Between beach holidays, weddings and equestrian events, summer globetrotting hatless is barely an option. As fabulous and helpful hats are in keeping our face and hair safe from the sun, packing them in a way that won't turn them into crumbled up waffles is no easy task.
After several of my Panama hats ended up in the trash can as soon as I took them of my suitcase, I decided it was time to master the art of getting them to my destinations intact. Turns out, it isn't as hard as it sounds! Here's a quick guide to packing hats so you can get that fedora to the beach resort or that sombrero back from Mexico in one piece:
If You Can't Pack Your Hat It, Wear It
If you're carrying on or just leaving town for a quick weekend getaway with a small bag, rocking the glamorous travel look featuring your summer hat may be the best way to go. Add a great flowy top, scarf and a nice pair of comfortable trousers and voila, you will be confidently strutting to the gate like it's a runway and your hat will be safe and sound.
Travel With A Hatbox
If you're headed to Ascot or a beautiful wedding, parading your peacock feather hat at the gate or on the train may get you attention, but perhaps not the right kind. If your chapeau is a treasured item with gorgeous and fragile detail like lace, brooches or any other bedazzling, carrying it on in a hatbox as a personal item is the safest option. Let it fly solo so you don't need to move it around and likely damage it when taking things out throughout the trip. While the boxes are a pain in the neck to carry, the flight attendants can usually put them in a closet so you don't have to jam it into the overhead compartment.
Make The Hat A Suitcase Centerpiece
The best way to pack your hat in a suitcase and keep it in good shape is by building around it as you add other soft items to your bag. Here is how:
- Lay your hat top down in the center of the empty suitcase.
- Fill the crown of the hat completely with undies, bikinis, socks or scarves so that it keeps its shape
- Pack your clothing on the bottom of the bag around the hat to support the brim.
- Make sure to pack all your heavy items at the bottom including purses and toiletries.
- Make sure when you lay out the heavier clothes like jeans and sweaters on top of your accessories that you do so to create a nice flat surface. This way you keep away shoes, and other things that could bend your prized hat.
- Once the bottom is completely filled you can start packing on top of the hat. This way it's can’t flop around and wrinkle!
Too Much Work? Raffia Has You Covered, Literally
Straw fedora hats are generally travel friendly and tend to retain their shape, but if you're still nervous, Satya Twena's travel hat may just be your answer. It not only bounces back into looking great when you unfold it at your destination, but it also comes with a travel pouch so you can easily carry it around in your beach bag between tanning sessions. Other options are Coolibar or Eric Javitz. No matter how much squishing, folding, and other torture you put these hats through while packing your suitcase, they will resurrect at your destination.