8 of the best sun hats for women, according to style experts

Sun's out, hats on!
The perfect escape
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/ Source: TODAY
By Chrissy Callahan

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Whether you're enjoying a relaxing day at the beach or a fun-filled afternoon running errands, protecting yourself against harmful UV rays involves more than just applying sunscreen. In the dog days of summer, we all need a little backup — that's why sun hats are a crucial style staple.

With so many fabulous sun hats available, deciding which one to buy can be tricky. To help you along the way, we tapped top style experts to break down summer's hottest hat styles and also got them to share a few that are currently on their wish list!

The best sun hats for women

1. The elegant striped hat

"This is a classy and fun addition to any beach wardrobe to help keep your skin covered," said personal stylist Whitney Anne Adams.

3. The practical but trendy bucket hat

"100% cotton is always comfortable in the summer, especially if the color is white," said stylist and Dhstyle Inc. CEO, Dana Asher Levine.

2. The ultra-wide brim hat

Asher Levine chose this one because the oversized hat is both "fashionable" and wide enough to protect your face and shoulders from UV rays.

4. The fashionable fedora

Make a sun-safe statement in this chic patterned fedora that pairs well with everything from sundresses to shorts.

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5. The 50+ UPF sun hat

UPF protection and a chin strap to keep this stylish hat from blowing away into the wind? Yep, we're adding it to our wish list!

6. The TODAY-favorite sun hat

This affordable sun hat was featured in a recent Better Basics segment and viewers loved it so much it saw a 5,000% spike in sales.

7. The sunny greeting hat

Who says you can't have fun while protecting yourself against the sun? Make a stylish statement — literally — with a sun hat that spells out exactly how you feel.

8. The athletic sun hat

Summer's the perfect time for all your favorite outdoorsy activities like camping, hiking and more! Enjoy the rays without fear of sunburn with the help of this protective hat.

What should you look for when buying a sun hat?

Just like flip flops and sundresses, sun hats are a summer style essential. But finding the right hat to suit your personal taste and your lifestyle means knowing what makes them all unique. Here are some of the most common types:

  • Floppy hats and straw hats: "I love a wide brimmed floppy hat for the beach to cover as much of your neck and face as possible," saidAdams.
  • Fedoras: "This is my favorite summer hat as it can be worn on the beach but it can also be a great weekend hat to go with any summer outfit and dress it up. It’s a nice fashion statement," costume designer Mona May explained.
  • Bucket hats: "These are perfect for more intense outdoor activities: Walking, hiking, biking, kayaking, etc. You definitely want something with a thicker weave to really combat the sun," saidAsher Levine.
  • Boater hats: "When taking strolls outside or hanging at a barbecue, a boater is a great option as you can keep the hat on while still being able to have a full view of where you're walking or who you're talking to," Adams explained.

More tips for buying the best sun hat

When shopping for your perfect sun hat, comfort is key. "You want to look for a softer material so your head will be happy wearing the hat for multiple hours outside," said Adams, whose film credits include "Irreplaceable You," and "The Great Gatsby."

When it's hot as heck outside, and you're sweating already, you also want to seek out cooling materials.

"There are some hats on the market made of material that is breathable to keep you cool ... If the hats are made of lightweight material, they are super comfortable and easy to roll up and pack in a suitcase," said May, who has worked on "Santa Clarita Diet" and "Clueless."

You should also hunt down a sun hat with plenty of coverage.

"If you’re planning to be in the sun all day you’re going to want something with a larger brim. Sun protection is everything, especially if you’re planning to be outside for more than an hour," said Asher Levine.

For more summer style essentials, check out:

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