Top it Off: The Ultimate Guide to the Best Summer Hat Trends

Your royal hat-ness: the best toppers to elevate your seasonal style

By Taylor Stephan Jul 23, 2015 7:09 PMTags
Vanessa Hudgens, Street StyleGardiner Anderson/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Truth: Multifunctional fashion will never go out of style.

Hats, for instance, serve two purposes in our book: One is of the more obvious sun-shielding variety, but the second is purely for the sake of accentuating personal style. Throwing a topper on transforms an outfit, adding an element of elegance to an otherwise basic look—which is why E! Style Collective stylist Lindsay Albanese encouraged us to flirt with all with different shapes and sizes on the market.

For this season in particular, "the wider the brim the better," she noted.

Keeping that in mind we've identified the top summer hats you should be wearing for some serious shade.

Straw Boater Hat: This crown flat-brim hat is an up-and-coming style that "we are used to seeing in movies and on characters, or even one that we associate with rowing or sailing," said Lindsay. In the street-style scenario, the versatile structure teeters on ultra-feminine and hipster, making it a wearable choice for a wide range of ensembles. 

Swinger Hat: This is a grand style on its own so Lindsay cautioned to stay away from embellishments, colored ribbons or any extras in order to keep it feeling current. When going with a brazen, statement-making style like this, be sure to stick with solid colors. Color-blocking in neutrals is also a-go.

Panama Hat: Everyone should own this classic staple. "This hat is to your hat collection what a pair of jeans or stripes are to your wardrobe," urged Lindsay. You can literally wear this style with anything—it's your quintessential midsummer hat.

Floppy Hat: Much like the Panama, this definitive style is a summer essential, but unlike the Panama, this hat is readily available in assortment of colors, patterns and textures. Lindsay encouraged you to mix it up in the floppy hat department, selecting woven fabrics, bold shades and canvas prints that really pop.

Montana Hat: For the hat-venturous, Lindsay loves this hybrid style that rocks a head-turning, triple X-size brim. This not-yet-mainstream topper is not a subtle pick but is definitely the one for the fashion-forward set and a solid choice for "those who want to be seen."

Gladys Tamez Millinery Straw Boater Hat, $305; Melissa Odabash Swinger Hat, $135; Biltmore & Madewell Panama Hat, $58; ASOS Floppy Hat, $29; Gladys Tamez Millinery Montana Hat, $258