Every season is game for a hat; spring, though, has its special reasons. Inspired by derbies near and far and milliners who delight in creating works of art, hat-revelers in search of their best plumage are invited to interpret the season in a display of fantasy and coquetry. While the extravagant expressions on display in the coming weeks may not be to everyone’s taste, the advent of spring carries an invitation to indulge and experiment.

Hats are the ultimate accessory, fitting for any occasion, whether it’s an outdoor party, wedding, or walk in the park. Hats are also about disguise. And they are the veritable last bastion in the art of dress-up. A hat is the perfect embellishment: It can create an entire look by dramatizing an ensemble; it can disguise a mood in a way that’s more personal and creative than donning a pair of dark shades. And a hat with a brim can serve a more pedestrian need—UV protection!—Stefania Amfitheatrof

Both our fashion writer, Stefania Amfitheatrof, and our publisher, Pat Allen, are mad about hats. Here are their favorite picks.

 

Stefania’s Picks:

strawhat

 Summer Straw Hat in Stripe, by J.Crew. 

This wide-brimmed straw hat from J.Crew, as the final touch on a monochromatic white, tan, or black ensemble, adds a dynamic signature to an outfit.

MarcJacobs hat

Large Plastique Raffia Hat, by Marc Jacobs. marissacollections.com

Consider this soft-brimmed raffia textured hat as a perfect addition to a casual outfit or a sundress. The supple brim and textured coarseness pairs well with sandals, flats, or espadrilles and a canvas or leather tote.

dip dye floppy hat

Dip Dye Floppy Hat, by Lucky Brand. luckybrand.com

A Spanish flair and whimsical embellishment add character to this wide-brimmed straw hat. Worn over a darker outfit or as a statement piece, this hat is an easy way to energize a casual look. 

 

Dr. Pat’s Picks:

Summer hats with a great brim protect the scalp and the face from the solar damage.  Of course, we love them because they are attractive too! Here are some of my favorites from Saks.com. (Images courtesy of saks.com)

6bc54c331e69c8368452d5f96a1a7896_bestBow Straw Hat, by Helene Berman. saks.com

The neutral color of this hat makes it a great buy.  It works with white, black, and hot summer colors.


0403562356781_247x329

Swinger Straw Hat, by Eric Javits. saks.com

The colors of this hat will flatter most complexions, and the wide brim will provide great sun protection.  Dressy enough for a special suit but the casual fabric will work with Capris and a simple top.

0403542875554_247x329Cecily Sun Hat in Blue, Genie by Eugenia Kim, saks.com

Love this navy-and-ivory hat.  Such a great start for an Independence Day look!  Red dress and canvas wedge shoes complete a perfect July Fourth outfit. 

 

Stefania Amftheatrof is a New York-based communications specialist and writer. Her life and travels in Europe, Asia, and the United States inspire an eye for fashion, diversity, and personal style.

Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D., director of the New York Menopause Center, is an Assistant Obstetrician and Gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital (1985-present), a board certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College, Faculty Advisory to Weill Cornell Community Clinic, and a member of the North American Menopause Society.