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What is a Floppy Hat?

If you love to be out in the sun yet still look fresh and fashionable, take a close look at the floppy hat showcasing its form, function, history and the ways to wear it properly.

This is a woman wearing a white floppy hat at the beach.

Hat fashion has gone a long way from being worn for style, sun protection, or symbolizing a uniform component. You can’t help but notice these enormous, broad, droopy hats bouncing around on a person’s head whether you walk into a local country club, go hiking with pals, or even visit a public beach.

You’d recognize it as a hat, but what precisely is this “floppy hat“?

  • A floppy hat, also known as a sun hat, harvest hat, or field hat, has a wide brim designed to protect the face and shoulders from the sun.
  • Floppy hats come in various materials and styles, such as straw sun hats, pressed fiber sun hats, and lightly woven floppy hats.

Wide brim or floppy brim hats are precisely what the name suggests. Their Brims can be up to 10 inches wide, while some designers style them to be larger, although most are between 4 and 6 inches wide. Recent decades have seen floppy hats become fashionable and functional clothing.

With that said, how did the floppy hat make its way to become a stylish choice?

The History Of The Floppy Hat

A woman wearing a boho chic outfit with her brown floppy hat.

“I wear a hat to keep my ideas warm.”

Floppy hats have numerous functions other than being aesthetically attractive. During the summer, the urge to wear a hat may become an absolute requirement. Vintageinspired sun hats are an ideal type of sun protection, protecting both skin and eyes from the almighty light.

They also make an excellent fashion statement. Before it became a fashion item, the floppy hat served as a protective device: its first appearance goes back to the 14th century. One of its descendants is the Chinese palmleaf sun hat. Through fascinating evolutionary tweaks, it became a trendy, fashionable, and reliable item.

Initially constructed of straw, it was in the 20th century that it grew in popularity due to its democratization: the film The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967) is a historical event of the floppy hat, which was coupled for the occasion with the costumes of Françoise Dorléac and Catherine Deneuve.

Floppy hats with broader brims were a significant component of the hippie style in the ’60s to the ’70s and were worn by younger celebrities and people who embraced the counterculture. These popular hats at craft fairs and stylish boutiques were made of felt, woven straw, or leather.

As a new emblem of elegance, it emerged as a popular product for all seasons and in all hues. The huge floppy hats enticed famous fashion designers such as Pierre Cardin, Yves Saint Laurent, and Chanel.

When To Wear A Floppy Hat?

Lanzom Womens Wide Brim Straw Hat Big Floppy Foldable Roll up Cap Beach Sun Hat UPF 50+ (Style B-Black)

“The hat is defined by the wearer’s personality combined with the hat itself.”

Some of the most prevalent sites for skin cancer diagnosis are on your head, including your face, scalp, and ears. So wearing a hat, especially one with UPF 50+ protection, is a no-brainer. The more difficult task is determining when it is most critical to have one on your head.

With that said, what are three other reasons to wear one:

  • On the beach tanning, and reading a book. Poolside or at the beach with your favorite book paired with a wide-brimmed hat, putting on some tanning lotion, soaking in some son for that darker tan is the perfect combination. Spend more time reading that trendy new best-seller and less time worrying about the weather.
This is a woman lounging on the beach wearing a floppy hat.
  • To appreciate the great outdoors. This one is for those of you who enjoy camping in the woods and enjoying nature! If you’re the type of weekend warrior who joins every trekking club they can find, you’ll need a good sun hat and some long sleeves.
This is a couple trekking at the forest wearing floppy hats.
  • To dress in the perfect outfit. A well-styled hat is an underappreciated item of clothing that can tie the overall appearance together. There may never be a more pleasurable moment to wear a well-chosen wide-brimmed hat than during a Tennessee Derby party or festival!
This is a woman wearing a white blouse and a black floppy hat.

Floppy hats are designed to not only protect your head and hair from the sun but also to complement your clothing and make you appear fantastic. So, when you browse for one online or at your favorite clothing store, you’ll probably want to know if it is still a trendy headpiece. Well, is it?

Are Floppy Hats Still In Fashion?

Lanzom Womens Sun Straw Hat Wide Brim Summer Hat Foldable Roll up Large Floppy Beach Hats(Style C-Ivory White)

” What a hat is all about is how it makes you feel.”

Floppy hats are pretty popular all year round, which is fantastic since they are fashionable and functional. They keep the sun off your face, cover messed-up hair, and can take a “basic” look up a level.

Since the 1960s, floppy hats have left a footprint and remain a popular and easy choice for headgear for men and women.

An all-year-round fantastic color trend is a neutral hue with a timeless appearance that assures its adaptability by allowing you to mix and match it with other color separates. If you’re struggling to decide on a color, choose black, white, cream, or blue tones.

If you believe your sun hat is too plain, consider wrapping it with a bright ribbon. You may always go for a trendy, patterned scarf.

Ayliss Women's Wide Birm Sun Hat Foldable Floppy Hat Reversible Summer Beach Roll up Cap Sun Hat Packable UV Protection (Black)

Speaking of colorful accents, you could be interested in embroidered patterns that appear elegant and would be appropriate for a more formal event than a beach party. If you still prefer a more colorful headpiece, I recommend an adorned design with a brightly colored or fun polka dot pattern.

There are various styles, so experiment around and discover which type you enjoy the most. You’ll only wear it if you adore it, and if you’re a little nervous about wearing this hat style in public, the poolside is a great place to try it on and relax.

Even better, if you don’t have access to a pool, wear one while sitting on your patio at home before deciding to wear it out in public.


If you’re new to floppy hats and decide that you should wear one, then wear it with pride! Floppy hats have proven to coexist with fashion trends throughout the years, and it does not seem to be leaving anytime soon. These hats are available in a wide range of styles and sizes to fit the occasion.


Collins Dictionary: Floppy Hat

She Knows: How to Wear a Floppy Hat

Elle: Sun Hats

Style Caster: 2021 Hat Trends