A floppy black hat is the perfect summer accessory for many reasons. For starters, it protects the face from the sun's harmful UV rays (and the wrinkles they cause). It's also a shield for fragile, delicate hair, keeping color-treated or processed roots out of the drying, damaging sunlight.

Plus? Floppies add panache to any outfit. Just ask stylist-to-the-stars Rachel Zoe, who topped a flowing black and white ensemble with a big-brimmed hat, while celebutante Paris Hilton did the same with her form-fitting dress.

Rachel Zoe

See how easy it is to transform a long and loose top into a high style outfit via the addition of a floppy hat? Zoe, known for her layered, billowy looks, donned her black topper with loads of chunky jewelry and somehow achieved a state of balance that speaks for itself.

Pacific Coast News

Paris Hilton

The famous-for-being-famous heiress protected her blonde strands with a black hat, and her eyes with big, dark shades. The hat is just the right size without being overbearing on her tall, slender frame.

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Jessica Alba

The uber-fashionable mom and actress wore a textured, bent brim hat with her peachy dress. Alba's hat is a bit more rugged and utilitarian than many floppy options, giving her look an edge.

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Gwen Stefani

Okay, so we cheated a little with this one. The singer's black hat isn't a floppy -- its rounded and fitted construction makes it more like a jockey's helmet. But it serves the same purpose: fashion and function. Plus, she rocks it in 'A Clockwork Orange' kinda way.

Daring dressers who want to go a little different with a summer black hat may want to take a tip from Gwen.

Pacific Coast News