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Style & Beauty

These Vintage Hollywood Hat Photos Will Inspire You This Summer

Whether you’re spending a day at the park, the beach or around town, a good hat can elevate any outfit. Just look at stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Ava Gardner.

Summer hat season is almost upon us and the women of Old Hollywood can provide plenty of great inspiration for how to wear a topper with your favorite warm-weather outfits.

The actresses of Hollywood’s golden age were masters in the art of wearing hats, particularly those of the wide-brimmed variety (which were and continue to be on trend). Stars like Gene Tierney, Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner and Rita Hayworth wore them with effortless class.

Sun hats are one accessory that never really seem to go away, and quite frankly, that’s a good thing. Not only are brimmed hats fashionable, they’re functional, acting as a barrier between the sun’s harmful rays and the face. The wider the brim, the better the protection ― and we all know how important it is to protect ourselves from the sun.

Whether you’re spending a day at the park, the beach or around town, a good hat can elevate any outfit. Luckily, they’re easy to find these days and they come in a variety of price points. Stores like Nordstrom Rack and T.J. Maxx are goldmines for affordable wide-brimmed, floppy straw hats in the spring and summer, and you can even buy them on Amazon. If you’re looking for something a little more luxe, there’s always Neiman Marcus.

If these photos don’t make you want to bust out your summer hats (or perhaps buy yourself a new one), nothing will:

Gene Tierney
Silver Screen Collection via Getty Images
The actress photographed sometime around 1945.
Sophia Loren
John Springer Collection via Getty Images
The Italian actress in an undated photo.
Katharine Hepburn
John Kobal Foundation via Getty Images
Hepburn, seen here with Brian Aherne in a still from the 1935 film "Sylvia Scarlett."
Audrey Hepburn
Silver Screen Collection via Getty Images
The actress poses for a photo, circa 1955.
Bette Davis
John Kobal Foundation via Getty Images
The film star in a photo from around 1935.
Elizabeth Taylor
Silver Screen Collection via Getty Images
A photo of a young Taylor, circa 1955.
Grace Kelly
Bettmann via Getty Images
The actress-turned-royal strikes a pose in this 1955 image.
Rita Hayworth
John Kobal Foundation via Getty Images
Hayworth wearing a giant sombrero sometime around 1946.
Elizabeth Taylor
Archive Photos via Getty Images
Taylor, seen here with Eddie Fisher, circa 1960.
Rita Hayworth
Bettmann via Getty Images
Hayworth photographed in Trinidad, undated.
Janet Gaynor
General Photographic Agency via Getty Images
A portrait of the actress from around 1935.
Bessie Love
General Photographic Agency via Getty Images
Love poses for a photo, circa 1927.
Katharine Hepburn
Getty Images via Getty Images
An undated photograph of the star.
Carole Lombard
John Kobal Foundation via Getty Images
The actress poses for a photo, circa 1933.
Sophia Loren
Sunset Boulevard via Getty Images
The actress wears flower-trimmed hat in this undated photo.
Ava Gardner
John Springer Collection via Getty Images
An undated portrait of Gardner, likely from some time in the 1950s.
Dorothy Dandridge
Bettmann via Getty Images
Dandridge dressed in character as Bess from the 1959 film "Porgy and Bess."
Myrna Loy
Clarence Sinclair Bull via Getty Images
Loy poses in a garden, circa 1933.
Jane Russell
John Springer Collection via Getty Images
Russell in an undated publicity still.
Norma Shearer
John Kobal Foundation via Getty Images
Shearer in a photo from sometime in 1934.
Debbie Reynolds
Silver Screen Collection via Getty Images
Reynolds poses for a photo, circa 1960.
Kay Francis
Imagno via Getty Images
Francis in a photo from sometime around 1934.
Norma Talmadge
Edward Steichen via Getty Images
Talmadge in an undated photo.
Betty Grable
Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images
Grable poses in a swimsuit in Los Angeles, circa 1940.
Vintage Spring Style Inspiration