Courtesy of Free People
When it comes to summer accessories, the most important item to own is a quality sun hat, which will help protect you from harmful UV rays. But remember, just because you're wearing a hat doesn't mean you can skip the sunscreen. "A sun hat should be viewed as a secondary measure of protection against UV rays," says Dr. Elizabeth Hale, board-certified dermatologist and a vice president of the Skin Cancer Foundation. "You should always also use a broad spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher and reapply every two hours while in the sun."
As for what to look for in a sun hat? "The wider the brim, the better the protection," explains Dr. Hale. "Look for ones that shade not only your scalp, but the sides of your face, ears, and back of your neck. These are all common areas for squamous cell carcinoma, and something like a baseball hat doesn't provide protection to these spots." Dr. Hale also notes that your hat should ideally be "made from a light-colored fabric to reflect sun rays and is rated UPF 50 or higher." A UPF rating stands for "Ultraviolet Protection Factor" and indicates how much UV radiation a fabric allows to penetrate; UPF 50 rating blocks 98 percent of the sun's rays. Ahead, our picks for the best sun hats that will keep you safe all summer long.
Wide Brimmed Adjustable
With over 14,000 reviews and a five-star rating on Amazon, this straw is under $25 and comes in 25 different colorways. The best part? It's adjustable, which is perfect if hats tend to run large on you.
Shop Now: Lanzom Wide Brim Straw Hat, $23.99, amazon.com.
Supersizing your sun hat is always a good idea. This extra-large brim doesn't look suitcase-friendly, but it's actually designed to be packed up without losing its shape.
Shop Now: Free People Shady Character Packable Wide Brim Hat, $68, freepeople.com.
We all need a staple "vacation hat," something that travels well, protects us from the sun, and goes with virtually any ensemble. This one fits the bill.
Shop Now: Halogen Panama Hat, $29, nordstrom.com.
Looking for a sun hat that can go from day to night? You've found it. Janessa Leoné's stylish offerings will protect you from the sun's strong rays and ensure you look great while doing it.
Shop Now: Janessa Leoné "Janine" Hat, $217, revolve.com.
If you're looking for a sun hat specifically for hiking, this one is your best bet. It's made of nylon material which is great for more athletic outdoor activities, as opposed to canvas or straw.
Shop Now: The North Face Horizon Breeze Brimmer Hat, $34.95, zappos.com.
Do you prefer cotton over a synthetic material, like nylon? This canvas hat is composed of the former and has an inside adjustable drawstring; it's particularly great if you like to spend hours in the garden.
Shop Now: Anthropologie Cotton Crusher Hat, $36, anthropologie.com.
If you're the type who'd rather kayak or explore a new trail instead of lounge by the pool, go for this iteration. It has moisture wicking properties and it floats, which is perfect if you enjoy your time by the water.
Shop Now: Eddie Bauer Exploration Wide Brim Hat, $20, eddiebauer.com.
This textured straw hat is ideal if you're looking for something that you can wear out to Sunday brunch or while running errands-but it also provides ample sun protection.
Shop Now: J. Crew Textured Summer Straw Hat, $49.50, jcrew.com.
Perfect for Ponytails
Aside from protecting key areas like the back of your neck and having a UPF 50 rating, what sets this hat apart is that it has an opening for your ponytail.
Shop Now: Solbari Everyday Sun Hat, $50, solbari.com.
This hat is the perfect mix of fashion and function. It's available in ivory or dusty pink, and the brim flips up to reveal a vibrant floral print.
Shop Now: Business & Pleasure Wide Brim Hat, $80, freepeople.com.
If you want something that can easily transition from a more standard-style cap to a full-coverage sun hat, consider this scarf hat. It can be tied in multiple ways to adjust to your coverage needs.
Shop Now: Coolibar "Abril" UPF 50 Scarf Hat, $59, coolibar.com.