Straw Hats for Women
January 27, 2024

Straw Hats for Women Styles: A Look at 5 Different Types

Straw hats are a utilitarian wardrobe staple and timeless fashion accessory worn by both women and men since the Middle Ages. Made of tightly interwoven natural or synthetic straw materials and brimmed for sun protection, they are style and functionality rolled into one nifty package.

The design of straw hats for women is ideal for protection from the summer heat because the material is lightweight and the weave leaves tiny spaces where air can pass through. That’s why straw hats are an outdoor trekkers’ best friend and you’ll usually see them on people gardening, lounging on the beach, strolling around parks or attending all kinds of outdoor daytime events.

5 Unique Styles of Straw Hats for Women

You might think that with material as simple and basic as straw, there wouldn’t be much room to innovate and mold the fabric into different delightful, inimitable headpieces. But you would be stunned to see the variety of designs that are currently in the market.

Here’s a look at some of the most popular, fashion-forward styles of women’s straw hats:

1. Panama Hats

Panama hats have a history that can be traced back to the Inca civilization in South America some 500 years ago. Their name, however, was coined in 1906 when photos of President Roosevelt wearing a series of them while overseeing the Panama Canal construction were published in the papers.

Despite their name, these hats have never been made in Panama and come from Ecuador, the one place in the world with a longstanding tradition of weaving them.

Crafted from toquilla straw, a palm-like plant native to Ecuador and much of Central and South America, they’re often produced in their natural straw shade and blocked into a wide-brimmed shape or fedora for added structure.

Panama hats are easy to wear, breathable, offer protection from the sun on the hottest summer days, and, above all, exude a sophisticated, chic look that makes them the ultimate companion to any vacationer.

2. Floppy Hats

When most people think of a woman on the beach in her finest summer dress and straw headpiece, chances are they are picturing her in a floppy hat. Floppy beach hats are a staple of summer fashion with a versatile, feminine design that delivers on both style and coverage.

Dressed down, you can pair it with any bikini and cover-up for an effortlessly playful beach look. Dressed up, you can rock it with some heels, a maxi dress and statement earrings and turn heads at that sunset cocktail party.

These hats usually come with extra wide brims of around five to ten inches, shielding your face, neck and shoulders from the blazing sun. Their soft, bendable structure also makes them easy to pack and store while on the go.

3. Bucket Hats

Known as the “fisherman’s hat,” this Irish functional headwear turned fashion statement made its grand debut in the ‘90s and has been going strong ever since.

Its design is simple: a slightly squared, deep crown with a downward-sloping brim that goes all the way around. While the earliest versions of the bucket hat were only available in wool, cotton or tweed cloth, today, they also come in straw materials as well like raffia, palm leaves and seagrass.

Bucket hats share all the benefits of straw headwear, from sun and rain protection and packability to easy cleaning and style versatility. However, they stand out because of their unique shape that gives them a relaxed vibe and blends with any outfit.

You can pull off high quality bucket hats with a basic white tee, your favorite denim jeans and sneakers running errands around town, or match it with an earthy-toned sundress and some espadrilles for a comfortable, flirty day look. Whichever way you wear it, you can’t go wrong with a bucket hat.

4. Sun Visors 

Sun visors are crownless hats that feature a brim attached to an adjustable strap that wraps around the head for a secure fit. They have long been a sportsperson’s go-to accessory and are often worn by tennis, baseball and golf players as well as runners and horse riders to keep their eyes shielded from the sun.

When straw visors came on the scene, they added a stylistic twist to this practical hat and elevated its fashion appeal. These palm straw headbands are ultra-light and a great alternative to full-brimmed hats, especially during sunbathing and lounging.

Although sun visors don’t offer as much coverage as other styles, they do come out on top when it comes to breathability and universal fit.

5. Boater Hats

A warm-weather classic, boater hats were originally part of men’s semi-formal headwear in the 19th and early 20th century. Interestingly, for a time, there was even an official day (15 May) when men would switch from their winter hats to their boater headpieces to signify the start of summer. This day was renowned as “Straw Hat Day.”

Later on, boater hats became popular among ladies as well and were viewed as a symbol of female emancipation because it was at the same time that women started taking part in outdoor activities.

Boater hats are commonly made with hard, stiff straw, and feature a flat crown and brim. However, women’s versions often incorporate ribbon bands, floral embellishments or lace to give them a more feminine touch.

Due to their short brims, boater hats may not be the most practical choice for protection, so it’s best to save them for those days when the sun isn’t too intense.

Elevate Your Summer Style With a Straw Hat

With all the trendy straw hat styles available, this list barely scratches the surface of this accessory’s versatility and how it can enhance your summer wardrobe. From the beach to the city, from casual to classy, there really is a straw hat for every occasion.

However, there’s no way you can know which one will suit you best until you go out there and experiment with as many designs as possible.

Mix and match, add your personal touch and find your best summer look.