Must-have: The floppy hat


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Stop insisting that you don’t look good in hats, darling. No one really cares what you think. The floppy hat -- imagine Brer Rabbit meets a chic hippie chick with nary a care -- has firmly planted itself as a spring essential. Marc Jacobs, a lover of all things unstable, showed them in his 2008 resort line (see left), as did Oscar de la Renta. Which one is right for you?

Right now, there are plenty of floppy hats. At, a Missoni stunner, at right, is on sale for $265 (reduced from $530). This multicolored hat is for the woman who still smokes long, skinny cigarettes on the beach and refuses to apply SPF to her prized, bony clavicle. ‘You can’t get clavicle cancer,’ she shrieks, with a throaty laugh.


At left, we have the more subdued blue floppy straw hat from, which sells for $28. This one suits a woman who shops at farmers markets and can pick the best fennel bulb in the bunch. Her laugh is like the tinkle of a shattered Champagne flute and she speaks very softly so that people have to get very, very close to hear. Warning: She often cancels plans at the last minute with whispered complaints of feeling ‘out of sync.’

Now, this humdinger on the right is no hat for the leery. It’s bold, ultra floppy ($38 at and the right fit for a woman who can snatch a boiling lobster from a pot. This gal can pull off black tie with scuba fins and a crimson pout. She was not a debutante -- maybe even hails from Newark, N.J. -- but doesn’t care a whit. Andy Warhol would have loved her; she would have found him clingy and annoying.

photos: Marc Jacobs;;;