Best Hats To Wear For Each Season
Hats are fun, practical and stylish. No matter the time of year, and on many special occasions, there's a hat that can lend itself to your outfit. More so than that, hats are useful shields against harmful UV rays or the elements and are advantageous to keep on hand. Of course, not all hats are for all seasons, whether natural or fashionable.
Curating a collection of hats that can serve different purposes and then learning how to pair them deftly with outfits is a great way to stylize your outfits while also equipping yourself with a pragmatic accessory. The way to do that is to understand the best hats for the different seasons. That's why we've compiled this seasonal hat guide, a catalog of the styles you can wear to look your very best — fall, winter, spring or summer.
Choosing the Right Hat
There are those who look at the hat-wearing elite and admire the way they wear their hats with confidence. "It looks great on them," they say. "Too bad I can't pull it off." Well, for the hat skeptics out there, we want to clear things up once and for all — everyone is a hat person. That's right. You can pull off a hat. It's all about wearing something you love and not caring what other people think about it. Still, if you're willing to buy into being a hat person but want to make sure that you're accentuating your best features, then there are some tips that will help you make the most informed decision.
With so many hat styles to choose from, it can become overwhelming trying to determine which sort of hat checks all the right boxes. Here are some of the ways you can narrow things down:
- Your face shape: The shape of your face can help you determine the most flattering style of hat. Check out our guide for determining the best hat for your face shape.
- Your height: Believe it or not, your height can help dictate the brim size of your hat. Shorter people should keep to shorter brims, while taller people have a bit more flexibility.
- Your head size: Knowing your hat size is no different than knowing your shoe size or inseam, allowing you to pick something that you like but also fits well. To learn how to measure for hat size, follow our hat sizing guide!
With this information in your back pocket, you'll be able to find a style you love and join the ranks of hat-wearers everywhere.
Before we dive into the best hat styles for each season, it's worth noting that some hat styles can be enjoyed year-round but become seasonal based on other determining factors, such as:
For instance, a black velvet fedora and a natural-colored straw fedora are both fedoras but they're each suited for a different season — winter and summer respectively. Consider the cloche hat as another example. A magenta wool cloche would be great in fall or winter, while a periwinkle cotton cloche hat is more suitable for spring.
While some styles are obviously suited for a season, such as visors for warm weather and beanies for the cold, other styles may be accessible year-round! So if you find yourself attracted to a certain style, you may be able to pull it off year-round as long as you change up one of those three components.
Best Fall Hats
Autumn's cooler days and crisp nights make it the perfect season for cardigans, ankle boots and, you guessed it, hats. The start of sweater-weather heralds the transition from bright colors and breathable fabrics to natural, earthy tones and textures. Since the season straddles both warm and cold weather, the best hats to wear in autumn will provide both sun protection and heat retention as temperatures drop, while also tying in with quintessential fall staples, such as tights, light jackets and flannel shirts. Here are the styles that fit the bill.
If you're going to add any hat to your collection, it should be a black fedora. As trends come and go, the fedora has held its place as the hat everyone should have in their closet. Available in both short-brim and wide-brimmed variations, there is something for everyone with this style of hat, perfectly suited for the fall and winter seasons.
Men can pair a short-brimmed fedora with a casual leather jacket or sport coat to add a splash of pizazz to their ensemble, or try it with some black jeans and a button-down denim shirt. Women can also style this hat by pairing it with a long jacket or cardigan, a white blouse and blue jeans.
Ready to buy your first (second, third, fourth) fedora? Try one of these styles:
- Kenny K - Black Wool Felt Safari Fedora Hat
- Saint Martin - Faux Leather Trilby Fedora
- DNMC - Large Brim Vegan Felt Fedora
Rancher or Western Hat
The Rancher or Western hat has been in vogue for the past several years and it doesn't look like it's going anywhere anytime soon. With its wide brim for sun protection and high crown for heat insulation, it serves the transitional months between warm and cold very well. Conveying the gallant and untamed spirit of the open countryside cowboys roam, it's a fantastic silhouette for men and women.
Keep it rugged and stylish with a western hat. Try one of these on for size:
This iconic design hails from the 14th century and can be worn by both men and women, though some variations are more masculine than others. The stiff brim protrudes from a low-crowned cap and offers a great mix of casual and classic, making it good for work or play scenarios. It can also offer a bit of sun protection in the afternoons while also keeping the heat in during cool evenings.
To style it, women can pair a dark newsboy cap with an oversized knit sweater, tights, and leather boots or pumps. You could also pair it with a black long-sleeved shirt and light jeans or flip the script and try a white top with dark denim bottoms. Men can also work this cap into an outfit with dark denim bottoms and a gray or tan sweater. Add a scarf if the weather is particularly brusque.
Interested? Try one of these styles:
Best Winter Hats
The best hats to wear in winter are the ones that offer fashion without sacrificing any practical value. Yes, you want to look good in a hat, but you want to use your hat to keep you warm. If you live in more temperate climates, the fall styles can continue to serve you into the winter season, especially if you favor darker colors and hardier fabrics. But if you live anywhere that snows, keeping your head insulated and your ears covered should be a priority when considering a winter hat.
Popularized by the US military after World War II, this hat is the master of casual without looking sloppy. Its tightly knitted fit keeps your head warm and ears protected while also enhancing your look. This is a great cap for both men and women and continues to be popular year after year. Unroll the brim to wear it loose and slouchy on the back of your head for a more urban or hipster vibe. If you're looking for a more playful or feminine variety, try a beanie with a pom on top or one lined with faux fur.
Stay warm this winter and buy a beanie. Choose one of these options:
Originally designed to keep outdoorsmen warm, the trapper hat keeps both your head, ears, chin and the nape of your neck protected in the harsh winter months. Popularized by the Air Force and sometimes called an "aviator" hat, this style is making a comeback. It tends to be lined with faux fur or sherpa for an extra layer of insulation and comfort. Wear it with the flaps up or the flaps down and pair it with your burly winter coat, boots and some denim bottoms. This also can go great with a plaid shirt for an extra rustic ensemble.
Want to add this style to your winter wardrobe? How about this hat, one that fuses the best of the beanie and the trapper all in one — Jeanne Simmons - Crochet Trapper Hat.
Best Spring Hats
Spring is the other transition month, where the days are getting warmer but the April showers are there to bring May flowers. The best hats to wear in spring, then, are ones that are water-resistant, warm enough without being stifling and able to give some sun protection. Here are some of the styles that can do just that.
Bucket hats are making a comeback. This 90s inspired style is remarkably versatile, capable of matching both spring and summer outfits, while also providing proper protection from the sun, wind and rain. Women can opt for bright pastel colors or even patterns, pairing them with outfits that are equally patterned and colorful to really play off the wild colors and natural patterns of spring. Men may opt for more neutral tones to add it to a monochromatic look, though going for a pop of color can be a bold and exciting style choice. A black bucket hat could go especially well with the light jackets so popular in springtime, along with light to medium wash blue jeans.
Ready to jump on the bucket bandwagon? Snatch up one of these hats:
These hats are great for ladies looking for a vintage vibe and ample sun protection. They are round from crown to brim and often feature an embellishment around the crown. They are close-fitting, which can create a sleek silhouette, though the brims can come in a variety of lengths to suit your style or face shape. Made in a number of materials, they can suitable for both springtime and summer. Even darker shades and thicker fabrics could lend this classy look to a fall or winter wardrobe. Style a cloche hat with a long-sleeve, button-down blouse or with an A-line dress and pumps.
Want to add a cloche to your collection? How about one of these:
- Kooringal - Sophia Bell Poly Ribbon Hat
- Kooringal - Cassie Short Brim
- Jeanne Simmons - Tweed Cloche Hat
The visor is a highly packable style that maintains a brim while forgoing a crown. It can come in all manner of styles and sizes, with wide-brim varieties and with open rims to accommodate updos. Another spring and summer option, this hat is easy to travel with and can be especially stylish on the beach, the tennis court or the golf course. Where you plan to wear it can help determine the material you choose, as well as the particular visor silhouette. Choose the one that most accommodates your comfort and outdoor goals, whether that's lounging on a boat or swinging a club on the green.
Another great advantage is that ladies can keep their hair up or styled and wear this hat at the same time. So whether it's a high bun, ponytail or a braid, the visor can accommodate the style without squashing an updo that would otherwise make hat-wearing a challenge. Men, pair your visor with a nice polo and slacks. Ladies, try your visor with a pleated skirt and tank top or jeans and a casual t-shirt.
Travel with your own visor this spring and summer with one of these fine options:
Best Summer Hats
The best hats to wear in summer are all about beating the sun and the heat. Keeping your skin protected from harmful UV rays, or even preventing heatstroke, is made possible by choosing a style with breathable fabric and an adequate brim. These styles also need to be suitable for the many water-related destinations the summer holds, including beachside, poolside, lakeside and boat side. Other vacation destinations, especially outdoor ones, can also call for proper headgear, so here are three summer style staples.
Baseball is a classic American pastime, making the baseball cap an all-American style. This versatile hat is useful year-round, but with the likes of Memorial Day and Fourth of July and plenty of other outdoor picnics to be had, the most basic and classic hat you could bring along is the baseball cap. With several variations to choose from, including the snap-back, trucker hat and classic, as well as a myriad of designs and colors, a hat like this can be a great way to tie together a casual outfit while also providing sun protection. For women and men, some blue jeans, a white t-shirt and sneakers can serve as a quintessential summer uniform when paired with the right ball cap. It's hard to go wrong with a hat like this.
Ready to upgrade your baseball cap? Try one of these:
The floppy hat continues to dominate the beach and boat scene, as well as the summer getaway wardrobe. With its wide brim, round crown and signature floppy silhouette, this is a great hat for jazzing up or pulling together a fresh and whimsical summer look. They can come with crown embellishments, such as big bows or decorative ribbons, as well as in different textures like crochet or tweed. Try pairing it with a floral dress and maybe even a jean jacket if your plans will press into the evening hours. On the beach or a boat, pair it with a flowy, flowery coverup, a solid-colored one-piece and some leather sandals for a classy vacation ensemble.
Get ready for the summer season with one of these stylish floppy hats:
- Sun 'N' Sand - Melina Crochet Straw Wide Brim Hat
- Sun 'N' Sand - Asher Raffia Wide Brim Crocheted Cloche Hat with Raffia Flower
- Jeanne Simmons - 6" Tweed Floppy Brim Hat
Buy Your Next Hat at Hats Unlimited
Choosing a hat is a personal decision that can require planning or even a bit of faith, which is why we don't think you should trust just anyone with your purchase. Hats Unlimited is a family-owned and operated business that aims to give you the best online retail experience possible with equally excellent customer support. We care about you throughout the entire buying process, from selection, purchase, shipping and receiving, not to mention returns when necessary. Looking for the perfect men's hat or women's hat for the right season? Use our menu to shop from over 10,000 hats to find the one that's perfect for you or fill out our form to have a stylist help you pick the perfect hat!