I like to wear hats when I travel because they make it seem like I’ve packed more outfits than I have, they’re sun-safe, and I can hide under them and that appeals to my weird, introverted, socially anxious nature. Thank you, hats!

When I bought my first hat I had no idea how to pack it, I assumed I had to go out and buy one of those fancy hat boxes and carry it on the plane with me. Wrong. That’s not how it’s done, you guys. If, like me, you love hats or want to start wearing hats on your travel (for shelter or sun safety), but have no clue how to pack them… I’m here to help. Here’s my guide on the very best way to pack hats in your luggage without ruining them or losing precious packing space. For the visual learners among you (me) I’ve created this guide with photos.

1. Identify your hats

Find them, look at them lovingly, caress their delicious brims. Do whatever you need to do, just assemble the hats.

The best way to pack hats

2. Gather the rest of your shit

Get everything else you want to pack and get organised. Fold your clothes up, get all your undies out and put it all in one place. I’ve not laid my undies out in this flat-lay because I don’t want you guys gawking at my gruds.

The best way to pack hats

3. Conjure up a filling

Separate the hats and small, soft items of clothing from the rest of the herd. Remember, divide and conquer, people! You’re looking for things like t-shirts, scarves, and undies. At this point, I stack my hats on top of one another if they fit. The felt hat (black) is more crushable and fits easily inside the straw hat.

The best way to pack hats

4. Fill her up!

Flip those bad boys over and put your soft clothes inside the hollow of the hat (where ya head goes). I roll up two to three t-shirts or just stuff all my undies in there, which saves me having to fold my underwear, a truly mundane task in itself. Filling your hat with clothes gives it a nice solid shape, which means it won’t crush easily in your luggage. It also means you’re using that precious space inside the hat, not squandering it.

The best way to pack hats

5. Nighty night, hat

Place your hat full of undies down flat in your luggage. Just to be clear, that’s FLAT. Don’t go doing anything crazy and balancing it upside down on it’s top.

The best way to pack hats

6. Build your hat a nest!

Pack your clothing on top of the brim and around the hat. This is going to create a nice soft, secure barrier around the hat. It’ll keep it in place when you stand your bag upright and it’ll protect the hat from damage. I try to pack all of my clothes in this space, saving the other side of the suitcase for heavy stuff that could damage the hat; things like shoes, books etc.

The best way to pack hats

7. Pack like a mofo!

Finish packing the rest of your stuff in your suitcase, being careful not to place anything on the other side that could potentially damage your hat. If your hat’s a cheapie, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. But if you splashed the cash for a really nice lid and then had your hair straightener digging into it for 14 hours, leaving an imprint on it, you’d be pissed.

The best way to pack hats

8. Activate hat mode

Arrive at your destination and look freaking fabulous swanning around town in your hat(s). Ohhhh girl! You look fierce! Work that hat. Work it. MMM HMMMMM.

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