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Wide-Brim Hat Styles

by Angela Bakke

If you're ready to add a little elegance and a splash of drama to your wardrobe, try a wide-brimmed hat -- sometimes referred to as a floppy hat and always incredibly chic. When it comes to wide-brimmed hats you should choose your style based on what you want the hat to do -- perhaps you need a little shade for your face, you want to hide a bad haircut or you're determined to steal the spotlight at a particular event. Whatever the purpose, the wide-brimmed hat will serve you well and add a spring to your step.

Fashionable Structured Styles

If you want a more structured style to your hat, the wide-brimmed fedora is a highlight of this fashion trend and an eye-catching look on both men and women. It has the traditional fedora's stylized cap but extends the brim to three or four inches, amplifying the drama factor and making it a perfect choice for anyone who has a chic outfit in need of a stylish accessory. These hats are often made from a dark neutral-colored felt and have grosgrain ribbon hatbands. Another fashionable structured wide-brimmed hat for both men and women is the Amish-style hat, which is always made of black felt and has a wide, circular brim with a round top.

Bohemian

Bohemian-style hats typically have a wider, floppier brim and a soft, sloppy fit. They are perfect for tossing in your bag or backpack when you're traveling -- hence the bohemian association. A bohemian-style hat can come in an array of different fabrics, ranging from leather to suede to straw and felt, as well appearing in bold bright colors. This style is more frequently seen on women or young men who can work a more androgynous style.

Retro Looks

More commonly seen in women's fashion, the wide-brimmed floppy hat is the ideal accessory for finishing a fashionable 70s-inspired outfit. The best hat to pull off this retro look is one that has a floppy, extra-wide brim and is made out of dark, wool felt. Wear a floppy felt hat with a pair of oversized round or square-shaped sunglasses, a loose-fitting cotton tunic top and a pair of wide-leg jeans. Finish off your look with a pair of wedge sandals and you're a walking throw-back to the Woodstock era. Be sure to keep your hair loose and flowing under the hat to frame your face. Tuck a daisy behind one ear if you want to go all out with this look.

Classic Styles

The most common style of wide-brimmed hat is the traditional straw hat that generations of people have used as sun protection. Just as stylish as it is functional, a woman can't get more beachy-glam than when she wears a nude-colored, wide-brimmed floppy sun hat made out of straw or raffia. Your straw hat should fully shade your face with a brim circumference of nearly two feet. A classic men's version of the sun hat is the Panama hat, which is also lightweight and made of straw -- a fashionable way for any man to protect his face from the sun.

About the Author

Angela Bakke is a Los Angeles-based writer and reporter with more than a decade of experience covering fashion, beauty, the arts and entertainment. She has interviewed some of the most famous people in the world and covered stories for Beyond Cinema, Hollywood.com, ReelzChannel, CNN.com and Celebs.com.

Photo Credits

  • Bryan Bedder/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images