Choosing a hat is no simple task. There are so many varieties of brims, materials and looks that the thought of going to the store can be daunting. Next time you find your noggin in need of a little protection from the sun, here are a few things you should ask yourself first.
What are you using it for?
Will this hat only be used at the beach or are you looking for something you can wear all year long? Maybe you’re planning on using it in the garden and need something that’ll cover your whole head for hours at a time. Are you a fisherman? If so, you’ll want something that won’t restrict your view, but will also protect your neck since you’re likely to be standing still under the beating sun for long stretches, a fishing cap would be perfect for you.
How much protection do you want?
Hats protect your head in two ways—they cover the top of your dome from direct sunlight (which is perfect for guys whose hairline is running away from them) and they have brims on them to protect your face and neck. A traditional canvas safari hat will give you great protection from the sun, while a mesh safari hat has holes that might let some sun in but will give you great air flow to help keep you cool. For great all around protection, you’ll want a classic style with a brim.
How big should that brim be?
A brim can be long or short, depending on your needs and fashion sense. A shorter brim might look a bit more stylish, but it doesn’t protect against the sun as adequately as others. Of course, if you’re cool with slathering on the sunscreen than you really don’t need something too wide. On the other hand, if you’d prefer to avoid reapplying sunscreen throughout the day, aim for something a little bit longer—like this hat with a 7” brim.
What kind of material do you want?
Hats come in many different materials, and your needs will be based upon comfort and looks. There’s the classic straw hat that looks great on any man, while women looking for a little flair might opt for a fun ribbon hat. Cloth, particularly microfiber, is a great choice for men and women looking for something comfortable, airy and easy to clean.
What’s your style?
At the end of the day, your choice in hat might just come down to what looks best on you? Traditional ball caps never go out of style for either gender, and visors are perfect for the summer months. They help shade your eyes, while also letting you show off that new hairdo. If you like the look of a cap but want a little extra coverage for your face, give the Facesaver a try. It has an extra long and wide brim so the bottom half of your face doesn’t turn the color of a tomato while the top half stays pasty white.
The reality is no hatter is going to cover all your needs, so it’s always a good idea to have a few different styles and varieties on hand.