Gwen and I were having lunch with the Shop Social Threads founders, Sara and Maureen, when Sara casually brought up summer hats.
“I don’t know if your readers would be interested, but we found the absolute best summer hat,” she said.
Now, I don’t know if you guys realize how seriously East Coasters take their beach-going, but this is a very BOLD statement. Gwen and I stared at each other. Once summer hits, we get this question: What’s the best beach hat?? — at least once per week. So, uh, yeah. We were interested, to say the least.
**NOTE: This post was originally published in 2018, and the hats promptly sold out. Now, these hats are still our top pick and, happily, have been restocked for summer 2023. But they do sell out every year, so if you’re interested, don’t wait!
The 3 Best Summer Hats For The Beach (They’re Seriously Cute)
Being East Coast Beach-goers themselves, Sara and Maureen naturally took their beach hat quest very seriously, and had been trying — for years — to find the best one. They were looking for beach hats that legitimately blocked the sun, had some SPF protection, and actually stayed on. Oh, and the hat had to be seriously chic too.
Well. Thanks to tireless searching, Sara and Maureen actually found three. And? They’re all under $50.
the floppy | the fedora | the original | towel | Birkenstocks | sunscreen
Shihreen hats, the best-ever beach hats that Sara and Maureen found, started off with one style (the original), and have since expanded the line to include a fedora (my favorite) and a floppy hat (my mom & Linzi’s favorite). All are UPF 50, and all have an internal elastic band to keep the hat on securely. This one-size-fits-all approach actually works, and manages to look just as cute on my big head* as it does on Gwen’s tiny head.
*For the record, I blame my hair.
But the best part? The brim of these hats kick up in the back a little, so you can lounge in a beach chair without your hat flipping off. They’re also crushable and packable and — if you’re not careful — will be promptly stolen by your friends and family.
Let’s take a closer look at each style, shall we?
1. The Best Beach Fedora
This fedora is my personal favorite beach hat. It has a smaller brim but enough face coverage (and way more than my usual baseball hat). I also love that it stays on even when lounging in a beach chair and, like the others, packs like a champ.
2. The Best Floppy Hat For The Beach
Now this big ole, glamorous floppy hat is both wildly practical and fun. It definitely provides the most shade, but I can actually see from underneath that brim (despite how it looks in the photos). And like the other hat styles, this one stays on (even when lounging in a beach chair) and packs beautifully. In fact, my mom nabbed this hat for our trip to Greece a few years ago…and then, when I replaced it? Linzi grabbed that one.
Admittedly, this hat is pretty hard to beat.
3. The Original Beach Hat
Shihreen’s Original Beach Hat is the one that started it all. And truthfully, it’s hard to beat the original. It’s just sassy enough, with a nice big brim and packs easily into a suitcase (or beach bag).
I’m due for a new beach hat (Scotti took my fedora last summer), but now I honestly can’t decide if I should replace the fedora or the floppy hat! But frankly, at $46 each, I could easily justify getting both. It’ll save me in wrinkle treatments later. 😉
Aaaaand…a little something for Pinterest (we always love it when you Pin us).