Dramatic and Classic Straw Hats for Women

Straw Hats for Women

A few distinct types of straw hats for women are trending right now. And The Hatwalk wants you to see them all.

So here they are.

These are the best straw sun hats for women on runways, red carpets and race days.

Straw Beach Hat

No one looks better in direct sun light than Miamians, and these two – in ready-to-swim fashion – really know how to dress up their walk from the sand to the shore for elegance and comfort.

Angleic Montero with Yerenny Espinoza in a straw beach boater sun hat.
MIAMI, FLORIDA – JULY 11: (L-R-) Angleic Montero with Yerenny Espinoza in a straw beach boater sun hat at the Oh Polly Presents Neena Swim: Yacht Party during Miami Swim Week 2021 – Paraiso Miami Beach at Bayside Marketplace on July 11, 2021 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images for Oh Polly Presents Neena Swim )

Straw Lifeguard Hat

Use a wide brimmed straw lifeguard hat to banish harsh sunlight, bring your own shade and save your puppy from over heating.

Lisa Vanderpump arrives in a classic straw beach hat 5th Annual World Dog Day.
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 07: Lisa Vanderpump arrives in a classic straw beach hat with a wide crumpled pastel band to the 5th Annual World Dog Day at West Hollywood Park on August 07, 2021 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

What makes the straw lifeguard hat different from the rest? It’s one of those wide brim straw sun hats for women that keeps the Sundays out. It gets its name because it’s frequently seen on waterman on the coast of popular surfing locations worldwide.

Fancy Straw Hat

Straw hats aren’t typically associated with more formal attire. But this black straw fedora with a teardrop, pinched crown and gold Cuban link chain is a gangster hat that can be worn to the coast or the club.

Black straw fedora with a teardrop, pinched crown and gold Cuban link chain.
NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 10: Leah Collins is seen wearing Laced by Leah at Spring Studios during New York Fashion Week on September 10, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

Wide Brim Straw Hat

Black straw hats play dress-up nicely. This straw women’s pork pie hat with clean lines and an extra wide brim is perfect for a day at the races in this skin tight summer semi-formal dress with a high slit and sttletto heels.

Kimberley Garner vamping in wide brim black straw pork pie hat.
ASCOT, ENGLAND – JUNE 19: Kimberley Garner vamping in wide brim black straw pork pie hat during Royal Ascot 2021 at Ascot Racecourse on June 19, 2021 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Antony Jones/Getty Images for Royal Ascot)

Frayed Edge Straw Hat

You may have seen this raw, organic hat brim while sipping a mai tai beach bar or on the cast of Sex and the City. They’re large, upscale, and dashing. Just remember-the larger and floppier the frays, the better.

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MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – JULY 08: A model poses in a women’s straw sun hat with frayed brim for the Jonathan Simkhai Fashion Presentation At Joia Beach – Paraiso Miami Beach at Joia Beach Club on July 08, 2021 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Paraiso Miami Beach)

Double Banded Straw Boater Hat

Trend setter Rihanna is ready for her Broad Beach close up in this tan straw trilby hat with layered hat bands, a tortoise edged hat brim,  hoops and gold bling.

Rihanna in a straw beach bowler hat with layered hat bands and tortoise brim
Rihanna in a straw beach bowler hat with layered hat bands and a tortoise edged hat brim at DJ Clue Live Broadcasting for Power105.1 FM

Couture Straw Hats

Not all straw hats are summer hats. They’re also featured with evening wear on the heads of some of the world’s top models. Here are current runway looks that caught our eye. 

Asymmetrical green straw pork pie hat at Christian Siriano SS2022.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 07: A model in a pork pie hat with an asymmetrical brim at the Christian Siriano SS2022 Fashion Show (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Christian Siriano)

There’s something timeless about a simple straw hat with a floppy brim and this one accessorizes this peasant style, rumpled mauve dress with a tied natural leather as a belt.

Model in a floppy straw hat and ruffled sun dress at NYFW
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway in a floppy straw hat for CEDIM at Global Fashion Collective I during NYFW: The Shows on September 11, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

This straw sun hat with an extra wide, flopy brim and matter green scalloped ribbon brings an elegant feeling to relaxed beach PJs.

Model in a wide brim sun hat for Cioccolato Couture at DC Miami Swim Week:
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – JULY 09: A model walks the runway in a wide brim sun hat for Cioccolato Couture during DC Miami Swim Week: The Shows at SLS Hotel on July 09, 2021 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Thomas Concordia/Getty Images for DC Swim Week)

How to Wear Straw Hats

Fun, trendy, and sassy, these relaxed toppers are great for many occasions. But straw hats are typically worn at less formal events.

Here are some fashion faux pas’s to avoid making with this straw accessory.

Wear them in the Spring and Summer.

According to a Glamour, straw hats in the winter are a NO. Associated with summer and the sun, your hat is strictly for feel-good weather only. In the colder months, women’s felt hats are more popular.

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LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 11: EXCLUSIVE Actress Mischa Barton in a natural straw bowler hat at P3R showroom in Century City on February 11, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Bezjian/WireImage)

Take them on-the-road.

Because of their material, straw hats are easy to travel with. They’re light and flexible and can fit into many a traveler’s carry-on bags.

Not for the business meeting.

While the hat is both pretty and chic, it is fairly casual. Leave it for after-work excursions only. 

Wear natural straw hats with sun dresses, not gowns.

A wide-brim straw is a perfect addition to almost any dress. However, some stylists say it is not the best fit with your prom dress or your evening gown. Use a floppy, wide-brim hat with your spring dress but leave it at home for your next fundraising ball or networking event.

Not all straw hats are sun hats, but many. For latest in sun hat fashions, check out our post on Women’s Sun Hats, Then and Now.

Vintage Straw Hats

Featured in places around the globe, from the white-sand beaches in Cuba to the rice paddy fields of Indonesia, straw hats are universal. This piece of clothing has been a part of different cultures throughout the world since the Middle Ages, beginning in Africa and Asia.

Susan Hampshire romps in the surf with a straw sombrero hat.
8th December 1963: English actress Susan Hampshire romps in the surf with a straw sombrero hat during a visit to the Canary Islands. (Photo by McCabe/Express/Getty Images)

There are and have been several variations of straw hats since then, but one thing that binds them altogether is the fact they’re all woven using some form of plant fiber. In Asia, for instance, you will see straw hats in places such as the Philippines that are made from rattan, whereas in areas such as Russia and the Ukraine such hats are designed from rye straw. In contrast, Ecuador straw hats, known as Panama hats, are made from Toquillar straw. Easy to make and durable, regional creations of the straw hat have been made all over the world to suit the people, and the plants, of each place. Plants that have been used for straw hat fibers include flax, hemp, jute, kudzu, milkweed and more. 

Heather Wright wears a straw sun hat with fabric sewn around the brim .
English actress Heather Wright wears a straw sun hat with fabric sewn around the brim the Wimbledon Championships in London, UK, 21st June 1971. (Photo by William Lovelace/Daily Express/Getty Images)

And before becoming an attractive accessory item for Instagrammers and celebrities, the straw hat began on the heads of humble farmers. Some historians believe that perhaps the first item of clothing ever invented, in fact. 

According to a book on Straw Hats by Project Gutenberg, weaving materials out of vegetable fibers is likely the earliest form of textile operation. Beginning as a hobby for rural communities, it later developed into a viable industry. 

A model in a straw top hat with indigenous styling at London Fashion Week.
A model in a straw top hat with indigenous styling at the A.W.A.K.E show during London Fashion Week September 2017 on September 19, 2017 in London, England.

Vincent van Gogh even used a straw hat in his famous self-portrait piece in the late 1800’s.

If you’re interested in learning more about how different cultures weave, check out this video of a hatmaker in a village of Sarbi creating traditional Romanian straw hats with braided poplar strips.

The Hat Stops Here

The straw hat isn’t just for scarecrows and farmers anymore. Absolutely not! This hat is for the bikini-loving, bellini-drinking, fashionista who desires a look that is timeless and chic. It’s a hat that says yacht excursion and mimosas on the beach with friends. It says, ”Summer is here!”

Used on sunny days, it’s still so much more than a shade for your noggin. It’s a symbol, a memory, and tells a story of a day, a vacation, a wedding, a love and a life worth living. 

We believe Margaret George put it best when she said, “Hope is a straw hat hanging beside a window covered with frost.”

Tap into the hope that lies within you, and wear your straw hat today.

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