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Choosing Stylish Summer Hats

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A summer hat is a must-have fashion accessory during this season. It does not only make you stylish but also gives you sun protection. There are four things one should consider when choosing a summer hat. These are:

1. Brim Size

Brim

The brim is the projection of stiff material from the bottom of the hat. It is all around the circumference of the hat. Brim size is the most important factor when it comes to blocking UV rays. Most physicians recommend a 3 inch brim size because it can block the UV rays to the face and ears. For utmost protection, one can consider having a minimum of 4 inches brim size. The UV rays coming from the sun changes depending on the time. During noon, the 3 inches brim size can block the UV rays. When the sun is either ascending or descending, the 3 inches brim size can’t provide the maximum protection. The wider the brim of the hat, the greater surface area it can block. Consider the traditional Mexican Sombrero for instance, with an 8-inch brim for maximum daily protection.

TIP: At daybreak or sunset, the sun is positioned horizontally; a wide-brim hat can’t protect the face. Avoid going outdoor during those times. If it can’t be avoided, wear a hat that has a drop-brim for vertical protection against the sun.

2. Material

Hat - Material Type

When choosing a hat, take into consideration if the hat is constructed from materials with UPF 50+. This means that it can block 98% of the direct UVA and UVB of the sun’s rays.  If not stated that it is allowed, the hat should not allow the sun’s rays to shine through when held up against it. Climate should also be considered when choosing the material of hat that one will wear. Tilley hats are recommended for hot climates. Natural hats like straw, raffia, and cotton are excellent in providing sun protection. For the synthetic materials, nylon and polyester fabric are some other examples.

3. Brim Shape

Brim Shape

As stated earlier, the wider the brim size, the greater surface area it can protect. But, the angle of the brim is also as important as the size of the brim. A wide brim can protect the face from UV rays but when the sun is not straight, it can still hit the face and neck. It is important that the brim is angled downward to give longer hours of protection.

TIP: To achieve maximum protection, apply sunscreen on the lower areas of the face (neck and chin) while wearing a hat, or adjust your hat to provide greater protection.

4. Color

Color

A hat with a darker under brim (area underneath the brim) will absorb more UV rays. These rays are the ones that could bounce down to the face. If the under brim absorbs it, it will provide more protection for the skin and minimize the UV rays on the eyes. Also, darker under-brims are cooler than the lighter ones.

TIP: Darker under brims are ideal for environments with water or snow.

Image credit: macys.com

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