Top positive review
684 people found this helpful
Stylish and versatile
on March 16, 2010
I bought this hat in the Natural color to wear to a multi-day outdoor music festival. I wanted something cuter and more stylish than a fishing/boonie hat but didn't want to risk blocking other people's view of the stage by wearing a huge "J.Lo" glamour hat. So, I decided on this breezy cotton number, and I wasn't disappointed in the least. In addition to the music festival, I've also worn it hiking, rowing, and traipsing through farmer's markets. It has consistently kept my head cool, my eyes shaded, and my face, neck, and shoulders free of sunburn.
The weave of the fabric makes it look like linen, and according to the tag, it provides SPF 50+. The brim is nice and wide, made out of a somewhat stiff canvas that holds its shape if you bend it. There's no wire in the brim, but it must be starched because it holds a variety of shapes. The hat is also fantastic for traveling: you can pack and fold it into a small space, and it will still look great when you pull it out -- just smooth out the wrinkles and off you go!
The best feature of this hat is its versatility:
* Flaunt your classy country-club style while gardening, golfing, or attending a tennis match by turning up the outer edge of the brim, like the photo shows.
* Look effortlessly chic at an outdoor brunch or on a Caribbean cruise by turning down the outer edge of this hat, which makes it look like Audrey Hepburn's famous wide-brimmed chapeau.
* Create an artsy bohemian look by crinkling up a few inches of the brim on one side, a little off-center, while leaving the rest of the brim turned down like the Audrey. (My personal fave.)
* Get that 1990s "Blossom" look -- or, similarly, a Cape Cod rain hat -- by folding the brim so it points up in the front and down in the back.
* Need an Aussie Outback hat? Position one side straight up over your ear and angle the other side out horizontally.
* Channel the Chiquita Banana Lady by angling the entire brim upwards from the base. (Note that the hat is not actually strong enough to hold fruit, other than perhaps a few lone grapes.)
* From the Chiquita Banana hat, pull the sides of the brim down over your ears and let it spring back up. I call this look the Fortune Cookie because, well... it looks like you have a giant fortune cookie on your head, especially if you get it in tan or brown.
Just about the only way you can't wear this Houdini of a hat is in a cowboy style (I actually just tried this and it doesn't quite work; the closest you can get is by taking the Fortune Cookie and rotating it 90°). If you were really determined to make it look like a cowboy hat, you could probably do it with safety pins.
The inside of the cap is lined in white cotton and has a hidden drawstring around the inner band so that you can adjust the size. I wear a Large in women's hats and find this hat to be comfortable without making any adjustments -- it has a bit of "breathing room" but is not too loose. If you wear a S/M in women's hats, you might decide to decrease the band size using the drawstring. Note that it does not have a chin strap.
You could wear this hat to the beach, at a tailgating party, at a theme park, at a botanical garden, on a safari -- basically anywhere you'll be outside and want a versatile, casual hat to protect you from the sun. The one and only situation in which I wouldn't recommend this hat is if your destination will be really windy (in that case, you’d want a hat with a chin strap). Otherwise, for all other applications, I would recommend this hat without hesitation!
** Update, July 2010 **
I have worn this fantastic hat to several more outdoor events. I did put it in the washing machine, even though the tag says the hat should be wiped off with a cloth to clean. I washed it in cold water and let it air-dry, and it did not shrink. However, the starch coating must have washed off, because it's noticeably softer now. I can still bend the brim according to the shape I want, though, so I maintain my five-star rating! If I wanted to get the brim back to how it was before washing, I’d just use some spray starch.
** Update, November 2012 **
I still have this hat and still love it! Since my initial review, I've worn it to three more music festivals, hiking through the Big South Fork with a mosquito net over it (and it worked great), to the beach several times, and, most recently, lounging out by the pool in Las Vegas. It packs and washes so nicely and continues to provide casual, effortless versatility in terms of styling. Five stars all the way!
** Update, March 2014 **
I just came back last week to finally order a second Scala hat but had a hard time deciding which color to buy. It has been four years since I bought my original hat in Natural, and I've worn it so much (and to really dirty places) that it has started to discolor on the brim, and washing won’t remove the stain. Regardless, the hat is still perfect for hiking, outdoor festivals, and other sweaty/dirty situations; but it no longer has that clean, classy vibe as when it was new. Clearly, it was time for me to get a second Scala hat, so I bought it in Turquoise.
** Update, April 2016 **
I've returned again, six years after originally posting this review, to order a third Scala hat. My Turquoise one from 2014 is still holding its shape beautifully (haven’t needed to re-starch the brim); but, I wore it while sealing my backyard fence last fall, and it's not looking so hot anymore after being sprayed with errant sealant. Time for a new hat! I ordered a bunch of them and ended up keeping the Coral and Navy this time.
Here are my notes on ALL the colors I have tried since 2010 (in alphabetical order):
- Aqua: Just like the stock photo, and almost indistinguishable from Sea Glass. Just get whichever is cheaper.
- Banana: This color should be called ”mac & cheese" (LOL). Not as bright or sunshiny as the stock photo shows; much more gold/orange.
- Chocolate: Darker and less red than the stock photo. A true dark chocolate, just like Hershey’s midnight!
- Coral: Nowhere near as neon/vivid as the stock photo shows. In person, this color is a cross between a true coral (pinky-red) and a dark salmon. Very pretty!
- Coral Rose: Identical to Crimson Rose; see notes immediately below.
- Crimson Rose: Very close to the stock photo. In person, Crimson Rose seems to be identical to Coral Rose, right down to the barcode tag (unless Amazon messed up my order). This is a really pretty, true pink. It's a few tints lighter than Fuchsia. If you're deciding between Crimson Rose and Coral Rose, just get whichever is cheaper, because my hunch is they're the same item.
- Denim: Just like the stock photo. A slightly muted navy.
- Fuchsia: Fairly close to the stock photo, although in person I'd say it has a bit more blue in it. Just a touch darker/more vivid than Crimson Rose.
- Grape: Much darker than the stock photo. This is a true, deep, soulful purple hue -- absolutely gorgeous.
- Lime: A bit darker than the stock photo, very close to a “Kermit” green. Very fun and happy!
- Mint: Nowhere near as vivid/neon as the stock photo shows. This is a light, happy, springtime green.
- Mist: A lovely dusty lilac, very true to the stock image.
- Natural: True to the stock photo, although in person it *also* looks exactly like the stock photos for Sand, Linen, Taupe, and Oatmeal. Not sure if there's much of a difference in those colors, so just get whichever is cheapest.
- Navy: Not quite as bright as the stock photo, but still a bright navy. More vivid than the Denim color.
- Olive: A lot darker than the stock photo shows. It's your standard dark khaki/army green.
- Poppy: Bright, vivid red, very close to the stock photo, and exactly what you'd expect. Fun, playful, and sexy, it has just a touch of orange in it. This is the one to order if you want red but aren’t into "American Flag" red.
- Purple: Just like the stock photo.
- Red: Just like the stock photo. A true "American Flag" red. This hat is a STUNNER -- wear it with big sunglasses and you will look like you just stepped off a flight from Paris. Or, you will be the beautiful envy of everyone at your summer cookout. I put on this hat, looked in the mirror, and said, "WOW." I'm not a "red" person, but this color is so sophisticated and so provocative that I *almost* kept it. Seriously. Thisclose.
- Salmon: Very close to the stock photo, and exactly what you'd expect. A cross between pink and orange. Extremely cute!
- Sea Glass: Close to the stock photo, although slightly more vivid and with a bit more green in person. Almost indistinguishable from Aqua, so just get whichever is cheaper.
- Turquoise: Just like the stock photo.
- Walnut: Just like the stock photo. Looks like milk chocolate.
- White: Exactly what you'd expect. True white, not ivory. Slightly dingy-looking up close, but looks totally fine once you put it on your head.
- Wine: Nothing like the stock photo. In person, this color is close to garnet or deep crimson, perfect for Seminoles, Sooners, Hokies, Gamecocks, Trojans, and Crimson Tide fans!
- Yellow: A dusty, creamy yellow, like buttermilk. In person, this color is a bit more muted than in the stock photo.
I hope that helps you decide! Happy shopping, and enjoy this fabulous hat!