Vacations, cruises and business trips always involve packing. If you plan to take a hat to protect you from the elements or to look stylish during your holiday, follow a few packing tips to keep it looking crease-free. Because hat styles vary — in fabric, brim size and crown height — packing techniques differ. For any type of hat, prep your suitcase first. Roll up stuff clothing in the four corners to create a protective barrier around your hat.
Frequent travelers searching for hats that spring back to their original look can turn to the floppy hat. Fill the crown of the hat with socks, rolled underwear, rolled thin T-shirts and swimwear. Pad the bottom of your suitcases with a few layers of folded clothing. Insert the floppy hat right side up or upside down. Continue to pack around the crown. When you get to your destination, smooth out wrinkles with a steam iron. Steam the inside of the hat, but keep the steam head away from the fabric. For deep wrinkles, use a damp cloth to dampen the hat and steam it back to its original shape.
When packing hats made of straw — such as a fedora, cloche or military style — save space in your luggage to keep your hat in shape. Insert rolled underwear, socks and tees inside the crown. Pad the bottom of the suitcase with folded clothing, then pack the hat on top with the crown side up. Wrap soft towels around the crown as an added layer of padding. This will prevent objects that shift within your suitcase from piercing the straw.
Men traveling to sunny locations often wear stylish, Panama hats. Often made of linen or straw with a contrasting band around the crown, this hat style has an identifiable crease line that is used for folding and packing. Turn the hat on its side and push half of the hat inward, using the creased line as your guide. Once the hat looks like a half hat, roll the hat loosely. If the hat is wrinkled, dampen it with a spray bottle or damp towel. If you have access to a travel steam iron, steam the inside of the crown and the underside of the brim without touching the fabric until the textile smooths out.
Before you start to pack, select the appropriate-sized luggage. For a wide-brimmed hat, choose a suitcase that is larger in width than the brim size to ensure that it does not crease. Choose luggage that is sufficiently deep to prevent the crown from being crushed once the suitcase is closed. Flatten soft fabric hats by holding them at the sides of the brim and pushing both sides in toward the crown. Pack them on their sides.
References and ResourcesMartha Stewart: Packing a Suitcase
Arizona Foothills Magazine: 5 Tips For Packing Lighter
Brent Black: How to Roll a Panama Hat
Aztex Hats: How to Pack a Hat for Travel