ooGee Hats are probably Australia’s coolest hat. It’s a big call, we know, claiming a hat to be Australia’s coolest. After all, it’s a crowded space with Australians taking to hat wearing like a dog to water on a hot summer’s day at the beach.
When the good people at ooGee Headwear suggested we put one of their broad brimmed sun hats through its paces, we leaped at the chance.
But first, what’s behind the strange name? ooGee is pronounced ew-gee and pays respect to the Indigenous people of Australia. The word ooGee means headdress. The designs are a celebration of classic Aussie styles, shapes and colours. They are designed with style and are made tough for Aussie conditions, whether in the bush, at the beach or hunkering down poolside at a tropical resort (our favourite use for an ooGee hat, if you really must know).
Not bad, actually.
One thing that sets an ooGee hat apart from its rivals is as a travel hat. You know how you pack some sun hats carefully into your suitcase, and unpack at the other end to find a squished contraption that no amount of gently manipulation gets it back into shape? Not so with ooGee. Their trademarked FLEXIBRAID is designed to ensure hats return to their original shape. I simply rolled mine up, tucked it in with all my other rolled up clothing and sent it down the checked baggage travelator.
In a word, yes.
I’ll admit, I wasn’t confident it wouldn’t be pretty at the other end of four flights from regional Queensland to the Middle East, with my soft-sided bag being tossed around the baggage handling bowels of four different airport. But I was pleasantly surprised. Unpacking my bag in Doha, my ooGee hat needed little more than a little unfurling, a swish around and it was ready to hit the sunlounge poolside in the sweltering Qatari heat.
Well play ooGee, well played.
My hat (Hunter Creek style in the colour of Burnt Clove, thanks for asking) has since travelled many thousands of suitcase miles and continues to bounce back fresh as a daisy. I only wish I had such stamina after a longhaul flight across the Pacific Ocean…
ooGee hats are lightweight, comfortable and are designed in popular shapes that resonate well with their Australian audience. As well as being very stylish, they’re practical too and are scientifically tested to rate as UPF50+ to cope with Australia’s harsh conditions. Hats are made from Australian cotton, leather and recyclable materials.
The ooGee brand was established by headwear veteran Peter Walcott in 2022 to reinvigorate local manufacturing and to ensure the future of traditional hat making in Australia. Peter knows a thing or two about headwear after 40 years in the industry. He knew there was a market for hats which were made from breathable materials, would provide good sun protection and fit well to avoid blowing away when the wearer was out bush or on a windy coast.
Along with the aforementioned FLEXIBRAID which allows hats to travel well, ooGee developed what’s termed Comfy-Fit. I know it sounds a little like the type of underwear your grandmother might favour, it’s a little more sexy than that.
Comfy-Fit relates to a discreet internal adjustable elastic strap that sits inside the brim. It can be adjusted to ensure the perfect fit, whether you need it snug and tight when riding a horse or loose and floppy when poolside.