Coffee Break: Wallaroo Scrunchie Sunhat

best sunhat for women according to the readers!I’ve taken sun protection very seriously since around the time my first son was born — I’m not sure if pregnancy made my skin more vulnerable or what, but what seemed at the time like adorable “I’m pregnant!” freckles have turned into darker spots that are distinctly less adorable. In short: Wear a hat and sunscreen! (I’ve seen readers debate the need for sunscreen if you work inside all day, in which case you may want to just grab a hat if you find sunscreen annoying — but as I’ve been having fun getting more into skincare this year it’s worth noting that some of the chemicals, face masks, etc., that are popular now leave your skin extremely vulnerable to the sun. One of my OTC night products warned that it had “reservoir effects” and therefore you should wear sunscreen for a full week after you discontinue use. Wow.)

Readers have recommended this big, packable, UPF-50 hat as good for travel, and I think it looks great whether you’re just going for brunch with girlfriends or heading to the beach to settle in with your new novel. They’re $30–$50, both on the Wallaroo website as well as on Amazon; note that they also make one for smaller heads.

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  1. I bought this in the small size (I have a small head) for a beach vacation. I love it! With the string inside to pull it extra tight around my head it was even good for super windy days.

    • I love this hat and I love Schrunchies! It has been along time since we discussed schrunchies and this is a great chance for Kat to promote them! But the HAT is VERY important for all of us fair-skinned girls, b/c we burn easily and I agree that it is NOT cute to have dark age spot’s, like my Grandma Trudy (who spent year’s in Florida sunning away, and now the onley place NOT like shoe leather is her tuchus, which has always been covered, as it should have been).

      Knowing what I know now, I would NEVER sunbathe again. FOOEY on that! I want to look like Charlize Thereon when I am 42, or however old she is now. She models for Chanel and a lot of other places b/c she takes care of herself, and does NOT sunbathe. FOOEY on sunbatheing!

  2. Anonymous :

    I love a hat like this, but how do you prevent it from being swept away by the slightest breeze?

    • Anonymous :

      I have one with a string. I’ve accepted that I look like a camp counselor and that I’ll never look chic.

    • I usually punch two holes, seal them with glue around the edges (to prevent the weave unraveling) and thread a scarf around half the brim and tie under my chin if I am doing something jaunty like sailing or riding in a convertible. I stole this idea from an awesome Eugenia Kim hat I got when she did her Target Collection.

    • This one has an internal string behind where the brim attaches so that you can pull it tight around your head. It totally works! You can tuck the ends of the string back into the hat.

  3. Does anyone have a hat rec for a small person? Hats tend to be overwhelming and loose on me.

    • BigLaw Sr Assoc :

      I buy kids hats. I have never found an adult-size hat that fits me. I am a fun of Sunday Afternoons! Have good stuff for running and decently cute stuff for lounging.

  4. jumbo head :

    Anyone with a big head have this? I’d get it but afraid it’ll be too small…

    • Minnie Beebe :

      I have (I guess) a big head… hats are almost always too tight, and I don’t have the pictured hat. I *do* have a Goorin brothers packable sunhat, in Size L. About $60, IIRC, so it’s not in the normal Goorin Bros price range. I have not scrunched mine down into a suitcase, so I’m not sure how truly packable it is. I just wear it on the plane, but it’s a non-fussy hat, so i think it would be okay. It’s new this year– I’ll try packing it next year, after I’ve gotten some good use out of it and I don’t feel so bad about possibly ruining it.

    • Anonymous :

      I have a pretty big head and have and love this hat.

  5. Help me find a better way to tell my coworker that his comments about anorexia need to stop. He frequently says things like “I’d love to go to lunch, but I shouldn’t. Need to get back on that anorexia after eating those doughnuts this morning!” or “Yeah, just an apple for me today. I’m probably anorexic, but hey, if it helps me lose the weight, right?” Today I heard him say “I can’t diet, I just have to go full anorexia or I’ll eat everything in sight!”
    I’ve struggled with binge-eating disorder since I was a teenager and had some body image issues related to the perception that an eating disorder means you’re bone thin. Hearing anorexia talked about in this way is really difficult for me, as it reinforces the stereotype that being underweight is desirable. I’ve asked him before to stop making these comments with a script like “Hey, just wanted to let you know that talking about eating disorders can be upsetting to some people. Maybe let’s not joke about that here?” but he hasn’t stopped. Do I escalate this? It seems like something that’s slipped into his vernacular and he doesn’t notice it, but I really need him to stop.

    • I’d be more direct. Next time he makes a joke say “I’d appreciate it you didn’t joke about eating disorders in front of me”. If he does it again: “I’ve asked you to stop joking about eating disorders in front of me. What’s going on?”. You don’t owe him any explanation (and if you feel like you must provide one you can say something vague about family members).

      • Anonymous :


        I think when you said “Hey, just wanted to let you know that talking about eating disorders can be upsetting to some people. Maybe let’s not joke about that here?” what he heard was somebody somewhere could possibly be upset, but also possibly not. What you need to say is that you, specifically, are actually upset. I think he’s not getting it because what you said made it abstract and theoretical.

        • Anonymous :

          It’s like someone making junior high dead baby jokes. It’s one thing to object in the abstract. You’d have to out yourself, but if you said “I just had a miscarriage and dead baby jokes make me want to weep and/or get stabby,” I bet they’d stop.

          Which is more important — no outing yourself or maybe stopping him from making comments like this when you are around? [Not that it would stop them — food issues are pretty common and food-limiting “clean eating” chit chat often seems to be food-restrictive in a way that slides easily into disordered eating.]

        • Anonymous :

          I disagree with needing for her to say that she, specifically, is upset by this. It’s a professional environment and he was asked, professionally and politely, to stop with unprofessional comments. That’s actually enough.

    • Anonymous :

      If you escalate the issue and you are the only person who has said anything to him about it, he will know who complained. Can you get allies on board to react to his comments in the moment? If a bunch of people start reacting negatively to his comments, maybe he will get the message.

    • Anonymous :

      How many times have you mentioned this to him? And what has your tone been? I once had a classmate (grad school, we were both older adults) make frequent comments about my appearance and I had asked him to stop, told him to quit, etc, but it wasn’t until I took him out in the hallway in private and said, “Look. I do not enjoy it and you’re making me uncomfortable. Please stop or I will escalate this.” that he actually stopped. Some people can just be a little thick-skulled.

    • Anonymous :

      If he was saying things about you having an ED because of how you eat (which yes people say to thin people), then maybe you could escalate. But he’s merely using words you don’t like? This is part of living in the world. What if was taking about crime or politics that you didn’t agree with, would you go tell on him? You’re not the conversation police.

    • Anonymous :

      How old are you? First job? This is part of living in the world — having people say things you ignore. You can’t spend your life running to the dean of students because you feel “triggered.” He’s not being obscene, he can say what he wants about his OWN eating — he’s not commenting on you.

    • Are you sure HE doesn’t have some sort of eating disorder? If he’s joking about his own eating habits, it kind of sounds like it.

      • Anonymous :

        Sounds to me like he is bragging about his self-control.

        • Anonymous :

          Sort of, but a lot of people talk about “Whole 30” and eating clean that otherwise wouldn’t self-label as having food issues. It seems almost trendy these days to say what restrictions you are doing (like a lot of teen girls go vegetarian “for their health” when it is really just a culturally OK way to avoid a lot of food at family meals and limit food overall).

          I think that a lot of guys with eating disorders and food issues hide them and/or try to disguise weight anxiety.

          To me, a guy who talks about eating issues a lot has food issues.

          • Anonymous :

            I agree with this. Guys are not immune to judgment about their eating choices and their weight. I think it’s on you to ignore this at this point.

          • What you describe in your first paragraph is now categorized as an eating disorder: orthorexia

    • Anonymous :

      Honestly, I have to agree about not trying to police things that strangers/colleagues say around you. You were polite and clear with your request, but I certainly would not escalate this. I would stop hanging around with him/eating lunch with him or whatever seems to put you with him where you hear these comments so often. Walk away when he says something. If you are the only person with him, you could try one more time saying something firm and abrupt to him and walk away.

      But you need to work with your therapist a little bit on ways to deal with this. We can’t control the world around us. But you can control yourself.

      • Anonymous :

        This. To me, this is the kind of thing where you can (and should) say something to him once – “hey, eating disorders aren’t really an appropriate thing to joke about” – but if he doesn’t get the message, you need to figure out a way to ignore and move on. Is it a unfunny joke made in poor taste? Yes. Is this actually harassment? No. I think you need to pick your battles a bit. (And I’m saying this as someone who has battled with disordered eating in the past. Unless you’ve been in the thick of it yourself or very close to someone who has, it’s hard to really appreciate the gravity of it sometimes…)

    • I totally feel you on this. I also have had an ED since I was 12. I have learned in therapy that I cannot engage in conversations with people like your co-worker (or any type of diet talk at all). It’s a huge trigger for my ED. I have learned to excuse myself. I’m usually polite and exit stage left as quick as possible.

    • I am in recovery. Sober 23 years. I can’t imagine policing the chit chat about drunken weekends and whether my coworkers joke about being alcoholics.

      • Congratulations on being sober over 2 decades. I watched my (otherwise adorable when not drunk) childhood neighbor go downhill over and over so really admire your strength

  6. In McAllen, TX, solo on business travel tonight. Any suggestions for where to have dinner? If no rettes have suggestions, it’ll be an Olive Garden and HGTV night.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      HGTV in hotel rooms is my favorite! I might hit up one of the breweries in town?

    • OMG, please get Mexican food. Please?!? OG is not the best choice if you’re in South Texas!

    • When you are anywhere in Texas, the proper course of action is always to ask Yelp where to go for tacos.

  7. Hats for commuting :

    On the topic of hats, does anyone wear a hat as part of their walking commute? I want something that doesn’t look like a beach hat and could sort of fit in with wearing business clothes and is cute. Any suggestions?

    • Pale Girl Snorkeling :

      I have for several years. I decided to embrace hat wearing and I have a selection of interesting wide brimmed hats. My go to is a straw hat with a curled brim and a ribbon around the crown. I have gotten many compliments on it. I think a big part is embracing the hat life and being convinced that you look fabulous. I have a pink, purple, and white floppy hat that I wear a lot – it lives in my car and while some could call it a beach hat I’d rather wear it and be protected from the sun.

      If its really windy and I still need a hat, I’ve got a high quality spf straw hat with a drawstring under the chin that I will wear. It’s more casual but it does the job.

    • Anonymous :

      I tried these on last week at this store and they looked really cute, in a classy-lady-in-an-old-timey-painting way: and . I think the brand was called Tula.

  8. Hats hats hats :

    Okay, so I have a super basic hat question…how do I figure out a style of hat that works for me? I’d love to wear them more for sun protection, but I feel like they always look so weird on me. What type of hat should I wear if my outfit is roughly jeans + sneakers/loafers + casual button down shirt? I don’t always wear that, but it’s a pretty good standard look I have, especially for walking around as a tourist which is when I’d usually need a hat.

    I think hats like the above work better with sundresses/shorts, and baseball caps just look weird on me. I also have a pretty large head. Help!

    • Legally Brunette :

      Such a great question. I’d love to know too. Also, are there certain face shapes that work well with certain hats? I’m not a hat person and have no clue.

      • The Goorin website (I just looked it up thanks to the comment that mentioned the brand) has a nice hat shape/face shape guide.

    • Anonymous :

      Fedora. I have a large head and they are the only hats that look cute on me. I wear baseball caps when spending a long time outdoors though because they shield my face better and I don’t really care if I look cute.

    • Anonymous :

      I got a fedora/panama hat style (straw) out of the men’s department of Target – only way I can find to fit my big head

    • A bucket hat is a little more sporty than the wide-brimmed sunhat shown here. Have you tried those?

  9. Anonymous :

    We have an opportunity to live in/near the following cities: Atlanta, Baltimore, or Charlotte. Which one would you choose and why?

    We aren’t city people (we’re big nature lovers) and we don’t have regular commute schedules (WFH/consulting), so we could live up to ~75 minutes away since we wouldn’t be tied daily to a downtown office. I’d love a quaint town with friendly people where it’s easy to get involved; my husband wants access to outdoor activities. Thanks for your thoughts!

    • not charm city :

      Emphatically not Baltimore.

      • I love visiting Baltimore. Can you say more about why you don’t recommend it?

        • givemyregards :

          Not “not charm city” but I’m someone who loves Baltimore and loved living there and I wouldn’t have recommended it to this person based on their criteria. I don’t think of the surrounding towns around Baltimore as particularly extraordinary spots for outdoor activities (obviously would be different if they had specified that they have a boat or are into water sports). Frederick and Annapolis are cute, but your money would go a lot further in the towns outside of Charlotte and I think of NC as more of an outdoors destination than MD.

          *I* personally would choose Baltimore because I love dive bars and grungy cities with big personalities. But if I wanted a quaint community that was easy to get involved with and surrounded by hiking, then I’d go with Charlotte.

          • givemyregards :

            Sorry, just realized that Anon 3:36 may have been the OP, in which case the way I’ve addressed my comment doesn’t make sense. But you get the idea!

    • Anonymous :

      Charlotte. The city is kind of boring comparatively, but I love the proximity to so many things (mountains, not just coast). And it’s more livable IMO.

      • Anonymous :

        But I wouldn’t live 75 minutes outside of it necessarily. You could live up at Lake Norman or maybe in Belmont (but what used to be nice and peaceful over by Daniel Stowe is now horribly built up) or on Lake Wylie so you’d have easy access to the Whitewater Center.

    • Anonymous :

      Charlotte seems the most pleasant out of the bunch.

      • Anonymous :

        Also the whitewater center is a wonderful place! We used to have season passes when we lived there.

    • Anonymous :

      Definitely Charlotte. It’s only two hours from Asheville and near the mountains. The other two cities don’t really have good access to nature.

    • Charlotte :

      Charlotte for sure. It has the best weather of the bunch, and the suburbs are very cheap. In fact, 75 mins from Charlotte could actually get you to SC too, where taxes are lower also. Charlotte has loads of quaint towns surrounding it. I agree that it’s a bit of a sleeper city, but people are friendly, schools are decent (even better in the burbs than the city, plus there are a lot of affordable private schools there) and there is a ton of nature nearby. My family loves hiking at the National Whitewater Center which is a very cool place! My brother lives there.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t have any experience with Charlotte but I have a little experience with Atlanta and Baltimore. I don’t think I’d describe either of them as a quaint town. From Baltimore, you if you really want small, quaint, and near nature, you might consider the Eastern Shore; Kent Island is closest but there are other options if you’re willing to go farther out – St. Michael’s is super cute. The Bay Bridge commute can be tough but people do it. There are also several closer suburbs to Baltimore like Columbia and Glen Burnie.

      Atlanta is a sprawling metropolis. It’s like mini-LA but the traffic is just as bad. You’ll definitely be living 75 minutes from downtown (unless you want to pay to live in Buckhead, which it sounds like you don’t necessarily). That said, the Atlanta suburbs are so so nice. There’s a genuine community feel, lots of opportunities to get involved, and gorgeous neighborhoods with access to wooded-ish running and bike path. In my limited experience, going to church is a pretty big deal and is a big source of community, though of course ymmv.

      • Aalso, being so spread out means that a lot of “Atlanta” based business aren’t actually located in downtown or even Atlanta city limits so it really depends on how close you need to be to a home office or the airport. The northern suburbs have a lot to offer and aren’t very far from all the outdoor activities you can find in the N. Ga mountains.

    • If these are your options, I hope you like the heat! Given your criteria, I’d say Davidson near CLT is your best bet. I live in Charlotte and don’t love it, but being able to live further from the city and not deal with commuting would definitely help. That would get you access to Lake Norman and some other nice parks. It’s also pretty easy to get up to the mountains if you don’t mind a few hours in the car.

      • Anonymous :

        +++++1,000,000 to Davidson if you don’t need to commute. I love that town from the bottom of my heart, but my coworkers who live there spend 90 minutes in the car each way, and there’s at least one huge accident a month that backs up traffic for 3 hours.

    • I would move to Serenbe (about 40 minutes from Atlanta). Not linking to avoid moderation, but have a google. It’s lovely (and near awesome road biking and gravel biking). If you travel for work, it’s actually more convenient to the airport (which is on the south side of the city) than many other parts of ATL.

      Oh, or Greenville, SC. World-class road biking, great hiking, LCOL, nice town. It does stretch your drive time a bit (I think it’s more like 90 minutes to Charlotte).

      • NC--> ATL :

        Serenbe is…. a special type of place. It’s not simply a quaint small town-it’s like a pleasantville type faux city for very, very rich people. I’ll refrain from passing judgment on Serenbe but OP, in the event you consider this further, know that Serenbe needs an extra dose of careful evaluation. Also, you will not be near any other nature other than the (admittedly pretty) southern Piedmont landscape Serenbe is in, and the wilds of the Alabama border.

        Charlotte is a bit dull but the downtown has been revitalized a lot in the past few years, from what I understand. You are close to Asheville and the mountains, which is a huge plus. The schools are great. Cost of living is much much better than ATL proper. I personally do not think there are that many great smaller towns outside of Charlotte. Davidson, sure. Winston Salem is cute but over an hour away. You’ll be the same distance to the beach (likely slightly longer) from Charlotte as you would be from ATL.

        The Atlanta burbs/exurbs might be a good fit for you if you’re looking for a smaller town feel but want to be close to something bigger. Marietta in particular has goods schools and a sense of community. It’s north west of the city so you’re closer to the mountains and lots of good hiking. If there’s no traffic, the travel time to the city is really not that bad. Living in ATL itself has a lot of advantages (stuff to do, great restaurants, sometimes good schools, parks/trails/vibrant communities) but is also getting more expensive by the day, crowded, trafficky, and harder to get to nature. Sounds like that’s not as much what you’re looking for, but it’s nice to have the option.

        • Anonymous :

          +1 to the Serenbe comment. Vet it very very carefully to be sure it is really the kind of place you want to live, and look behind the marketing materials. Do you want a well-curated existence? Might be for you. If you like what is on the property, great. You will have to drive a ways for everything else. You’ll probably want a private school if that is an issue. That said, if you are looking to buy a lovely, well-situated, 3-story family home there, please do speak up!

          If I had a lot of money, no desire to live in the city, and picked the Atlanta area, I’d choose Roswell. Access to the river and a fancy club and good schools and cute shops and restaurants.

          Frederick is a great community for getting involved. If you live in town, you can walk to everything! Everything! If you want land, you can have that, too, further out. I’m out of the loop on commute times. 2.5 hours seems way off the mark, but it’s been a while. I miss that place.

          I can’t speak to Charlotte. If you aren’t interested in amenities of the city itself, it might be the best fit of all. If you are, it seems like the least interesting (esp. since DC is also in proximity to virtually any choice nearish to Baltimore).

        • I think you might be the first person in the history of the world to describe Winston-Salem as “cute”.

    • Anonymous :

      Frederick, Maryland! Beautiful scenery. Proximity to both DC and Baltimore doubles your future job prospects and nice quality of life.

      • That is insane. Frederick to Baltimore is 50 miles. In traffic, you’re looking at 2.5 hours each way to work.

        • Anonymous :

          Not really. It’s a quick trip. But thanks for calling it insane, rude person.

          • Huh? I have done that commute. Even with no traffic I don’t understand how you could say that a 50 mile drive each way is a “quick trip”.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m partial, because I live in Charlotte, but I’d say Charlotte. You could live northwest of Charlotte on the west side of lake Norman (far less developed than the east side along I-77) and be (relatively) close to the city for when you do need to come in, while also being close to Asheville and the mountains. You could live in Denver, NC, Sherrills Ford, Hickory, Newton.

      There’s also the National Whitewater Center here, which offers all sorts of wonderful outdoor activities very close to the city.

    • I might be the minority as I see lots of Charlotte but I have lived in all 3 and Atlanta, hands down.

    • Anonymous :

      If you’re considering the Baltimore area, Annapolis would also be a good option. I personally don’t think Baltimore is “quaint” except for maybe Fell’s Point, but Annapolis would fit the bill. Annapolis is on the water and an easy drive over the Bay Bridge to even more quaint historic towns on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

      Frederick, Maryland to Baltimore is about an hour’s drive without traffic, but would maybe fit the “outdoors” portion a little better if your husband prefers hiking and rock climbing.

      That being said, IMO the suburban counties surrounding Baltimore City & County are better places to live than in Baltimore City itself.

  10. Curly girls: how do you wear your hair if you wear a hat like this?

    • Anonymous :

      In a braid or a low side pony.

    • I set it very delicately on top of my head and balance it there. If I have to have it more well-placed, I will gently pull my hair back in a loose low bun. 2C curly.

      • Pale Girl Snorkeling :

        Or roll up the hair into the crown of the hat and then fluff out at work. This worked great when I had longer hair

        • I’m not sure why this didn’t occur to me. Thanks! If I’m bothering to wear a hat it’s usually hot and I want my hair off my neck, but putting it up with a hair tie makes it too poofy to fit.

  11. Ginger in Tech Support :

    Even if you work inside, if there is a window, or you drive to work, you are expose to enough UV rays to cause damage. It’s not worth risking your skin!

    • Anonymous :

      If you’re concerned about UV rays in your car, I can recommend getting your car windows tinted. Everyone who drives should do this, according to my dermatologist. A hat may not help much in that situation.

      • Anonymous :

        Don’t take traffic safety advice from your dermatologist. Dark tinted windows are unsafe and illegal (at least in my state). It restricts your vision, especially at night, and it keeps the driver from being able to make eye contact with other drivers and pedestrians.

        • Anonymous :

          UV tinting is much different from dark tinting and is completely legal.

        • Anonymous :

          Um, there’s a happy medium tint-wise. You don’t need to go full on drug-runner tint to get the benefit.

        • Anonymous :

          It’s skin cancer safety advice and is totally legit.

        • My UV tint is not dark at all. It looks nearly transparent with a blue/silver hue. I tinted my windshield as well as my windows. It not only protects my face and hands, but my interior is much cooler than an untinted car.

        • You don’t know what you’re talking about, window tint is extremely safe and designed to be able to be seen through from inside not from outside.

          Check state laws on tint opacity, but I guarantee you, window tint is not unsafe unless you literally black out your windows. Also keep in mind that windshields are often tinted much lighter than the side windows. Come to Texas and tell the 95% of the state with tinted windows it’s unsafe. Cars here come with tinted windows as a standard due to the strength of the sun / heat.

  12. I’m on solo business travel in McAllen, TX tonight. Any recommendations for dinner? I’m guessing it’ll be an Olive Garden and HGTV night, but thought I’d ask!

    • Anonymous :

      That close to the border, go for tacos. No specific recs but there simply MUST be good ones to be had.

    • Anonymous :

      Go to Salt across from the Rennaissance — it’s surprisingly delicious!

      • Anonymous :

        “Surprisingly” is a little rude – plenty of smaller cities have great food.

        • Anonymous :

          OP here, and coming from a small town with an Iron Chef winning restauranteur, I agree that plenty of smaller cities have great food. I have also eaten many, many mediocre meals in McAllen, Texas over the last 30 years. So, it was surprising to me that I finally found one that’s consistently good. Thanks for your input, though, and for your reminder to parse words for the hypervigilent. Have a great day!

  13. Just saw the Stow Leather Tech Case on a Meghan Markle style blog and now I really really want one, but I definitely dont want one at almost $600. Have you seen any similarly structured tech envelopes? The Mark and Graham one looks too floppy.

    • Anonymous :

      Not sure how “structured” you want, but the M&G one isn’t that floppy. I mean, it doesn’t stand up on it’s own, but it’s got a thick cushioned lining, so it feels substantial.

  14. Cookbooks :

    I’ve never tried this, but looks like it could work with a hat like this:

  15. Aveda tastes, CVS budget :

    What’s my best bet for a drugstore shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair?

  16. I have this hat AND I LOVE IT.

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