Wahoo! Fashion and function found in the Wallaroo hat
The Aspen Times Weekly
Protecting our skin is a full-time job when playing under the sunny skies of Colorado, so having a good hat on your head is key.
It’s always been a baseball hat or visor that I turn to when heading out for a hike, bike ride, river float or a golf outing.
And a cowboy hat or fedora are always my go-to when I’m heading out for an outdoor concert or festival.
But then the Wallaroo Hat Co. came across my radar. I regarded them more as a fashion statement and something for a social outing rather than active wear.
The first time I put a Wallaroo hat on was earlier this summer when I was heading out on a three-day trip on the Colorado River.
I have the “Kristy,” which is described as fedora style with a 3-inch brim. Even though these hats are designed to fold up, smash down or pack up and not lose their form, I was too timid to do so.
So I wore it the entire trip, and I couldn’t believe how light and airy it was. It was the perfect hat to block the hot, blazing and unforgiving sun on those cloudless days; the hat’s UPF 50+ fabric blocks 97.5 percent of the ultraviolet rays.
I have a small head and this hat’s adjustable drawstring works really well. It’s hidden in the brim and you don’t feel it all.
But even better, the Kristy hat blows the “fashion before function” mantra out the window. Every time I wear this hat, someone wants to try it on, or borrow it, or take it. It’s very classic and fun.
I did eventually test out the hat’s crushable function — I packed it in a backpack while traveling recently. It bounces back right away and keeps its form.
The Wallaroo Hat Co. has what seems like a zillion different styles of hats — in men’s and women’s. However, many of them are androgynous.
I tested out the men’s Avery, which is super lightweight and allows air to flow in via metal eyelets. It also has an adjustable elastic strap so there is no fear of it blowing off when I’m heading into the wind.
And it looks really cool, with its leather band and 100 percent Japanese glazed paper on the exterior.
Whatever style, these Australian-inspired hats are functionable and fashionable. Wallaroo, a Boulder-based company that has been around for almost two decades, has found a niche.
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Perhaps it’s because we are in the abbreviated days of winter and I instinctively know that the sun is shining down-under. But every January I go through a nostalgic period where Australian wine dominates my mind.