What should I wear to the beach today?

There have been times when I have had to go back to the hotel because I forgot my beach hat. The question keeps coming up, ‘What should I wear to the beach today?’ It’s okay having an umbrella, but you can’t cart it around with you long distance – not the cumbersome one I have – even if you are making that short walk from under the umbrella to the long queue by the ice cream van on a hot summer’s beach day.

Just like a bucket and spade, pair of sun glasses and a beach ball, the sun hat is a necessary accessory.

If you don’t have one and someone is trying to sell you one by the beach, then there’s a few things you need to consider when buying one.

Classic chic elegance

Are you looking for a straw beach hat that has a brim big enough to protect you against the harmful sun rays? Do you want a classy number or a floppy hat? My preference would be a Fedora hat, similar to the one worn by 1940s American actor Humphrey Bogarde. It should at least have a brim that is three inches wide. Most straw hats for an adult also have a head circumference of 21-23 inches.

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Then ask yourself the question which color absorbs UV rays and blocks them from your skin? You might be surprised by the answer. According to The Cancer Council in Australia, darker colors are the best. So go for a dark blue, dark red or even black! They offer you much more protection than white or color pastel colors from the same fabric.

Sun protection 50+

For those with lots of hair should go for a visor sun hat that can give sun protection around the face and eyes and also provide your hair the space for added comfort. Before buying a hat, it is always good to hold it in front of you to see how much light can get through it, as any gaps could leave your head exposed to the sun. Hats made with a tight weave should give you a Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 50+. This is the best sun protection. Make sure you get one with a drawstring in  case it’s a breezy day, so that you don’t have to chase after it.

Beach hats are made from a variety of fabrics from polyester to linen and even cotton. Your best bet, if you are looking for an economy model, is one made from synthetic straw materials which offers you ample protection and absorbs sweat. A polyester weave is equally good, and is easier for a machine wash.

Sun screen still needed

However, don’t be tempted not to put on sun screen because you have a hat. Your ears and face will still be exposed to UV rays even with a hat on. UV rays also have a

habit of bouncing off the ground and surfaces and into the shade under your hat.

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Comfort and safety

I would always buy a Fedora hat, but it’s your choice. The one in this article is made from  very light and breathable natural Toquilla straw. It is imported from Ecuador and the size ranges from 54-62. For a lady, this featured hat could be an option.  A glamorous floppy hat with 50+ protection.

But, whatever you and your partner decide to do, put safety and comfort first. And shop around for quality and value. If you disagree with my choices, let me know. I am always happy to get a second opinion.



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