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Hat Trick

Was the most recent report of "hot and humid" the last straw? Put on one of these wide-brimmed -- and comfortably priced -- hats this summer and keep your cool.

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Hats are tricky. Unless a situation requires donning a lid, you might feel like a bit of a geek throwing one on -- and in most cases, that instinct wouldn't be wrong. The key is ultrasimplicity -- which leads us to this lineup of pretty straw hats. With our favorites for under $50, you can get in touch with your inner farmer's daughter without alienating your outer urban sophisticate.

We were straw-struck by the selection at Bloomingdale's: In particular, it's got a floppy hat striped with baby-blue ribbon ($48) and a rust-colored derby by August Accessories ($40). J.Crew delivers our hats-off favorite ($48): It has no distracting details, it's comfortably sized, and it won't get deformed in your bag -- even after being scrunched next to sun-block and the latest Danielle Steel for hours. Combine Benetton's quintessential country-bumpkin-style brimmer ($24) with anything but overalls, or try its canvas khaki bucket hat with fringed edges ($18). Banana Republic's straw hat ($38) is similar to J.Crew's, except that it has a thin band of leather around the brim. Or you can cap off your pareo-and-bikini ensemble with Macy's sand-colored, casual crocheted hat -- just $28. With steals like these, the sun shouldn't get to your head this summer.

Click here for Picks of the Week.


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