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wearing a hat

What kind of hat (if any) are you wearing during Summer? I have to wear a hat, my balding head just can't take the sun. I hear "Tilley" hats are good, or do they make you look like an out of place safari hunter?

Posted by
31055 posts

Jim,

I've been using a Tilley hat for many years and their SPF factor is not exaggerated! It really does keep the sun off and makes things more tolerable in hot weather. They have many different styles and some of them are quite smart and I doubt they would make you look like a "safari hunter".

My venerable T3 is getting a bit worn and doesn't hold its shape as well now, probably as a result of rolling it up to store in my vest when I'm not wearing it. Some of the other styles may not "roll" as well as they have more of a rigid construction. However, it still works well and that's the main thing!

Posted by
10322 posts

Get a hat you like.
This is a semi-medical issue, I understand, since I'm also hair challenged.
I've used baseball caps on previous trips but decided it was too, well uh, un-European.
So in the recent Paris trip I bought an "English-style driving hat" on the 1st sunny day, which was a cool day so it was fine.
But then on the warmer days, it was too warm, so desperate was I that at Pere La Chaise Cemetery I bought the only hat around, which was a Jim Morrison cotton baseball style cap. And did anyone pay the slightest attention to me? Of course not. So I was fine with it. However, I left the hat at the hotel (it didn't even look like Morrison).

French men didn't seem to wear hats, they seem to have hair. And I didn't see very many older men, my age, because they're already retired and living in the provinces, not in expensive Paris.
Tilley would be fine, IMHO.

Posted by
792 posts

Thanks for that Kent. I just don't see how men, or women, can be out in the blazing sun without some kinda of head protection. I'm going for the Tilley" . They are pricey, but the reviews I have read give the various styles very positive comments about comfort and fit.

Posted by
7737 posts

It's true that Italian men don't wear hats anywhere near as much as American men do. That said, we went to the Italian Open tennis tournament a couple of weeks ago and the sun was so strong that LOTS of the Italian men were wearing hats. They just happened to be white plastic straw fedora-style hats sold on the grounds of the tournament. In this photo I took of Rafael Nadal you can see one of the officials wearing the same hat: https://flic.kr/p/tK5bXV

I bought one of those hats and wore it for the rest of the time I was in Italy since there was a bit of a heat wave going on.

Posted by
47 posts

Jim,
My doctor has instructed me to always wear a hat when I'm outdoors but mostly because of a history with sunburn, etc. I also wear a Tilley and while I stand out, for me its a necessity. But I also think its a pretty smart look.

Posted by
792 posts

I don't really get why hats are not more in favor. I think a woman in a big floppy, wide brimmed hat on a sunny day looks very attractive. Not being sexist, I just think it adds an element of style. Me, I just don't want to get a scorched and sun burned head. I agree, baseball caps just don't cut it.

Posted by
11981 posts

This guy is a friend who sells hats at the San Lorenzo market in Florence. Maybe I can send him an email and ask him what's in fashion this year. Both my wife and I buy hats from him. I wear my 'Borsalino' type of hats in winter that I bought from him, but last year I saw he had a bunch of light panama hats and others that are good for summer.

If you happen to be in Florence visit his stand (via dell'Ariento almost at the corner with via Nazionale) and he'll suggest a good one for your age and face.

No need to struggle speaking Italian with him. He lived in Hawaii for a year and is married to a Californian from Honolulu.

Posted by
66 posts

Jim - Have been wearing Tilly hats for more than 20 years mainly when hiking and kayaking. For the last 1/2 dozen years I have been wearing the Tilly T-5 whenever I'm out and about. Numerous bouts with facial skin cancers have made our family believers in wearing hats, usually with a complete brim. My wife wears a T-5 when hiking, kayaking and a Raffia (straw) hat with a narrower brim when we're vacationing. as in Venice/Florence/Rome earlier this month. We're believers. Don't forget the suntan lotion also. Gene

Posted by
792 posts

You, Kent, and Mike make it obvious that to wear a hat is smart. T5 or whatever.. the company, as i see it, stands solidly behind their product. I like that.

Posted by
91 posts

For Europe I prefer a simple Stetson fedora that I bought cheap a few years back. It has just enough of a stylish look that the street sellers do not guess "American" when they try to get my attention.

Posted by
668 posts

Cheap Boating Captain's hat. Make sure it looks well used. Every one smiles when they see this hat, and will call you :"Captain" as a nick name.

Posted by
14014 posts

I don't know if it's psychological or just fashion but many (most?) people make bad choices for summer wear. Light weight loose clothing (so air can circulate) that covers the body is more comfortable that letting the sun hit your bare skin, whether it's shoulders or legs, but people seem to think they'll be cooler if they wear less. Hats may feel hot, but keeping the sun off your head keeps you cooler unless it's pretty breezy.

Posted by
1771 posts

After having some Basal cells removed from the tip of my nose I always wear a hat in the sun. I have quite a collection now and limit the baseball caps to avoid looking like everybody else here in California. Aside from ball caps you don't see a lot of men wearing hats here and not many were wearing hats in Europe either.
When traveling or on cold evenings I like a Fedora. During the day when the Fedora can stay in the hotel room I switch to a flat cap which is more casual and can be packed without getting crushed like the Fedora. For summer a cotton or linen flat cap is best.
Goorin Bros. is my favorite hat store and they sell online.

I had many people speak to me in French and Itailan wearing a hat and jeans, take it for what it's worth. I don't carry a backpack during the day so that might have entered into the impression I gave. Then again I might be dillusional thinking I looked like a local since I have read many times on this forum that it is impossible, but I still had many people speak to me in the native language.
If you go with the Tilly make sure you get some covertable pants and Tivo sandals to complete the look. One of Rick's books in your hand with a map will accesorize you nicely.

Posted by
792 posts

lol Richard. Probably need a Hawaiian shirt to complete the look

Posted by
107 posts

Hardly anyone wears a beret today, even in Paris. So that's a distinctive piece of headgear. I've found that big Basque berets work well to keep the sun out of your eyes, keep your head warm and provide UV protection that's off the charts.

A beret also takes up little room in your luggage and can be folded up and put in a pocket when you're in a restaurant.

Baseball-style hats work just as well, so find one you like and use that.

Posted by
23851 posts

This thread was from May, and has just been re-awoken. The question was about the upcoming summer so the poster may have returned by now. In fact he has told us so and given reports.

Posted by
792 posts

yup, I've been back a couple of weeks. I did buy a hat in Sienna back in early September. A cheap Fedora style. Kept the sun off my head and that's all I needed. Alas it did not survive the suitcase upon return.

Posted by
1043 posts

I wore a baseball cap from the college I attended while on RS Best of Italy. I was surprised how many many men wore baseball caps including some locals. It was also fun when someone recognized the school or thought they knew which school the hat was from. It actually started some conversations that probably would not have occurred otherwise.

Posted by
5718 posts

My husband has eye issues and really needs a brim and uses a lightweight cap like French men wear, the sort of English driving cap or newsboy cap -- I noticed that very few women were wearing sun hats when I was last there, but it makes all the difference to me to not have sun in my eyes all day while moving about -- I have a hat that looks kind of like a straw hat but is made of some sort of twisted paper which has held up reasonable well and looks better IMHO than a baseball cap.

Posted by
101 posts

I would echo Roberto from California. We have visited Roby Calamai in the San Lorenzo markets in Florence on two different trips to Italy. On both occasions, I purchased a hat from Roby and like them very much. We live at a high altitude in Colorado, and I like to wear his hats for the UV protection on my walks. Roby is a very personable guy -- not a high pressure sales type.

Posted by
2487 posts

And I, having the same problem, use an old-fashioned hat I bought in an even more old-fashioned shop in Wroclaw. In German it listens to the wonderful name of »ballonmütze«, for which the English translation seems to be »newsboy cap«. It does its job, without being too conspicuous as a tourist.

Posted by
1413 posts

Another vote for Tilley. I have been wearing them for 25 years. Their other clothing is good. There have been days when I have worn Tilley socks, shorts, underwear, belt, shirt, and hat !

They have several colors so you mght choose one of those rather than the khaki.

Posted by
8293 posts

My husband always wore a Tilley hat, and he was one of the few people in the world who actually looked great in it. It did, however, bring unwanted attention in some countries, where unsavoury looking types would always call out "Allo Cowboooy!" Not clear on the concept, I guess.