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Pros and Cons of Straw Hats

By Taylor James


Updated on

When it comes to classic, timeless styles, straw hats hold their position at the top, along with other quintessential styles like the fedora. Boater and Panama hats are two of the most well-known straw hat styles, boasting an elegant feel on any occasion.

Their popularity can be attributed to their aesthetic, but straw hats might also not be for everyone. Let’s find out more about the pros and cons of straw hats and help you decide if this is the style for you.

Pros of straw hats

  • Elegant and stylish
  • Versatile
  • Lightweight and breathable
woman wearing braids with a hat

Elegant and Stylish

A simple outfit can become an entirely different look when paired with the right accessories. More specifically, hats are a fool proof way of dressing up your outfit with an elegant touch while staying cool and protected from the sun.

Straw hats in particular are a great way to add a particularly stylish, instant edge to any look – go ahead, give it a try and see for yourself!

A good example of how stylish straw hats can be. Check out this super popular Furtalk straw hat on Amazon.


Straw hats contribute an undeniable flair to any outfit, while still being versatile and not limiting. While some straw hats such as boaters can feature more vibrant ribbon details, others (like panama hats!) offer more subdued attributes.

Straw styles have a great variety amongst them, and are consequently able to go with any outfit. Whether you are looking to dress up in formal attire or go for a casual stroll, your straw hat will be there for you.

Lightweight and breathable

The lightweight and breathable feel of straw hats are the features that gave rise to its popularity in the first place, being worn amongst the middle and working classes in the early 19th century. As it then transitioned to being worn frequently by the upper class, it continued being valued for its ability to provide shade from the sun while keeping its wearers cool and ventilated at the same time. Read more about how well straw hats offer protection from the sun in this article.

The straw material is unparalleled in that sense, able to be thin while still fulfilling all of the necessary usual hat duties.

Cons of straw hats

  • Straw hats can crack
  • Not easy to transport
  • Require maintenance

Straw hats can crack

The lightweight feel of straw hats can be great when it comes to keeping us cool over the hot summer months, but it also means that the thin material is more fragile and prone to consequences like cracking.

When it gets too dry, the straw will be prone to breakage, a common occurrence due to its day-to-day hat duties.

Not easy to transport

This fragility associated with straw hats also affects other aspects of this well-loved accessory. Transporting the straw hat in any place other than one’s head might not be the most convenient, since it requires the proper attention to be kept from being squished and holding its shape. Think of it this way: bringing your straw hat on a trip will be a very different experience than folding up a polyester cap into your backpack and bringing it on your hike!

Require maintenance

At the end of the day, straw hats require significant upkeep to prevent conditions like cracking and becoming loose over time. You will need to routinely moisturize your hat with lightly dampened towels or baby wipes, as well as store it away from the heat and handle with general care. Read about how to stop a straw hat from fraying in this article.

About Taylor James

As Philip Treacy once said, “How a hat makes you feel is what a hat is all about.” And on that note, I hope you enjoy your hats and find the site useful. Learn more about Hat Realm's Editorial Process.