Lady Gaga, the Duchess of Cambridge, Serena van der Woodsen—all women who know how to make a statement with their headwear.
Sure, most hats and hair accessories have practical roots (and we're all for being savvy about protecting our skin from the sun), but they're also an easy way to add that extra pop to your outfit without too much effort.
Ready to bring more style up top? Read on for our guide to hats and headwear in all their forms.
Nothing says languorous poolside glamour like a billowy sunhat. The full-circle brim provides instant shade, while elevating the elegance factor—be it with a one-piece swimsuit, a maxi dress, or short shorts and tank. Keep a couple of sun hats in your closet, so you can change up brim widths depending on how strong the sun is.
Fun fact: The Panama actually hails from Ecuador. This breezy, wide-brimmed number synonymous with Bond villains is perfect for hot, humid temps and beachside locales. It's a bit more formal than the sun hat, so you can pair it with a flowing maxi or a linen jumpsuit at cocktail hour on your next tropical vacay.
A preppier take on the sun hat, this variation usually has a slightly more compact brim and works well for dressier occasions like garden cocktail parties. Embrace the summery sophistication by wearing it with a white silk tank and tailored wide-leg pants or a breezy linen dress or jumpsuit.
This is your go-to when you want to show off your killer ponytail, top knot, chignon, or braid while also protecting yourself from the sun. Get playful with texture here—a translucent colored brim and sleek leather band will give you a more contemporary aesthetic, while a woven straw pattern channels a subtler seaside spirit.
Long a favorite among painters, poets, beatniks, and otherwise bohemian folk—oh, and '90s Michael Jordan—the beret is also beloved by the fashion world for its easy sophistication. Wear it with a turtleneck and flowing skirt, a sweater and jeans, or in a complementary shade to your go-to winter coat.
Whether your vibe skews closer to après-ski or Brooklyn hipster, beanies are the secret to mixing up your cold-weather wardrobe. A slouchy, fine knit or nautical watch cap pairs well with more casual denim outfits, while intricate knit patterns and voluminous pom-poms add personality to an outerwear-based look.
This classic has come a long way since it first sat atop the heads of boys peddling 'papes in the early 1900s. Thanks to its cool, British aesthetic, it's also become a favorite among the street-style scene. Wear it with simpler pieces to avoid costumey vibes, like cigarette pants, a fitted tee, and a moto jacket, or a slouchy sweater and jeans.
There's something so deliciously '70s about a great felt hat, whether it's the quirky American styling of Annie Hall or the exquisitely French boho vibes of Jane Birkin and Brigitte Bardot. Either way, pair a felt fedora or floppy with something voluminous, like wide-leg trousers or a statement-sleeve maxi.
The baseball cap may have a sporty rep, but the good news is that you don't need to be breaking a sweat to wear one. A black leather or neon cap can bring some street style to an athleisure look, while a simple white number adds a practical but preppy touch to your favorite summer sundress.
The gritty, mesh-y cousin of the baseball cap, the trucker cap was the headwear of choice for farmers and truck drivers back in the '80s. Channel that road-tripping Americana theme and pair it with solid black tank and worn jeans, or a soft-knit camo print tee and shorts.
For many of us, bucket hats might bring back vivid memories of the '90s, but they actually first hit the fashion scene during the Mod era of the 1960s. Depending on which retro vibe you're leaning into, wear it with wide-leg jeans and a printed tee or try it with a shift dress and wedges.
Stetson gave us the OG version of the cowboy hat, dubbed the "Boss of the Plains," in the mid-1800s, and the style has endured ever since. Embrace the Western vibes with a tiered prairie-chic maxi dress. Or, liven up your beach ensemble with a straw variation of this classic.
A headband has its practical side—especially when it's keeping your hair at bay in spinning or yoga class—but it can also be the ultimate finishing touch for an outfit. Try a thick knotted style with a summer tank and shorts, or slip on a thinner, ornate version to complement a slinky cocktail dress.
An easy way to instantly transport yourself to a dreamy Italian summer. Dabble with color and pattern, especially if the rest of your ensemble is minimalist or monochrome. Drape it loosely over your hair and tie it at the neck for a vintage "top-down convertible" look, or knot it at the front, ends tucked in, to frame your bangs or curls.
The scrunchie is enjoying a strong revival for good reason. It's another simple way to infuse texture, color, and whimsy into an outfit without too much commitment. Use it to liven up your top knot or dress up a low ponytail—and opt for velvet if you're aiming for something more luxe.