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How to Store Hats

Collection of many hats.

Do you love hats? Do you have a lot of them? After years of walking around with our heads uncovered, hats are making a comeback. Big floppy hats, baseball caps, stocking caps, and more — there's a hat for every occasion. But no matter what type(s) you prefer, they all need proper storage when they're not on your head. Take the time to organize your collection. Learn how to store hats so that they last a long time. You may even end up with room for more hats!

Organize Hats by Type for Effective Storage

Big hats, small hats, formal hats, casual caps… different types of headgear require different storage strategies. Everyday caps need to be kept conveniently close at hand. Hats that are occasionally worn can be kept in less accessible places. However, the key to all effective hat storage is organization. Separate your headpieces by type, season, and use.

  • Formal/Dress Hat Storage:

    Hat boxes stored on top shelf of closet
    Hat boxes stored on top shelf of closet.

    This category includes fedoras, homburgs, boaters, pillbox hats and more. Formal hats are usually worn infrequently. They are usually expensive and best kept in hat boxes when not on your head. The hat box, also referred to as a "bandbox,"" protects the headgear from damage and dust. It will also protect colors from fading by blocking any light from reaching the hat material. Hat boxes are traditionally made from sturdy cardboard. Most are deep and circular in shape. They come in different sizes to accommodate the size of the hat brim. However, other shapes and materials are also popular. The best place to store a hat box is on the top shelf of your closet. Most closet organizers designed for typical 8-foot ceilings end at 84-inches height. This is intentional so that oversize boxes (like hat boxes) can be easily stored on the top shelf. If your closet is also used as a dressing room, consider decorative hat boxes that complement your décor. You can also cover the box in an attractive paper of your own liking.

    Use hat boxes for out-of-season headgear as well. Swap out your hats on a regular basis so that you are always in style.

  • Big Floppy Hats and Stetsons:

    Floppy hat storage in closet
    Floppy hat storage in closet using a closet cabinet. The cabinet protects the hat in a similar fashion to a hat box but is more convenient. Notice the two decorative hat boxes on the top shelf for storage of formal hats that are infrequently used.

    Floppy hats include everything from big sun hats to Cowboy hats, Tilley hats, and other broad-brimmed headpieces designed to keep away the sun. Floppy hat use is increasing along with concern for skin damage from the sun. Many dermatologists encourage the use of a floppy hat when outdoors. But unlike sunscreen lotion, a hat is highly visible and needs to be stylish. For this reason, many of us own several floppy hats in different colors. And you may need someplace to put the ones you're not wearing. Floppy hats should be stored on a shelf in the closet. If you have one that you wear everyday (while on vacation at the beach for example), it's okay to keep it on a hook temporarily. But move the hat to a shelf as soon as possible. If you have a lot of floppy hats, consider a separate hat cabinet devoted exclusively to hat storage. The cabinet can be either inside another closet or separate, like a wardrobe closet exclusively for hats.

  • Everyday Baseball/Trucker Caps & Newsboy Caps:

    Cap storage in closet on hooks
    Baseball caps arranged on hooks on the wall of a master bedroom closet.

    Baseball caps are the most common type of headgear worn today by both men and women. The category includes trucker caps, which are similar to baseball caps but usually include a foam brim and front section with a breathable mesh back section. It is common to have many of these displaying your favorite team or slogan. That's why it's important to have a system for organizing these hats. Beware the cheap plastic cap organizers. Chances are, you'll get what you pay for. It's better to use a series of hooks to organize the caps you wear frequently. Hooks come in many styles and all price points. There are a lot of good-quality metal hooks that are quite reasonably priced. It is better to use these hooks than a flimsy plastic organizer. But you want to take care in mounting the hooks. Choose a convenient, inobtrusive location and secure the hooks to a cleat mounted to the wall studs. You want to mount the hooks to a sturdy cleat because, although caps are light, you'll end up finding many uses for your hooks. A well-positioned hook is simply too convenient to ignore. Your hooks will end up holding backpacks, purses, and other items as well.

    Newsboy or flat caps are a favorite cool weather cap for men. Although they are a little fancier than baseball caps, they can be stored in a similar manner. Hang the one you're wearing on a hook with the other caps. Place any extras caps you aren't using in a hat box.

  • Occasionally Worn Baseball Caps and Stocking Caps:

    Stocking caps and baseball caps organized in a closet drawer
    Stocking caps and baseball caps organized in a closet drawer.

    Do you have a certain baseball cap you like to wear for special occasions? Maybe you wear the same cap every time you make a trip to the ballpark to cheer on your favorite team. Unless you are going to the ball game every day, you don't need to keep these caps on a hook near the door. Keep them ready in a drawer instead. Caps stored in drawers will always look fresh and dust free. You can even purchase special drawer dividers that can help you keep your caps orderly so that you can always find the one you're looking for.

    Stocking caps should also be kept in a drawer. If you don't have a drawer, use a basket on a shelf in your closet. That will keep the holes away and your cap won't get stretched out of shape.

All set with ideas on how to store hats?

There are other types of hats in addition to those covered here. But each type should be able to be organized and kept ready for use with one of these storage ideas. Don't let a pile of disorganized headgear discourage you from wearing a hat. Allow yourself the luxury of being able to choose the right hat for the right occasion. After all, hats are stylish, protect your skin, and can function as a way of showing solidarity with a team or cause. You can never have too many hats.