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A great summer hat is a must, both for sun protection and style. As our dermatologist keeps telling us, a nice wide brim is essential when heading out into the sunshine. And, a good hat hides all manner of bad hair days when the humidity sets in.

Albertus Swanepoel is a milliner based in New York whose hats have been worn by many beauties from Christy Turlington to Brad Pitt. The hats are all handmade in his studio and are a terrific quality. We love the classic raffia look of the St. Denis and the St. Croix styles and the canvas Sericourt is fun with its pop of color. The brim on these is wide enough to offer true sun protection but not so floppy that you can't walk around town in them. They all come in three sizes so you get a good fit, unlike most commercially available hats that are one size fits all. Clockwise from left: 1. Sericourt; 2. St. Denis; 3. St. Croix.

Eric Javits is another designer who makes a great hat. The two pictured here are from his "squishee" line - they're meant to be crumpled into your luggage and spring back into shape when you take them out. A fedora style hat like the one on the left is pretty much mandatory in a summer wardrobe and you can wear it with dresses or bathing suits. The floppy hat on the right is perfect for poolside - this lighter color is beautiful, especially on a brunette. Both styles are on sale right now. From left to right: 1. Classic Squishee Packable Fedora Sun Hat. 2. Bella Squishee Sun Hat.

Here are a few more classic summer hats in black, white and tan to round it out, including a couple that are true steals. The hat at top left with its black grosgrain band is only $19 and the black one below it is $29! For boating, we love the hat at top right with its ribbon tie. And the black and white stripe hat by Eugenia Kim is bold and fun - it would be great with the white tunic from Nili Lotan or the black dresses we profiled in our last post. For a similar striped hat that's less expensive, try this one from Kate Spade. Clockwise from top left: 1. Nordstrom floppy hat; 2. Janessa Leone "Sammy Floppy Straw Hat;" 3. Eugenia Kim "Sunny Striped Wide-Brim Hat;" 4. Nordstrom straw hat.