Now that I live in a much hotter area I find that my skin, which is accustomed to the summer fog of SF, needs to adjust to the strong summer sun rays of San Jose. Not only am I starting to reapply sunscreen on my face throughout the day and wearing sunscreen on arms and legs, but I'm also finding that wearing a summer hat can make a huge difference. This is especially true when you know you're going to be out in the sun almost all day. My new favorite item this summer is Cuyana's summer hat. I've always wanted a good Panama hat but with it's wide brim, this summer hat is even better at keeping the sun off my face
I'm not really a hat person (the whole story about that here) but something about the wide brim and fedora shape made me want to try out this hat. Plus I know when I order something from Cuyana, it's going to be a quality item. And this hand-woven hat from Ecuador did not disappoint (also when I compared this hat to a straw hat made in China, the quality of the Cuyana hat is by far better, with a tighter weave of the straw but at the same time a lot more flexible). First a quick note on the sizing, follow the instructions on their site and measure your head right above the eyebrows. My head size was right around 56.5 so I sized up and went with a 57, and it fit great (I also wanted to go a bit larger so that I wouldn't have to deal with squeezing my head into the hat and then getting that hatband mark around your forehead when you take it off). Since I did go up in size I had to be a little more careful about wearing the hat on windy days. But a quick google search of "how to keep your hat on during a windy day" revealed a tip of sewing an elastic band into the hat:
When wearing the hat, pull your hair through the band and the elastic goes behind your head, sort of like a headband (and make sure to use an elastic that matches your hair color so it's camouflaged). Or if you're too lazy to sew, two small safety pins do the trick as well. This way if the hat flies back, it's still secured by your hair. No more looking like a fool chasing my hat around on a windy day, lol. Also now I know I won't accidentally lose this hat, making this a quality piece worth spending some money on ($75 for a straw hat is nothing to sneeze at). But if you're looking to add a few quality items to your wardrobe, then this summer hat is the last summer hat you'll need to buy. Like Cuyana says, buy fewer but better.