I love that this year skin is…well, out. Or at least, it’s a little more covered up, as we can see from the trends toward more stylized rash guards, high-waisted swim bottoms, and sexy one-pieces instead of bikinis. And let’s not forget about our faces; I know mine is the first place to freckle if I stay out in the sun too long. And while sunscreen helps, it’s tough to remember to reapply as often as I need to to keep from getting flushed then burned by summer’s strong rays.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about summer sun hats. And once I started digging around, I found there are so many fabulous styles out there that are functional too.

The ones we love most are chic, versatile, and easy to pull off even if you don’t consider yourself a hat person. Plus, they’re all super durable, which means they’re great for packing. Plus you can push the kids all day on the swings or splash around in the pool, and your hat? No worse for wear.

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This floppy sun hat with color-blocking is a steal at $14.99 | Target

1. The Best Sun Hat on a Budget: Target

There are so many fantastic color-blocking hats to choose from, but none better than this Floppy Sun Hat from Target at the fantastic price of just under 15 bucks. The classy combination of neutrals will complement any swimwear, and because this hat won’t break the bank, it’s a safe choice if you’re pretty confident the hat will be commandeered for dress-up on a regular basis. ($14.99, Target)

This Sole Society Wide Brim Straw hat will make any summer outfit. | Nordstrom

2. The Best Sun Hat to go from Beachwear to Party Wear: Sole Society

For an accessory as simple as a sun hat, I think the Wide-brimmed straw sun hat by Sole Society offers such effortless cool. The faux leather band gives it a subtle sophistication that makes it ideal for both beachgoers but also for dressing up a sundress when you’re out shopping, having brunch or out enjoying an al fresco dinner — with or without the kids. ($34.95, Nordstrom)


This Mina hat from Pistil is ideal for summer activities other than sitting by the pool. | Zappos

3. Best Sun Hat for Summer Travel: Pistil

If your idea of summer fun involves less seaside lounging and more rugged adventure, try this Mina sun hat from Pistil. It’s quick-drying, sun-protective, and definitely packable since it maintains its shape even after being stuffed into a suitcase or beach tote. And the chin strap keeps it in place in case you go really crazy and try paddleboarding this year. Or maybe just hit a really windy day on the beach. ($42, Zappos)


This Wallaroo Savannah hat is serious about protecting your best asset. | Amazon

4. Best Sun Hat for Complete Sun Protection: Wallaroo

This Wallaroo Savannah sun hat is for people who take skin care very, very seriously but don’t want to sacrifice essential summer style. That means you, fair-skinned women! It features UPF 50+ protection, which is the highest rating for any garment, along with a 5-inch brim to keep those rays off your face as much as possible. Consider this sun hat option if you’re a gardener, a committed junior soccer spectator, or just have kids who love to keep you outside. All day long. ($55.99, Amazon)

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I love the class and understatement of this Catherine folded straw hat from Eugenia Kim. | Nordstrom

5. The Best Serious Splurge Sun Hat: Eugenia Kim

Who knew that something made of straw could have such an elegant drape? This Catherine sun hat by Eugenia Kim (also seen at top in natural) is my top splurge pick. It’s what I’ll be wearing if and when I win the lottery and move into Grace Kelly’s former palace in the south of France. If this hat is in your budget (in which case, I am very jealous), it’s perfect for a garden party, a graduation, or an outdoor wedding. Or just wear it to walk around South Hampton on a Sunday. You’ll fit right in.