Nineteen years ago, during a summer stay in Santa Fe, my husband surprised me with the surreptitious purchase of a hat I’d admired in a storefront window. It was a case of love at first sight (hat & husband) and has been ever since. 

Aside from one Russian-style faux-fur cap that I’m rarely feeling cheeky enough to wear, unless it’s raining or snowing I’m not much of a hat wear kind of girl. But, I’m forever thankful to that strong Santa Fe sun for providing the inspiration behind what’s now my number-one, hot-weather travel essential - the Helen Kaminski Raffia Classic 5 braided hat. 

Favorite feature: Whether I’m hiking windy mountaintop trails or sailing the high seas, thanks to built-in adjustable string sizing, this hat stays snug. 

Not-so-favorite feature: The Classic 5 comes with a black-and-white polka dot hatband that’s just a little too prim for my not-so-proper taste. So I jazz it up a bit by purchasing fun, colorful hatbands wherever my travels take me. 

Bottom line: Handcrafted from 100% Raffia that lasts forever and can be rolled for easy packing, this is the perfect hat for any sunny getaway.

Part of the Helen Kaminski Raffia Braid collection, the Classic 5 is available for purchase at Suggested retail price; $165. 


About Helen Kaminski 

Helen Kaminski is a leading brand of fashion and lifestyle accessories. Based in Sydney, Australia the company’s international reputation for innovative headwear with a relaxed chic attitude extends over 25 years. Today, the company creates fashion and lifestyle accessories under two internationally recognized brand names, Helen Kaminski and Kaminski XY for men.



About Ellen Barone: Consumer travel expert Ellen Barone is the founder and publisher of and Learn more here and connect on Twitter at,FacebookGoogle+ and LinkedIn.




Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".