chappell sun hat comes in many sizes.
posted by mmkhd at 7:19 PM on June 27, 2011

Response by poster: Oh ho, hat wearers, you are just the best. Thanks for the recommendations and encouragement!
posted by peachfuzz at 8:15 AM on June 28, 2011

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