Val's view: My shady ways! Why I love straw hats

Val's view: V is for V-neck Reading Val's view: My shady ways! Why I love straw hats 3 minutes Next 3 ways to get a smoldering look this summer

It's summertime...and I'm brimming with style, thanks to my hats from Anthony's, Florida's women's fashion leader.

Did you know that Anthony's used to sell straw hats for $1 a century ago? Straw hats were all the rage in Palm Beach when the Anthony brothers first opened their store in 1895, and they still are.

Whether you like a big-brimmed style or a boater, hats never go out of style.

Each summer, I refresh my hat wardrobe, opting for at least one crushable straw hat that I can stuff into my beach bag and one glamorous wide-brimmed hat to wear with my maxi dresses. (I saw the supermodel Iman on TV the other day wearing a maxidress and a big straw hat. She looked stunning!)

My favorite hat purchase this year is the open-back wide-brim hat by Sun and Sand. This hat has a cool design – the brim is wide on all sides to protect you from sun, but it indents in the very back, so you can sunbathe without even having to take off your hat. It's packable and crushable – making it perfect for my next beach getaway.

I also love Sun and Sand's straw hat with the turquoise and green braided trim. The turquoise trim matches back perfectly to my lime Kristin Crenshaw pants and my aqua ones, too.

Most importantly, I'm shady and sun-safe under this hat. It features a UPF50+ rating -- meaning that the closely weaved material will block out 97.5 percent of the sun UV rays. Remember – while we're in the midst of the official "UV Safety Month", for us South Floridians, that's a really a year-round concern!

Anyway, imagine yourself...relaxing poolside on a chaise...your beautiful straw hat tipped over your face as you take a nap. What a way to spend a summer day!

Love to put on a straw topper and head out into nature?

Val's trekking tip of the week: Kayak in Key Largo!

You know I love to spend a whole day reading a book by the pool. I also love adventure, Florida-style. Key Largo is just a short drive south, but it seems a whole world away. Many of the resorts there offer kayak excursions – a perfect excuse to wear a hat!

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