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It’s unfair that most men look really good in hats. Like, really good. And yet, not enough of you are having any fun with them. You’re hiding under the shade of that ratty baseball hat you’ve had since college, unwilling to step into the light, so to speak.
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With summer just around the corner, consider this your PSA to loosen up (and loosen your purse strings, potentially). Summer hat season is coming—will you rise to the occasion? They range from wide-brim Panamas and fedoras to fun and functional buckets, caps, and more.
The best summer hats will have some UPF protection built into the fabric, but the most important thing is a brim that blocks rays from your face (and neck and shoulders). A hat for the scorching season is ideal for wearing on bright days—along with sunscreen, of course—but the most stylish ones can be worn whenever the mood strikes.
When selecting the right summer hat for you, think about what you’ll be doing while wearing it. If you’re planning to spend the day hanging ten and relaxing by the ocean, a lifeguard-style woven hat is perfect. For an afternoon at the links, consider a moisture-wicking hat with a 360-degree brim. If you’re all about fashion over function, you’re in luck! Below, the best summer hats for men manage to be both handsome and practical. Go on, it’s your time to shine.
Best Safari Hat for Summer
An Aussie-style hat is a great option for those who want a bit of style without going too far into the cowboy or lifeguard territory. This one from Overland is crushable, packable, and ventilated to keep you cool. It’s also protected with UPF 50-plus—perfect for spotting elephants from the back of a Land Rover or just flipping burgers in your backyard.
Materials: Cotton and polyester.
Style: Safari hat.
Best Stealth-Wealth Cap for Summer
Unless you’ve been living under a sartorial rock lately, you’ve no doubt seen myriad trend stories about “stealth wealth” and “quiet luxury.” Succession fans to the front of the line, please. This idea of expensive, logo-free clothing and accessories is definitely nothing new. On the show, Kendall Roy is often seen in an unassuming black hat, particularly this cashmere-blend cap Loro Piana. If you, too, have grand designs of taking over your father’s massive media empire, we can’t recommend it enough for a climate-controlled environment, like your chilly private jet.
Best Reversible Bucket Hat for Summer
While perfect for hiding the top of your head and ears from the sun’s rays, keep in mind that a bucket hat isn’t going to do a ton to protect your face and neck, so don’t skip the SPF. We love this one from J.Crew because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. With Martha’s Vineyard-worthy madras on one side and a California-cool print on the other, you’ll be summer-ready from coast to coast.
Style: Bucket hat.
Best Straw Sun Hat for Summer
Take it from the guys whose job it is to sit in the sun next to highly-reflective bodies of water—the bigger the brim, the better. If you really want to guard your head and neck from potential damage, a tightly woven straw hat with a brim of 3 inches or more is the way to go. Iconic surf brand O’Neill makes a stylish version with a convenient chin strap to keep your hat from being whisked away by a seaside gust.
Style: Sun hat.
Best Summer Hat for Runners
If you were to head out to New York City’s West Side Highway exercise path on any given day (but especially after work hours during the week) you’d see at least a handful of men jog by wearing this hat. Ciele has reached cool-kid status in the running world and beyond, and this breathable, machine-washable, reflective cap not only does its job but looks stylish, too, thanks to 11 different color options.
Materials: COOLmatic fabric and recycled performance fibers.
Best Summer Hat for Golfers
Sure, you could golf in a plain cotton baseball cap. But if you take your sun protection seriously and you’re going to be out on the course for hours on end trying for that hole-in-one, it’s a good idea to try something else. Enter this brimmed hat from Nike, which is made in the brand’s signature Dri-FIT fabric with UV protection. We love the iconic swoosh on just about anything, and this easy warm-weather topper is no exception.
Style: Bucket hat.
Buy Now on Nike:
Best Summer Hat for Outdoor Adventures
Have a hiking, camping, or fishing trip on the books this summer? Go ahead and add this brimmed hat from the North Face to your online shopping cart immediately. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns to suit your chosen outdoorsy aesthetic, and reviewers give it top marks for style, sun protection, and the fact that it floats.
Style: Boonie hat.
Buy Now on Backcountry:
Best Bug-Repelling Summer Hat
We rely on L.L. Bean for traditional, non-fussy pieces that last forever and never let you down. For a multi-purpose, no-label hat that won’t run you Kendall Roy–level prices, we love the classic look of this baseball hat (in olive or khaki) that also happens to be treated with permethrin, a synthetic version of a naturally produced chemical from daisies that fends off biting insects.
Material: Nylon and polyester.
Best Packable Sun Hat for Summer
Stuff it in your weekend bag when you’re catching the train to Montauk. Smash it into your hard carry-on before you jet off to Miami. Wherever your warm weather travels might take you, this packable woven hat from Sunday Afternoons should be in your bag. It’s unisex, the adjustable sizing means it looks good on everyone, and it’s got the reviews to back it up—most of which note that it’s comfortable and stays in place when the wind picks up, too.
Materials: Paper and polyester.
Style: Sun hat.
Best Panama Hat for Summer
We rely year-round on menswear icon Todd Snyder for modern-meets-timeless pieces from his eponymous collection. But let this incredibly cool woven panama hat from Guanabana serve as a reminder not to sleep on the other artisans and brands he carries online. This woven wide-brim hat brings to mind tropical getaways and drinks with umbrellas—but would look just as good at a café table outside your favorite neighborhood haunt.
Materials: Natural fibers.
Style: Panama hat.
Best Designer Bucket Hat for Summer
Yes, the status bucket hat is a thing. And while many designers have brimmed toppers available with signature logos and tell-tale colorways, we prefer the noticeable but not-too-shouty hat by Jacquemus, with a metal emblem at the front and a unique tie at the back. Pair this one with your best camp-collar shirt and wide-leg chinos for a sunny day in the city.
Materials: Cotton canvas.
Style: Bucket hat.
Best Gorpcore Hat for Summer
If you’re in the market for the perfect accessory to compliment your Salomon hiking boots this summer, look no further than the Arc’teyx Sinsolo hat—a breathable and packable bucket hat that hits all the right notes of fashion and function. Make a statement in the jungle-green color or play it more lowkey in classic black. Either way you’ll be equally prepared for a scene-y afternoon hang in Dimes Square or an epic hike in the Berkshires.
Style: Bucket hat.
Best Fedora Hat for Summer
For the man who has everything, might we suggest the most luxurious summer accessory we could find. This straw fedora with a chevron weave and luxurious calfskin cord has a narrow brim that won’t totally shade you from the sun, but will let everyone around you know that you take your vacations very seriously.
Material: Straw with calfskin cord.
Best Classic Baseball Cap for Summer
There’s a reason that almost everyone you know either owns or used to own this hat at one point in their lives. It’s absolutely classic, unassuming, yet thanks to that little pony insignia, instantly recognizable. We love this easy cotton cap because it comes in a ton of perfectly faded colors and hits a slightly preppy note that goes so well with your favorite swim trunks, an ice cold lemonade, and bare feet in the sand.
Best Vintage-Inspired Trucker Hat for Summer
Aviator Nation makes stylish sweat sets and accessories for the sun-to-snow California crowd, and this playful neon trucker hat embodies that easy going aesthetic. Inspired by the lowkey lifestyle of surfer dudes from San Diego to Santa Monica, we love that this beach-ready style comes in lightweight nylon that can withstand the sun, sand, and salt during a day at the beach.
Style: Trucker hat.
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