I bought my first Sunbody Hat in 2016. I don’t know how I tolerated summer before then. Maybe I didn’t. We had fans (not air conditioning) growing up, and I used to stick my head in the freezer periodically. “Don’t do that,” my mother would say. Even as a child, I didn’t like being hot.
Sunbody Hats are made in Mexico and Guatemala from neutral-colored palm leaves. The brand itself is based in Texas—they even have a showroom—and its culture vibes with cowboys, guitarists, and historical reenactors. Their classic styles transcend Texas culture. I’ve never been to the Lone Star State and am far from being Southern, but I own three Sunbody Hats—the swinger, the Sam Houston planter, and the teardrop fedora. I bought them all online from Village Hat Shop.
The swinger has a 5” downturned brim. When I wear it with sunglasses, an A-line dress, and espadrilles, I feel like an Old Hollywood star. I like to wear the hat tilted slightly forward, which obscures my face and adds a bit of mystery. The 4” crown is a bit shallow, which means the swinger is most likely to fly on a windy day. I sewed a black grosgrain ribbon on both sides and tie the ends together under my chin to prevent it from flying too far. The hat band is black and made of cloth.
The Sam Houston planter also has a black cloth band and 5” brim. But, unlike the swinger, the brim is turned upwards, which makes more of my face visible. I tend to wear this one with the brim parallel to the ground. It’s ideal in situations, like dolphin watching in Cape May, where I want shade and an unobstructed view. This style has a 5 3/4” crown, which measures 4 1/4″ when creased down.
The teardrop fedora is my most-worn style. I wear it on my daily commute. When it gets too crowded on public transport, I hold the hat by the brim instead of wearing it. It’s easier to maneuver a hat with a 3” brim in these situations than it is to manage a hat with a 5” brim. The fedora came with a brown leather band, which I removed. I bought a beautiful, black grosgrain band from Montecristo Panama Hats on Etsy but have yet to attach it. I’ve been wearing the black band from the Sam Houston planter on the fedora in the meantime. The teardrop fedora can be purchased on the Sunbody Hats website with either a black leather band, a brown leather band, or a black cloth band. I wear this style at various angles. Sometimes I tilt it forward. Sometimes I tilt it back. Sometimes I wear it parallel with the ground. It has a 4 1/2” crown.
Not only are Sunbody Hats practical as a natural form of sunscreen, but they are effective conversation starters. I receive an almost-overwhelming amount of compliments whenever I wear them. They’re beautiful and, up North where the brand doesn’t seem to have a presence, a rare sight.
The Charming Sun Hat (TCE)