I. Love. Hats.

Well to be specific, I love beanies. However, when Chicago weather starts reaching a hot and humid high of 85 degrees, a heavy knit beanie isn’t necessarily my go to headwear. With that being said, I’ve been doing some serious research (well as serious a online shopping can be) for a hat style I’d like to adopt for the summer months, and I think I’ve finally found “the one:” The floppy hat.

From Coachella festival style to Miranda Kerr’s Harper’s Bazaar UK cover (above), there’s no denying that floppy hats are chic. But what makes them even more attractive is the fact that they’re extremely practical as well. Their wide brims manage to give the ultimate sun protection while framing the face, and they’re a perfect quick fix for covering up greasy roots or bad hair days.

However, despite all the advantages they have, there’s a few things I’ve noticed about floppy hats that can be potentially problematic. For one, they’re super big, like SUPER big. Secondly, they’re bold, which makes it impossible to not stick out and look super awkward while wearing one. Right?

Wrong.

There are a TON of different options and tricks for successfully wearing a floppy hat. From different colors, textures, shapes and adornments, there’s a floppy hat suitable for literally everyone and every style.

Below are a few key styling tips for pulling off a floppy hat along with a few of my current favorites:

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(Rachel Zoe, $40)

1. Get the right fit

The easiest way to avoid letting your hat wear you? Get a hat that fits properly. Duh. More often than not, hats come in an array of sizes so picking one that fits properly really isn’t that difficult.

Your hat should fit snugly without seeming suctioned to your head so your head movements aren’t restricted. A proper fitting hat should also allow for about two fingers width of room between the middle of your forehead and the hat. If you do it right then your hat should look just as good as the Rachel Zoe one above.

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(American Apparel, $38)

2. Add your own personality 

While I could easily argue the pros and cons of getting a plain and simple floppy hat, I do realize that this look isn’t for everyone. If sticking to the classic isn’t really your thing, adding embellishments such as a brooch, a colorful ribbon, or even studs, or choosing a hat in a “pop” color, like the one from American Apparel pictured above, can be fun.

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(ASOS, $28.58)

3. Pick the right material

Not only does the floppy hat come in a variety of sizes and colors but you can also purchase it in many different fabrics. From the ever popular felt to the summer friendly straw, like the ASOS one pictured above, floppy hats can be transitional through every season and occasion.

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(Urban Outfitters, $49)

4. Posture!

Elongating your neck and not hunching your back, you can make your hat look even more chic and proportional to your body. Not only will correct posture make your hat look good but it’ll make your entire body look good too. Make sure when you are actually standing up straight that you aren’t raising your shoulders as well because that’ll give you less space between the hat and the rest of your body, making you look even smaller underneath your hat. Pulling off the statement piece that is a floppy hat requires you to hold yourself in a confident manner, like the model in the Lola hat from Urban Outfitters above, and standing up straight, among other things, will portray that image.

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5. Go all out

When all else fails just go all out. The floppy hat trend is a 1970s staple and channeling the spirit of that era in the rest of your outfit and beauty choices can bring the floppy hat full circle. Try pairing your hat with a jumpsuit or wide legged trousers with a flowy tank with  chunky heels and Farah Fawcet feathered hair to complete the look.

Emma Klug started The Style Note in the fall of 2012. Her writing has been featured in DBusiness Magazine, Chicago Sun-Times, Nothing Major, The Working Wardrobe, Chicago Talks, Inexpensive Chic, and The Wayne State University student paper: The South End. When she’s not writing you can find her eating pizza, binge-watching Netflix and working her day job as a magazine editor.

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