There's something so comfortable and free-spirited about a floppy hat. With its loose and laidback wide brim, a floppy hat instantly adds boho-chic charm to any look. Whether it's in the form of a straw sun hat or a wool-felt winter hat, the floppy is more than just a fashion accessory — it's a practical solution to protect against the sun, rain, wind, or snow.
A floppy hat is the opposite of a stiff-brim hat. While baseball caps, ivy caps, and most cowboy hats have a rigid brim, floppy hats have a malleable brim that measures at least 3 inches to achieve that signature droop.
Because these wide-brimmed hats take up more space, they can be a little more challenging to properly store. Also, unlike a baseball hat or beanie that you might throw on a chair or table, floppy hats require more careful handling if you want them to last.
To make sure your hat stays floppy, not sloppy, we're showing you some simple ways to store your hat so you can enjoy it for years to come.
What Not to Do
See that photo above? Take a good look because that picture is worth a thousand words on how not to store your floppy hat. Let us explain.
- Don't store your floppy hats outdoors. Ever. The main reason is this: Even if it's not in direct sunlight, keeping a hat exposed to the elements will fade, stain, crack (if it’s straw), and otherwise damage it. By the way, if you really want your hat to look like a beautiful mess, we have the DIY deets on how to distress a hat.
- Don't rest your hat on its brim. It might seem counterintuitive to set your hat upside down on its crown, but this will save the brim from losing its shape and flattening out over time. This goes for floppy hats, too — you want the brim to be loose, not flat.
- Don't be sloppy. Stacking hats (upside down) is fine as long as the crowns are similarly shaped and don't have ribbons, bows, or other embellishments that could get ruined when forced together.
Confused by crowns, brims, and all this hat jargon? Don't worry — our guide to the anatomy of a hat will catch you up to speed in no time.
Floppy Hat Storage Ideas
- Whether it's a floppy hat, straw Panama hat, or pork pie felt hat that needs to be packed away, hat boxes are by far the best storage solution. Not only will they protect your hat from dust, dirt, and debris (especially important for felt hats that can get rather linty), but they will also keep the hat's shape in pristine condition.
- If your floppy hat didn't come with a hat box, any sort of storage box will do. Feel free to mix and match boxes in different prints and sizes for added visual interest to your home decor. Vintage suitcases (or new ones with a vintage design) are another great option to store hats. Just make sure the suitcase has been cleaned and properly aired out so there isn't any musty smell.
- We all could use a little apartment therapy every now and again, and one of the easiest ways to get your fix is to mix up your home decor with a lovely hat display (a.k.a. hat gallery). A fresh take on wall art, a hat display is not only a pretty sight to behold, it's also a practical solution for storing hats. After all, with your floppy hat at the ready, there's no need to run to the closet or rummage through boxes.
- Hanging hats with push pins or nails is all it takes to turn your headgear into a work of art. What's more, as you continue to grow your hat collection, you can keep adding pieces to the wall. Just make sure the wall doesn't get direct sunlight as this could fade or otherwise ruin the hat. Get creative and look for spaces in your apartment or home that aren't being used, such as above a window, in the hallway, or above your bed.
- It's a no-brainer, but storing a floppy hat in the closet is a great way to keep it safe and sound. If you have a walk-in closet, chances are your closet design offers plenty of room to place the hat on a shelf, on a rack, or in a cubby space without risk of smashing it.
- If space is an issue, consider nesting your floppy hat with other similarly shaped hats with the heaviest ones on the bottom. Remember to store them upside down, resting on their crown. And don’t force them to fit, otherwise it could ruin the shape.
- Consider using cedar chips in the closet. Not only will this keep the moths away, but you'll be greeted with the subtle, soothing scent of cedar every time you reach for your hat.
- Not just for laundry anymore, the humble clothespin makes an excellent and minimalist hat hanger for your floppy. Try stringing a row of clothespins in the bedroom or a spare room that could use a little sprucing up.
- Instead of hanging photos or artwork from the clothespins, you can hang your floppy hat by the brim. This works best with packable floppy straw hats, which are fairly durable. Be careful that the fabric isn't too tightly pinched, otherwise it could leave an indentation.
Droop, There It Is
While it's true you could throw a baseball cap on a coat rack and call it a day, when it comes to wide-brimmed hats like floppies, you have to be a tad more careful to take care of the brim and crown.
The good news is that there are plenty of hat storage solutions that are are fun, fashionable, and functional. Just keep in mind that no matter how you choose to store your hat, at some point it will get a little dirty. To keep your headgear on point, consult our guide on how to clean a hat and you're sure to enjoy your hat for years to come.