Style Panel: Hats tricks for keeping your head fashionably covered all summer long

Despite desperate “Wear a hat!” demands from moms and skin doctors alike, most of us shy away from one of our most powerful weapons against summer skin damage. Why? Aside from being cumbersome and sweat-inducing, hats never seem to work well with an easy summer outfit. Enter the Style Panel, here to teach you how to make wearing a hat all summer long a pleasure rather than a pain in the butt.

Question 8: What’s the best way to keep your head covered all summer? Read the answers now! »

Or jump to: ALEX GRANT, TORONTO | AMY NELSON, CALGARY | ALYSSA LAU EDMONTON | KRISTIN MACDONALD, FREDERICTON | LOLITTA DANDOY, MONTREAL | MO HANDAHU, HALIFAX | VICKIE LALIOTIS, EDMONTON

Alyssa Lau, 20
Edmonton | The Ordinary Peoples

Apart from shielding your precious eyes from harmful UV rays, hats can either make or break an outfit. You could opt for some Kate Middleton-esque hats, or even for some ball hats that your mother used to make you wear when you went to the theme park but always secretly took off when she wasn’t around (yeah, that was me). For me, I really have no inhibitions when it comes to looking like a crazed space alien of some sort, but my favourite ways to wear ball hats involve more athletic-inspired wear (versus just throwing random articles of clothing on, which is what I usually do). Add some converse sneakers to this outfit and I’m set for summer.

Alyssa’s wearing: Jacket, sheinside.com. Shorts, oakandfort.com. Mesh top, kastorandpollux.com. Sunglasses, Ray-Ban. Necklace, wolfcircus.com. Leather panel hat, eBay.com.

Amy Nelson, 19
Calgary | Amy Flying a Kite

I’ve always loved hats. I think they can add charm and elegance to any outfit.  Hats are also great if you’re a frequent sufferer of messy hair (like myself.)

I’ve always liked wide-brimmed straw hats the most.  They don’t hide your eyes and their weight feels lighter on the head than other types of hats.  If it’s your first time wearing a hat, look for one that is light in color and in weight. A light-coloured hat will match anything and the light weight will keep your head comfortable.

Vickie Laliotis, 28
Edmonton | Adventures in Fashion

Hats are by far one of my favourite accessories, and with countless styles and materials to choose from, there’s no end to the ways you can incorporate them into your look. I wear hats regularly, but since this bowler was the first hat I ever really owned and loved, I thought it only right to show you a photo from my archives that captures said hat in all its glory. And even though this hat has long been lost, the overall sentiment of how I would wear such a hat in the summer remains. Simple silhouettes, sandals and a couple studs are ever on repeat for me during the warmer months, and the added oomph that a good hat can provide is like no other.

Vickie’s wearing: Tank, The Gap. Sheer max, American Apparel. Belt, Zara. Studded bag, Shop Mamie. Sandals, Steve Madden. Hat, Forever 21.

Kristin MacDonald, 27
Fredericton | Doll Parade

Growing up, I was always told that I was a hat person, but I have never really taken that compliment and run with it. Hats are a ton of fun, but pulling them off organically and with an effortless charm can be a bit daunting. In summer, it’s easy to default to a purely beach look when it comes to accessorizing with hats, but I wanted to try a take on something a little more day-to-day for regular wear. I enjoy summer fedoras, sun hats, and panama hats just as much as the next girl, and I wore them out on my trip to Europe this spring.

That said, I decided that I have been hoarding this bowler hat in my closet for way too long now, trying to find the best way to integrate it into my regular wear without looking like I was in a costume. I grabbed it as a top off for a somewhat stand-alone sequin tank top, and tucked half my hair away so I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed by it. I can see myself pairing this guy with a simple sundress for a farmer’s market outing this summer, and throwing it on with a crisp button-up blouse as the weather cools down.

Mo Handahu, 29
Halifax | Curvy Geekery

The hat is one accessory I’ve never really gotten into. The handful of times I have worn one, I’ve leaned on this gem I thrifted over a year ago. I loved incorporating my long, curved brim accessory into my outfit, especially for the amazingly hot days during Canada Day weekend! After putting this ensemble together, I might just consider adding a hat to more outfits!

Alex Grant, 25
Toronto via Vancouver | To Vogue or Bust

The main reason I’d ever opt out of wearing a hat is because some of them can be cumbersome and stifling in the heat — sun protection or not, I’ll probably never go for a huge, floppy topper if it makes me feel like a sweaty mess the second I walk outside. In order to look pulled together while still feeling comfortable and (most importantly) shielding my face from the sun, I usually opt for a lightweight, small-ish straw fedora that doesn’t overwhelm my small face. Pair it with something laid-back but femme like this simple silk dress and a pair of booties or wedges, and I’m good to go for the day!

Alex’s wearing: Dress, Club Monaco. Booties, H&M. Bag, Rebecca Minkoff. Hat, Aldo.

Lolitta Dandoy, 32
Montreal | Fashion Is Everywhere

I’ve always loved Jodie Foster’s iconic look in Taxi Driver. I think her ‘70s floppy straw hat is perfect for this summer and flattering for almost every face.
Right now, I’m also obsessed with cropped tops, and although I love how Jodie wears them with tiny high-waisted shorts, I decided to go for a wide leg jean, which is much more appropriated for my age and size, but still has that ‘70s vibe.

Lolitta’s wearing: Hat, American Apparel. Necklace, bought in Mali. Bracelet, bought in Peru. Cropped top, H&M. Wide leg jean, Fidelity.