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Summer trend showdown: The floppy hat vs. the boater hat

Which is right for you?

It’s a classic showdown of two retro pieces. Both the floppy hat and the boater hat have resurfaced this summer, rekindling images of old films and classic style, but which is right for you? Well, that depends. Let the showdown begin!

floppy hat vs boat hat

The floppy hat

In this corner, we have the floppy hat. It might be a silly name, but this classic style harkens back to everyone from classic screen sirens to hippie chicks. It's for good reason. The floppy hat has a seductiveness about it that makes it stand out — the wearer can peek out from behind one of the folds in a very Jessica Rabbit sort of way. But this hat isn't for everyone and certainly not for anytime.

It's the perfect hat for summer days when a light cotton maxi dress (also super on trend) seems most appropriate. Heading out for a day of sunbathing? Amp up the sex appeal and sun protection with a floppy hat. It blocks those UV rays from damaging your skin while you soak up the sun elsewhere.

If you're going for a casual jeans and T-shirt kind of look, perhaps it's best to skip the floppy hat — at least that day. The floppy hat has a dressed up demeanor about it and would look out of place with sneakers and your favorite screen tee.

If you're going for a retro or bohemian look this summer, this is the hat for you!

The boater hat

The boater hat is also a classic style, but it's far different from the sort of classic the floppy hat resembles. The boater hat is a cool, casual style that looks best paired with maritime accessories and sailor-inspired apparel. Have a white and navy striped shirt you've been looking to break out? Top it off with a boater hat for true classic style.

But the boater might not look great on all face shapes. Round faces should avoid this hat because its own rounded edges can make faces look bulgy. Unlike the floppy hat, which can be worn with all face shapes, the boater looks best with oval and long faces.

Generally, the boater hat comes in a neutral beige color that can be paired with just about any outfit. Compared to the floppy hat's numerous colors, the boater hat is more of a summer wardrobe staple than a frivolous fashion splurge.

Want to wear the boater with your maxi dress? Go for it! Heading out to the grocery store in jeans and a tee? Pop on that boater! The hat's main attraction is its versatility, so go wild!

Watch: How to properly apply sunscreen

More summer fashion

Colors for summer: 5 Hues to add to your wardrobe
The best swimsuit fit for your body type
Tacky versus classy: How to accessorize a bathing suit

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