Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, Winston Churchill, and Harry Truman have all worn the Panama hat. It’s not just famous men, both Madonna and Naomi Campbell have been spotted wearing the Panama hat.
So what makes it so popular? When you try on a Panama hat and you touch the strong soft weave you feel sexy and special. I know that you can feel different and more confident when you wear a hat – I have one friend who doesn’t feel dressed or complete without a hat. I don’t know why hats seem to have magical powers but they just do – but not all hats. Some hats make you feel stupid so you have to find the right one!
The hat actually became popular during the building of the Panama Canal and they were worn by the workers for protection from the sun.
The weaving of the Paja Toquilla or Panama Hat has been known since the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. Ecuadorians weave Paja Toquilla straw – the fibres from Carludouica Palmata more commonly known as palm leaves.
Not all Panama hats are created equal. Hat prices are determined by the fineness of weave, the quality of weave, the quality and colour of straw and the dimensions of hat. So if you’re purchasing a Panama hat take your time – there are several styles and colours.
Monte Cristi Panama Hat image is from Lock & Co Hatters – they have a great selection and are in London at:
James Lock & Co. Ltd.,
6 St. James’s Street,