• The San Juan Daily Star

The new bucket hat

By Iris Edén Santiago

Special to The Star

Locally, besides the bejeweled baseball cap and the occasional wide brim summer hat while enjoying one of our award-winning Caribbean beaches, I have to say that Puerto Rican women don’t wear hats as often as they should. Except, of course, the ladies who lunch at the signature Cívicas events, our own Kentucky Derby hat competition, where members go crazy with fascinators, extravagant pillbox hats and other unique creations.

This comes as a little bit strange because if there is something that Latinas kill for, it is seasonal, fashion-forward and in-your-face accessories. We love our sunglasses, our earrings, our designer bags.

But stay put. This hat allergy could end very soon, as hats today are not just good for protection or to cover up a bad hair day. Hats have become the fashion accessory to own and show. Designers and global brands showcased iconic hats in their spring and resort collections for 2022, and we should watch carefully because they have given a new attitude to this fabulous accessory.

Adored by celebrities and jet setters, stylish hats were seen all over Coachella in April, and are bigger than ever at chic vacation destinations. So ladies -- and gentlemen -- get with the program. And go for the hat that is getting all the attention, the new luxury bucket hat.

Bucket hats, a staple of the 1990s, made their official comeback in 2019, but have transitioned into a major trend in 2022. Gucci, Valentino, Burberry, Kangol, Fendi, Ganni, Zara, Miu Miu, and Mango have put out inspired versions of this fashionistas’ favorite by adding chain embellishments, sequins, beading, piping, bows and stylish ties. Textiles for the cool bucket hats confirm they can be worn in the summertime and in the cold winter months. The chicest options now include fabrics like denim, terry cloth, plush shearling, corduroy, crochet, cashmere, rattan and canvas. In terms of patterns, anything from the traditional checks, gingham and houndstooth to contemporary florals, stripes, paisleys and animal prints.

Bucket hats had a humble beginning. Experts say they first appeared in the early 20th century, when they were worn by fishermen and farmers. They were also popular with babies and toddlers, and still are. Fast forward, the functional bucket hat acquired new life, new glam and new followers. Bucket hats appeal to Zoomers and millennials alike. They are also big with surfers, skateboarders, rappers, trappers, models, influencers and urban music stars.

Among the superstars and fashion icons loving the bucket hat and winning are Timothee Chalamet, Bad Bunny, Anitta, Karol G, Rauw Alejandro, Harry Styles, Rosalía, Rihanna, Hailey Bieber, Dua Lipa, Kendall Jenner and Maluma.

Bucket hats also provide an incognito kind of vibe, which could explain their large following with stars off duty, top models, and celebrities running away from the paparazzi.

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