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How to accessorise your sun hat for summer

Updated on May 2, 2015

Protect from the summer sun in style!

Are you going away somewhere hot and sunny for a nice summer break? Are you worried about damaging your hair, or getting sun burnt (I can definitely say that getting your head sun burnt is only slightly less painful than the bottoms of your feet)? Well thankfully, the days of a plain straw sun hat are over.

These days, a plain sun hat can easily be transformed into an accessory worthy of being paired with your carefully selected summer wardrobe. After all, who wants to have spent time, money and effort choosing perfect outfits for their summer sun getaway, only to be faced with having to wear a boring sunhat, which doesn't fit in.

With these few tips, I'm sure you'll be confidently changing your sun hat's look to match any outfit you put together over the summer, whether it's for a trip to the beach, a stroll through an exotic city, or just a lounge in your own garden. And the best bit - no need to spend loads and take up lots of room in your suitcase with different hats for different occasions. Just grab a few accessories and you're able to switch things up whenever you feel like it! The best bit is, you can pick pretty accessories up throughout the year or even as souvenirs - no worrying about going on a winter sun holiday ever again!

If you like the hat shown (it's great for the ideas below since it has the scarf band already around it and the bands that the scarf threads through can also be used in the same way if you don't want to keep the scarf on the hat), then you can find it on Amazon: Coolibar UPF 50+ Women's Tropicana Sun Hat.

Turquoise Summer Hair Clip from Amazon
Turquoise Summer Hair Clip from Amazon

1. Flower Hair Clips

Summer sun hats need flowers!

Since flower prints are such a huge fashion essential right now, it pays to bring some of that floral feminity to your sun hat as well. My advice is not to go too big when you're choosing flower hair clips to attach to your hat. If you go too big, the flower will end up overpowering your outfit, which is not what you want. You want something that will complement, not outshine. The best part about having these flower hair clips, is that you can use them in your hair for the evenings when you don't need your hat. Multi use, and with the amount of colours available, these flowers are a cheap alternative to buying hundreds of hats. They don't take up as much room in your luggage either - Wonderful!

This flower hair clip in the picture is quite possibly my favourite of the ones I've found and bought for my summer sun holiday. Nice and bright, yet not too big - perfect for a sun hat heading for the sunny shores of a greek isle!

(Mine's a navy and white striped version from Accessorize in case you were wondering)

Note: You will need somewhere on your sun hat for these to clip on to, around the line where the hat bit meets the brim. If you don't have anything on your sun hat currently, then maybe the next tip can help.

Go floral in style! - Your turn to choose your flowers for your sun hat...

With such a range now out on the market, I thought I'd offer you a selection of my favourites to get you started. Just remember - the wider range of colours and shapes you have, the more outfits you can match to them. Or you might get lucky and find that one or two work for you - if only I had such a stable taste in clothes...

Small Royal Blue Hair Flower Clip
Small Royal Blue Hair Flower Clip

For those of you who favour the more subtle blue, purple and green tones of a summer wardrobe, this royal blue flower can really highlight and add depth to your outfit. This goes perfectly with my navy and white striped sun hat.

White Foam Plumeria Flower Hair Clip
White Foam Plumeria Flower Hair Clip

Why not add a touch of sun with an exotic flower? The plumeria is a tropical flower, so perfect for bringing the tropics home to you, or maybe you could take the "flower" home to the tropics?

Small Orange Double Lily Hair Flower Clip
Small Orange Double Lily Hair Flower Clip

Finally, something for the more extravagent of you out there. This lily clip is a gorgeous orange colour. Although the flowers are fairly small, the soft orange will brighten up any outfit without detracting, if you want to wear it in your hair in the evening.

Orvis Coral Striped Scarf from Amazon
Orvis Coral Striped Scarf from Amazon

2. Scarves for your sun hat.

Plain or patterned...?

A scarf is a great way of accessorising. If your sunhat doesn't have anywhere to put the hair clips mentioned in number 1, a scarf allows you to add them. Although if you're going to use your scarf with a floral hair clip, you might want to use a plain version so as not to create a really busy look.

If you're a scarf person, then finding scarves to accessorise your sun hat will be easy. Any pattern will do, and any material can be used so long as you ensure that your hat isn't going to rub against the scarf and damage it (the best way to avoid this is to get a fabric hat instead of a straw one). If you've never owned a scarf, then don't worry - there are hundreds of beautifully patterned scarves of all kinds.

When choosing one, or more, for your sunhat, you obviously need to think of the types of outfits you'll be wearing it with, and where you're going. There's no use choosing a beautiful burnt velour pashmina in a deep orange if you're going on a walking holiday, since pashminas can be thick, especially when bunched up to create a band for your sun hat. You're better off finding a "fashion" scarf (that is one of a thinner material made for decoration), or even a scarf that would be used as a belt. That's the other plus of having a scarf for your sunhat - if it is a nice, long one then you can use it as a belt in the evening or indoors.

If you're worried about your scarf falling off your hat or moving around, there are some great scarves around which have wire in and don't cost the earth.

Floral, paisley, polka dot scarves - Which would suit your hat the best?

Whether your sunhat is plain or has a subtle pattern, I'm sure there's a scarf to suit you. Let's face it - if you have a sunhat to protect you from the sun, what does your hat have? That's right a beautifully patterned (or plain if you prefer) scarf. Here are a few which have made it onto my personal wishlist.

Bright Headband from Amazon
Bright Headband from Amazon

3. Hair bands

Your sun hat loves them!

No I don't mean alice bands, or scrunchies. I mean the current fashion of pieces of fabric, or other materials, which are created in a loop to hold your hair back (much like an alice band, but a continuous loop).

These can be used in much the same way as scarves are, and are often more useful for creating a platform for a hair clip to be placed. Also, since many hair bands come with their own trinkets or embroidery on them, they can often be a good way of combining patterns. A word of warning though, if you have a larger head you should check the headband is comfortable when you put in on over the sun hat (never put it on the sunhat before putting it on your head - it won't fit). These headbands aren't made to fit roundwards round your head, so may dig in, or bunch the sunhat - not a good look!

One way of getting round this is to get headbands which have a tie mechanism, much like a mini scarf. That way you can adjust the headband if necessary. I've noticed that some shops are doing scarves with wire in them in their headband section. These are perfect for wrapping around your hat - you don't have to worry about the shape changing throughout the day, and they're much more likely to stay on than tied fabric.

prAna Women's Printed Double Headband
prAna Women's Printed Double Headband

Now if you like the look of the above, but fancy a bit more going on, this printed beauty is sure to do the trick. It comes in a range of colours, from orange to a citrus yellow-green. I don't know - spoilt for choice!

Butterfly and Flower Rhinestone Hair Barrette
Butterfly and Flower Rhinestone Hair Barrette

4. Sparkly Barrettes

From the beach to the evening meal...

Earlier I mentioned flower hair clips for your sunhat. Now I'm going to tell you about their sparkly cousins - the jewelled barrettes. Wait that sounds like a pop group...

Anyway, these little pieces of sparkle can add a touch of glamour to your sunhat, and can take you from a day at the beach (mind you don't blind everyone!) to the evening dinner by the seafront effortlessly. Afterall, stones glimmer the best under candlelight. My favourites have to be the clips known as barrettes. These are long thin clips like the picture, which are generally covered in a row of synthetic stones. Although, since we're decorating our hats, you can go for a sparkly flower (would that come under 1?), a patterned slide, or even something a bit more extravagent. You won't need to worry about the weight unless it starts to interfere with how the hat sits on your head, so why not try something you'd never dream of wearing in your hair?

A touch of sparkle... - make your sunhat gleam.

Whether you go for a coloured sparkle, or a pure white crystal sparkle, you can be sure that these gems will be turning heads in all the right ways.


Now for the fun-loving of you out there, this retro vintage chic clip combines colours, sparkle and that all important vintage mystery together for some great beach style!

Green Rhinestone Flower Brooch from Amazon
Green Rhinestone Flower Brooch from Amazon

5. Brooches

Something a little bit different...

Now we've looked at many different hair accessories that can be used to spruce up your hat a bit, but in this section we're going to look at a much overlooked accessory - the brooch.

Many people have a brooch hidden away somewhere - whether it was a family heirloom, a gift or a treat for themselves. I know I don't feel comfortable wearing my brooches as everyday wear, since they're quite ornate and bejewelled. This is such a shame as they're such beautiful pieces of art!

If you haven't got a brooch to hand, you might want to look at finding one or two. They're useful in other areas, not just to accessorise your sunhat with. Since the ones I have are very sparkly in their own right, I would probably only choose to put one on my sunhat at a time. This way it has nothing to detract from it. If your brooch is smaller, or plain, you might like to try experimenting with combinations - just try not to go overboard!

The biggest positives to using a brooch is that it can be attached without needing a band to clip around (unlike the hair accessories), and is less likely to have any chance of falling off since it is pinned into the fabric of the sunhat itself. After all, you don't want to be losing such a beautiful item.

If you're looking for a big and bold brooch that will stand the test of time and garner complements galore, you might want to check out where I get most of my brooches from - Butler and Wilson . Or if you want a touch of vintage class, why not head on down to your local antique shop, have a rummage in your loft/attic, or ask your family. You never know what you might find!

One huge plus of taking a brooch? Well you can use it during the day to bring sparkle to your sunhat, and during the evening for your shawl or even your sarong at the beach.

A brooch for a sunhat? - Sparkle, style and stability in one.

With so many different patterns on brooches nowadays, the world's your sunhat's oyster!

Whether it's sparkle, sophistication or a mix of both there's plenty for everyone. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Vintage Filigree Crystal Brooch (Antique Gold & Amber Coloured)
Vintage Filigree Crystal Brooch (Antique Gold & Amber Coloured)

The faux pearls in shades of amber, citrine and coffee delicately complement the antique gold finished filigree design. Just perfect for those sunset walks, and will survive the transition into autumn hues with its warmth and depth of colour.

Snow White Imitation Pearl Floral Brooch (Silver Tone)
Snow White Imitation Pearl Floral Brooch (Silver Tone)

This faux pearl vintage style brooch is the perfect size to add sophistication and sparkle not just to your hat, but also to your evening jacket or sweater. A lovely spray of flowers.


Ok so we've covered Flower hair clips, Patterned scarves, Headbands, Sparkly barrettes and Brooches, but I'd love to know if you have any other ideas. I think my favourite's the flower hair clips (probably why it's number 1), but seeing as my sunhat and I are going off to hot and sunny climes this year, I'm always on the lookout for new ways to accessorise.

It's up to you! - Which is your favourite?

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    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 4 years ago from Albany New York

      I go for the brooches for sure. Love the bling. I've actually painted designs on straw hats with acrylic paint.

    • Rem Lily profile image

      Rem Lily 5 years ago

      @Tonigr: Thank you :).

    • Tonigr profile image

      Toni Grundstrom 5 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Nice lens. Blessed

    • surfin4dough lm profile image

      surfin4dough lm 6 years ago

      Awesome tips. I love those summer hats and they all needs some sprucing up.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What fun ideas for dressing up sun hats and making them into fashion statements.

    • Rem Lily profile image

      Rem Lily 6 years ago

      @JublyJem: You're welcome. I hope you enjoy your holiday! :)

    • JublyJem profile image

      JublyJem 6 years ago

      Like this lots! especially as im off on holls next week! :) Thanks!

    • I-sparkle profile image

      I-sparkle 6 years ago

      You created a wonderful lens. The subject is interesting and you put together a marvelous variety of ways to enhance your summer hat. Great job.