With another summer beginning to heat things up, here’s your excuse to go hat shopping. Women have always loved buying and wearing hats, and thankfully, milliners and hatters seem to never run out of new, fun and stylish designs to keep us buying new headwear. Now it’s important to take into consideration that just because a hat looks good on a friend, this in no way signifies how it might look on you. And not all hats are created equal, either. The best hats manage to integrate fashion and functionality in a way that serves the wearer with absolute skin protection while ramping up their personal style statement in the most complementary of ways.

Upfront Thoughts
Among the most prominent features of the hat you select will be the size and type of brim the hat offers. Some hats feature chin straps or ties to keep them in place, in a mostly utilitarian mode, although these can be purely aesthetic, too. The wider-brimmed hats generally come with a more frequent need to be held in place, especially when the wind is active. Another consideration is how wearing the hat might affect your view, particularly for when you’re engaging in more active pursuits like gardening and sports, rather than the less strenuous demands of attending an afternoon tea party or enjoying lunch with a friend. Women who tend to be hot-natured can look for a hat that is designed to include mesh panel details for an enhanced airflow. Just remember that the mesh parts mean no sun protection wherever they’re included.

Stylin’, Chic Sophistication, from a Classic Favorite
Some of the most awesome hats you’ll ever find that are on the more dressy side (but you can pull off with everything else, including jeans, any day,) are Kentucky Derby Hats. You don’t have to physically attend the race to enjoy this celebrated form of hat finery, although the event is always tons of fun for all present. Kentucky Derby head ornamentation is where the most incredible artistry imaginable can be found, with all sizes, colors, styles and even prices. Worn with the right attitude, you’ll be able to rock that KD hat, long after the Derby, and all summer long, while receiving compliment after compliment, too.

Get Your Bucket On
Forget about the bucket list, it’s the bucket hat that’s been covering the most fashionable heads this spring. Now, if your brain begins conjuring up images of the B&W TV Gilligan, or the infamous LL Cool J from 90’s stylings–no worries. No reason to feel disconcerted here, as the modern design of the classic bucket hat has been renegotiated with updated twists by many top designers including Alexander Wang, Kate Spade and BCBG. Eric Javits’ adorable Squishy Bucket Woven Hat, $198, Neiman Marcus will have everyone clamoring for this totally un-Gilligan hat. Javits’ designs, incidentally, are archived in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, and recognized for their uncompromised design and enduring style. These new bucket hats work with a vast range of style possibilities, like oversized tops with skinny leggings, to lace-edged cropped tops with Jorts (jean shorts,) to ankle-grazing, flowery skirts and fluffy, frilly tops.

Go, Fedora!
Summer hat inspo with the more romantic, feminine allure is making yet another consecutive year as a leading topic among the finest hat choices for the best-adorned fashionistas. This style conforms so smoothly to any face shape, and the designs with the floppier, more pliable brims allow for a lot of personal tweaking and shaping to reflect whatever mood you’re in at the moment. Solid colors are available in the full spectrum. A well-stocked hat arsenal would include at least one white, one tan and one bright color of these awesome head covers.

Turban Times
We have Ava Gardner to thank for this stunningly classic form of headwear, and today’s turbans are so full of style and variety that there’s every reason for every girl to own at least one. The larger, fully head-covering bonnet-style head wraps come beautifully detailed with particulars like pleating and gathered details, and they’re so very boho. Style one up, with your personal form of embellishments, from heirloom antique brooches to feathers and rhinestones. Get them in animal prints, geometric contrasting primaries and much more. An elegant way to get out there, even on a horrible hair day!