Style and substance. It's the holy grail of any woman's wardrobe and a wide-brim hat has it in spades. An instant pick-me-up to any outfit year round, a wide-brim hat features a brim that measures at least 3 inches, making it an ideal choice for sun protection as well as for other weather including wind, rain, even snow. Adding to their versatility, wide-brim hats come in a variety of styles ranging from wool felt fedoras and suede safari hats to straw floppy hats and boater hats.
Fortunately, we have plenty of options when it comes to ladies wide-brim hats. But before you begin your hunt for the latest looks, follow these helpful tips that promise to give you a seamless shopping experience.
Top Tips for Choosing a Wide-Brim Hat
- Make sure you're shopping for the right size. Our hat sizing guide shows you how to properly measure your head in a few easy steps.
- Pay attention to proportion. If it looks like the hat is wearing you rather than the other way around, it might be too big. Stick to a hat with a brim that doesn't go any wider than 3 inches. You can also consider hats with shorter brims, such as a fedora or trilby.
- Once you find a hat (or two) that you love, keeping it clean is a must. Here's how to clean your hat without breaking a sweat.
- Round, oval, square, diamond, or heart-shaped? Know your face shape to pick the wide-brim hat style that is best suited for you.
Must-Have Wide-Brim Hats for Women
Shop smart and create your own style sensation with these trendsetting picks in our favorite wide-brim silhouettes.
Style Stats: Among the most favored and flattering hat styles for women, a fedora is as foolproof as you can get. Noted for its flexible brim, indented crown, and center crease that's pinched on both sides, fedoras are typically made of wool felt although they can be made from just about any material. Side note: If your hat terminology is a little hazy, take a look at our guide on the anatomy of a hat for a quick recap.
What to Buy: You can't go wrong with a wide-brim wool felt fedora in a classic hue that can be worn all year long. The Messenger wool felt fedora by Biltmore is a streamlined stunner with its 3-inch wide brim, leather band, and bold feather that adds a "wow" factor to the entire look. Add in the suede sweatband and you have a simple, yet bold, felt hat that will effortlessly carry you through the spring and fall.
More: Find more fashionable must-have fedoras for women in different brim styles.
Style Stats: They might be floppy, but they're no flops. Marked by a slightly unstructured design and drooping brim that measures at least 3 inches, floppy hats epitomize the boho-chic vibe. Although they can be constructed from any number of materials (wool felt floppies are ideal for fall and winter), straw floppy hats have become a go-to womens sun hat for those long summer beach days.
What to Buy: For the classic floppy hat look, opt for one with a round crown and simple yet eye-catching accents, like Levanzo by Scala. This floppy sun hat features a large 3 1/2-inch brim trimmed by a leather chin cord. This is the hat that won't compete with your polka-dot bikini or floral sundress.
More: Find our full selection of womens floppy hats and womens summer hats for more laidback hat-wearing inspiration.
Straw Sun Hat
Style Stats: Whether it's a packable straw hat made from raffia or a finely-tuned Panama hat made from authentic toquilla straw, a wide-brim straw hat is a must for every woman. Not only is it the most comfortable beach hat thanks to the lightweight and breathable material, but the wide brim provides optimum sun protection from harmful UV rays. Look for straw hats with UPF50+ for additional UV protection as well as those with a chinstrap so it stays in place even when the ocean breeze kicks in.
What to Buy:
When it comes to straw hats, don't be afraid to invest in quality. Maltide by Scala is a wide-brim hat that will inspire you to strut your stuff on the beach this summer. Constructed from palm fiber, this straw hat marries function and fashion, with it's printed leather band. This is the kind of sun hat women simply can't resist, so don't even try. By the way, we have the top straw hat cleaning hacks to keep it spotless season after season.
More: Scroll through our full selection of womens straw hats and the best beach hats for more ideas that'll keep you cool.
Derby Hat/Church Hat
Style Stats: Kentucky Derby hat, church hat, tea party hat. Call it what you will, but this wide-brim hat style is one that makes a statement no matter where it's worn. While the thought of a Derby hat usually conjures up images of oversized brims jutting out over a woman's head, there are other styles that are just as bold and dramatic without being completely over the top.
What to Buy: Pay homage to a bygone era and channel your inner Angelina Jolie (a la her Oscar-nominated performance in the "Changeling") with this Madeline cloche hat by Scala. At once vintage and thoroughly modern, this wool wide-brim hat is deceptively restrained yet eye-catching. With a shape that is a more refined version of the bucket hat, this close-fitting wool hat boasts a 3-inch asymmetrical brim and sumptuous velvet bow and hat band. Available in burgundy (shown), chocolate brown, black, and pecan wool felt.
What to Buy: Find more head-turning toppers with our guide to the most sensational Kentucky Derby hats.
You like to make an entrance wherever you go and there's almost no better way to do so than wearing a wide-brim hat. Whether you're looking for a wide-brim sun hat made of straw or a cozy wide-brim fedora made of wool, the bottom line is that every woman needs a brim large enough to protect against the elements no matter what time of year.
The added benefit of womens hats with wide brims is that they immediately amp up your style in a way that no small hat can do. Don't miss our new arrivals and latest selection of womens wide-brim hats for more ways to express your mood and personality.