Straw Hats 101

Julie and I got our “boots on the ground,” as editor-in-chief Juli likes to say, when we ventured out to the Rocky Mountain Reining Horse Association’s Summer Slide last week. On top of catching up with top trainers and watching the non-pro class work its way through spins, slides, and circles, we met up with Kelly Kayne from Greeley Hat Works.

Even if you’re not from Colorado, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the hat-making, hat-shaping, and general hat mastery of the folks from Greeley. We couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to pick Kelly’s brain about summer straw-hat styles and share with you just how a straw hat should be shaped.

As you’ll see below, this summer’s trend is small amounts of color woven in with the traditional natural straw–usually black, brown, or tan. The color gives your hat just a touch of style while maintaining a traditional look, and the neutral colors go with any shirt/chap combination. Julie picked a hat with black; it looks great with her skin tone and dark, curly hair.

Kelly started with an open-crown hat, noting the center of Julie’s face on the hat with a straight pin.
Steam softens the hat’s fibers so Kelly can form the perfect crown crease.
Kelly achieves the perfect depth of the crown’s crease.
She then completes shaping the hat’s crown.
Kelly gently bends the brim so that the final brim crease will complement Julie’s face. She aligns the “bends” with the outer corners of Julie’s eyes.
After more steam, Kelly completes the brim.
Perfection! The on-trend touch of color and Kelly’s shape look great!
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