Recently I’ve started collecting hats the way that other people collect shoes.
To me they’re the ultimate accessory, particularly when travelling – nothing dresses up a simple outfit like a panama or straw hat. I took not one but three to Thailand recently and have to say they became my constant companion.
One of the biggest issues when travelling with a hat is how you actually transport the thing without it a) ending up looking like a flat crushed pancake if you just throw it in your suitcase or b) annoying you constantly if you take it as carry on or c) getting left behind at airport security. After a fair bit of trial and error I’ve come up with one way to get around the whole ‘do they still sell hat boxes’ conundrum. Read on to see how I go about it.
1. First, get together all the clothes you want to pack. Then, pack all your heavy items at the bottom of your bag including shoes, bags and heavier fabrics like denims. Make sure when you lay out the heavier clothes on top of your accessories that you do so to create a nice flat surface.
2. Next, take a nice heavy piece of clothing like a denim shirt and fold then roll it up.
3. Taking your hat, push the shirt down carefully into the crown (the part where your head goes), making sure it fills completely. If there’s still space, add another item of clothing so the crown part is completely stuffed.
4. Next, lay your hat upright onto the flat surface of clothing. Then start adding your remaining items of clothing around the hat. For me that meant adding pieces of my holiday wardrobe like this skirt (perfect holiday wear), this romper and this bikini (like this).
5. Pack all your items around the hat, making sure you pack it all nice a tight so the hat can’t flop around. Once you’ve done that add some more clothes on top so it’s nice a flat. Now just zip up your bag and away you go!
One tip from my return journey from Thailand – this technique works best if you don’t stuff your suitcase full, because if you do it’s pretty hard to prevent your precious hat being squashed. In those situations (the ones where you’ve bought so much and have to sit on your suitcase to get it closed) the only real option is to wear your hat on the plane.
You’ll notice I kept my wardrobe fairly co-ordinated in a colour palette sense when I was packing for Thailand, in an effort to stick with the principles of this (very old) post. Always helps to keep things simple!