I always tell people when they buy one of my hats, that they have to wear it and by that I mean to really wear it and take it on adventures far and wide. It's made from quality materials and it will stand up to life. Along with that, I also offer the caveat that if your hat has too much fun on its travels, as sometimes hats will do, just bring it in and in most cases we can revive it, not withstanding a battle scar or two.
Here is an example from my own collection. One of my favorite hats for both sun protection and style is the "La Plage". This one is the original production sample that I made 4 years ago. It's traveled all over with me and seen it's fair share of beaches and manhandling by my kids. Like a great pair of jeans, the more I wore it the better it felt and the fraying band and cracks in the straw just gave it a bit of character along the way. But like all good things, her time had come and I could no longer feel good telling people I was a milliner while wearing a hat with a giant hole in it...
The good news is, my beloved hat and I did not have to part ways entirely. She was made from a high quality Panama straw and although the crown of the hat was not reparable, the brim was still supple and in great condition. So, "off with her head", I removed the crown and replaced it with a lovely linen crown and then I added a soft wire and ribbon binding to the edge of the brim. Volia, my beloved "La Plage" transformed herself into my new favorite packable hat, "Voyager".
Click through the gallery below to see the process from start to finish: