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To the Brim

Sun hats are back and bigger than ever.

By: NICOLE LETTS

Sun hats are making quite the fashion comeback. Whether it’s due to their association with the regal fascinators worn by the royal family or more of a practical desire to be shrouded in shade, women are turning more and more to hats as a statement piece. Southern milliners, such as Sarah Bray West of Sarah Bray Bermuda and Kristin Light of Sissy Light, have had a hand in bringing hats back to the forefront of fashion.

An edgy monochromatic take on the classic fedora, the Sherman brown hat by Janessa Leone can be worn year-round and is designed for traveling. $250 (Sea Island Surf Shop)

 

Bray is a former fashion editor turned hat designer. Her straw hats with swappable ribbons are woven from sea grass and palm leaf and are punctuated with vintage floral ribbons and made-in-USA grosgrain. “Sun hats have become an everyday outfit essential if you’re living a coastal lifestyle,” Bray comments. Her ribbon and sash tie details are designed specifically for seaside style, too. “They secure your hat from flying away in the wind. As an avid sun hat wearer, this is an important detail,” Bray explains.

 

The Squishee Halo visor by Eric Javits is lightweight, packable and offers a generous wraparound brim. $295 (Sea Island Surf Shop)

 

Light describes her hats as “West Texas meets Palm Beach.” Her signature style was honed in California while she studied at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles. Light’s hats are hand woven before she adds a custom twilly scarf for form and function.

Influencers are also getting in on the trend, like Florida resident and influencer Sarah Tucker, who inspires her 65 thousand followers to add hats to their wardrobes. “A hat outside of the beach is a bold and classic statement. You’ve definitely got style if you’re wearing a beautiful hat around town,” she says. Just last year, Tucker along with fellow influencers Molly Boyd, Grace Hamlin and Sarah Hunt Hinson partnered with accessories company, Lisi Lerch, to develop the Piper Hat, a straw hat with raffia fringe and an adjustable strap. “Beyond a sun protection aspect, I just love the glamor hats provide,” Tucker comments.

The Champ visor by Eric Javits is available in two brim widths and features a washable forehead pad. $215 (Sea Island Surf Shop)

 

Bray says today’s styles will continue to be quintessential and reminiscent of ones we’ve always known. “I think sun hats are as classic as it gets when you live near the coast,” she notes.

Whether you pair a structured one with a flowy dress for date night, toss on a colorful option for cocktails in the garden or go for function with a wide brim for a sun-filled afternoon — hats off to chapeaus!

Tuckernuck’s exclusive black sash wide-brim sun hat is ideal for relaxing days at the Sea Island Beach Club. $68 (tnuck.com)