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Bucket vs straw: The best hats to protect your skin this summer

By Megan Bedford

Best Straw Hats 2023
With the sun making an appearance (if fleeting in some parts) it's high time to select this season's go-to cover-ups to top off your summer outfits.

With plenty of sun-drenched days ahead having a stylish option at-hand is essential.

There are those that grumble that selecting a hat can be an annoyance that messes your hair and can be hard to keep in place when the wind picks up. The upside is that they offer a another way to accessorise an on-trend ensemble, and with a wider range of fashion designers offering hats in their collections, more variety to choose from.

All of which misses the crucial reason we should be reaching for a hat at all: essential protection from damaging UV rays that can impact the health of our skin and eyes.

In addition to committing to sunscreen and a long-sleeve cover-up if you’re out in the middle of day, a hat will keep the sun off your skin and out of your eyes, helping prevent premature skin aging and helping lower the risk of skin cancer.  A great one is also indispensable for beach-vacation or weekend-getaway packing.

But what to choose this season? While a sporty-casual baseball cap looks great with your gym or casual weekend outfits, acessorising a dress or sweeping palazzo pants poses a greater challenge.

Top of the list? A wide brim straw or raffia option or street-cool cotton bucket hat with a down-turned brim.

Best Bucket Hats 2023

L-R: Superette Hat; Louis Vuitton Hat; Aje Hat; Cult Gaia Hat from Muse 

While colour, texture and and bold pattern led the way for bucket hats last season, early contenders this season are far more restrained, in simple hues or dark denim.

Straw hats

Best Straw Hats 2023

L-R: Sophie Store; Johanna Ortiz hat from Netaporter; Lack of Colour Hat; Dior Hat

While we’ve dialed back the volume just a tad from Jacquemus’ famous gigantic straw hats, a good option demands a bit of drama size-wise. This year’s must-do? a grosgrain ribbon, that may or may not come with sweeping ties to secure jauntily under the chin.

Wide-brim hats

Best Bucket hats with wide brim 2023

L-R: Caitlin Crisp Hat; Lack of Colour Hat; Helen Kaminski hat; Kate Sylvester Hat

If you’re serious about keeping the sun off, but want something comfortable and easy to pack (lugging a precious straw hat as carry-on is exhausting) go for the style that combines both previous options and is everywhere right now: a bucket-style cloth number with an extended brim.

Image (top): Lack of Colour.


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