Remember, while a day at the beach is good for what ails you, too much sun can be bad for your health, so you’ll want to protect yourself from those warm and relaxing--yet deadly--rays. Yes, there is sunscreen with SPFs as high as 110 (seriously, I have some…) but a floppy hat can add an extra layer of protection as well as make you look like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. And a wide-brimmed hat can allow you hide if the person you are following turns to see who is following them. (Remember, I write mysteries, so this shopping research has to double as writing research so I can deduct it as a business-related expense!)
If you are a one-stop shopper, then your only stop need be http://www.villagehatshop.com/hats-sun-protection.html. They have hundreds of styles/colors to choose from, all reasonably priced. Some are more functional than fashionable, such as this Columbia Bora Bora Cachalot Ball Cap:
But if fashion is more your thing, check out their cute Tilley Hat, which might be a little fancy for a romp in the surf but is the perfect accessory to the cute sundress you have picked out for the beach wedding you’ll be attending (and everyone should attend a beach wedding at some point in their lives. SOOOOO romantic!)
While completely impractical for a day lying at the beach (because your arm would get sunburned and tired from holding it on top of your head so it doesn’t blow off in the merest whisper of a breeze, not to mention the risk of becoming airborne a lá The Flying Nun) the Woman’s Shapeable is the perfect hat for divot-stomping should you stop at a Polo Match on your way home from your day at the shore (that’s a Pretty Woman reference for those of you who missed it…). Check out this one from http://onlineshoessale.com/product/9778_Coolibar-UPF-50-Womens-Shapeable-Poolside-Sun-Hat-.html. Not only is it stylin, it offers a UPF (that’s Ultra Violet Protection Factor offered by fabric) of 50+.
But if your hat needs tend towards under cover work (be it surreptitiously checking out the guns on the hunky lifeguard or trailing an FTA--that’s Failure to Appear--like bonds agent Stephanie Plum), I gotta go with something from the Fedora files, like this one from Nordstroms http://shop.nordstrom.com/c/womens-hats (matching trench coat optional):
While I’ll admit the “fascinators” sported during the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Princess Kate were (for lack of a better word) fascinating, they have zero functionality when it comes to beach wear. After all, it’s about protection from the sun. So if you take the 110 SPF lotion and add it to the 50+ UPF of a hat, you’re at 160+ protection. But you’re on your own when it comes to calculating how long that means you can safely lounge on the beach. (Higher math was never my strong suit.)
Hope to see y’all at the beach soon! I’ll be the woman wearing this Toucan Collection Poppy Clotch. (It doesn't have much of a UPG rating, but it makes me feel like Nancy Drew--the 1930s version! I LOVE IT!)