Airports Made Simple sent me this note today: “I have a question for you – this occurred to me today as I was walking my dog. It’s cold here, so I typically wear a warm cable knit hat that fits over my ears or a beret/beanie that’s warm. However, as you know…it doesn’t protect my skin from the sun like my ‘summer hat’ (a large garden hat or wide-brimmed beach hat), and I sometimes forget the sunscreen in the winter. Besides always wearing sunscreen (which I should do anyway!!), is there a winter hat style that is warm and also provides sun protection for the face?”
This is such a great question! I am very fair myself, so I’m a lifelong sunscreen user, but sunscreen alone is sometimes not enough. (Did you know that, even on a cloudy day, up to 80% of harmful UV rays still get through?) So I also love my wide-brimmed summer hats, but in the winter, they just look… wrong. Airports Made Simple raises a good point: in the winter, can a hat protect you from both cold and sun? Does the perfect winter hat actually exist?
I love hats myself, and coincidentally, I happen to have a wide-brimmed wool hat, for which I braved the blog camera (oh, the lengths I go to for you, my wonderful friends!):
This hat was given to me, so unfortunately I don’t know from whence it came (there’s no label), but that may be as well— it’s not very exciting. (My daughter’s word for it was “frumpy”. Oh, the horror.) I mostly wear it when it’s wet here in the Pacific Northwest; like many who grew up in this part of the world, I don’t like using umbrellas. I may not be making a serious fashion statement, but at least it keeps the rain from coursing down the back of my neck. Maybe now I’ll be inspired to start wearing it more on fair-but-cold days! Better yet, why not find myself a wide-brimmed warm hat that has a modicum of chic?
My habitual first stop: Anthropologie (natch). I love their hats, and some are surprisingly well-priced, but a quick glance at the “Cold-weather Essentials” on their site yielded only close-fitting cloches and knit caps (and some fantastic arm warmers and scarves, by the by). Looking just at “Hats” (under Accessories) was more successful. Here are a few options, starting at just $48.00:
There were several more possibilities on the Anthropologie Hats page, including a beautiful clear rain hat (probably not much sun protection there, but you’ll be wearing it in the rain anyway), and several more wide-brimmed wool beauties. Fedoras for days! I also like their cloche styles; these tend to have a longer brim in front than back, so they do shade the face. Here’s one of my favorite cloches:
Of course, Anthropologie is just one shopping possibility, but I have to say I’m impressed with their wide variety of styles— and I have experience with their beautiful quality!
Special note for Airports Made Simple: Because I like to believe in a fashionable Utopia where practicality and elegance can peacefully coexist, I tried to pick hats that I could confidently wear while walking a dog! It’s true that whenever there’s a brim, there’s more of a chance of it blowing off, but these choices look like they could stand up to the wind pretty well, while protecting your skin. (The one I’m wearing here always stays on, even without a band. And the cloche styles tend to stay put too.) Let me know if these hats are not at all your style, and I will resume the hunt, and post a follow-up! Thanks again for the great question!
Last note: Many of these hats would be perfect for traveling, especially with winter more or less upon us now. When you’re planning your next trip, be sure to check in first at the Airports Made Simple blog! You’ll find everything from packing lists to bad-weather airport updates here, plus much more! (Need to find out if you can carry on a hat box, perhaps?) Even if you don’t plan to travel in the immediate future, this informative and entertaining blog will keep you up-to-date on all topics related to air travel!
November 12, 2012 at 7:30 pm
Well hello there! What an amazing, thoughtful, smart, and fantastically fast response! And so very helpful! Yes, well, I will be stopping by Anthropologie soon to try some on. I will keep you posted. And thank you so kindly for your kind words about my blog. It really made my day! 🙂 thanks again and hope to talk soon.
November 13, 2012 at 9:52 am
Thank you so much! I’m glad you like it, and I hope it’s useful! When questions like this come up, it makes me realize how often I just pull on something like a hat without really thinking about it; your question made me think!
November 12, 2012 at 7:35 pm
Also, I see you are wearing your rain hat with the aforementioned coat! 🙂 I actually really like that look. Chic.
November 13, 2012 at 9:54 am
Yes, that is the same coat! I like it because it’s fairly lightweight, and the above-knee length is more versatile for me than a longer coat. I think it’s the only thing I own that’s black and white!
November 13, 2012 at 12:54 am
Unfortunately, I don’t look good in any hat! Why is it that some people can wear them and some can’t, I wonder…
November 13, 2012 at 9:57 am
Actually, the shape of my face makes it tricky for me to find the right hats, but I love them, so I just keep trying them on! And even though the wool one in this post isn’t ideal, it is practical in wet weather, and perhaps most importantly, doesn’t flatten my hair!
November 14, 2012 at 6:00 pm
I’ve always been a “Hat Person” but it really does depend on the hat. Some make me look great and some make me look like the old lady with six cats! 🙂
November 16, 2012 at 1:48 pm
I’m a guy, I wear a beanie all year round so I’m pretty useless to this discussion. But if it’s any help I think all the hats on display here are a really cute 🙂
ps. I have been know to wear a straw western hat in warmer climates 😉
November 16, 2012 at 2:14 pm
Not useless at all, actually you bring up a good point– men need sun protection too! But admittedly, your hat style choices are not as plentiful. So what do you do to take care of your skin (in the absence of your straw western hat, that is)? Is sunscreen your only option?
November 16, 2012 at 2:39 pm
Well currently I live in Ireland so the sun is not something I’m ever too worried about lol! During the summer I sometimes wear a ‘flat cap’, keeps the sun off my cheeks on the few days that the sun decides to shine. But yeah I’d never wear a baseball cap or a pork pie hat which are the only other real alternatives I suppose. Only the straw cowboy hat gives you the full coverage though, lovely on a hot day 🙂 When I’m in Europe or Australia that’s my hat of choice 🙂