I like big hats (and I cannot lie) — couldn’t resist. However, I often find the large gorgeous hats that provide great sun protection are so difficult to travel with. I’ve been keeping my eye out for a good BIG travel hat and I found one! The brand is called Big On Hats, and they often pop up at markets around Queensland but you can also purchase online (which is how I purchased mine).
Big On Hats was founded by an Australia mum of three, Samantha Macnally. With Irish heritage — fair skin — she was desperate to find a big hat to protect herself from the harsh Aussie sun. The hats are made from raffia and are sourced from Madagascar off the East Coast of Africa. Raffia is made from palm fibre, and the fibres are handwoven on looms to make a strong but supple natural fibre mesh. This is dyed by hand using local plant-based dyes to give individual colours. You can read more about the story here.
I purchased the hat in ginger, but I’m keen to add to my collection and get a brighter colour.
I know it doesn’t look like the sort of hat that travels well, but it really does! On a recent trip to Bali, I rolled it up and put it in my checked-in suitcase, and when I arrived at our villa, I took it out, fluffed it out a bit and it was all good to go! I wish I had taken a picture of it when I pulled it out of the suitcase to show you (I’ll make a note next time).
You can see in the image below (taken in Bali), I am wearing the hat post-travels. I have travelled with it to quite a few places now and it travels better than any big had I’ve had before. I haven’t needed to do this (yet) but the instructions say that if it does get really crushed, you can just lightly iron it back into shape. Read more about the care instructions here.
On this particular day, my friends and I went out exploring at the beach and did some shopping. It was really hot, and the hat not only provides good sun protection, it actually helps you stay cool too!
This outfit kept me feeling fresh, comfortable and protected on a really hot day.
I’m tossing up between the RED, CHIC or BLACK & NATURAL THICK STRIPES next. If you’re looking for a stylish BIG hat that will actually travel well, this is the one!! I absolutely love it.