Rediscovering the Classic Elegance of Panama Hats

If you are heading off to the beach and you need a trendy hat to wear, you should check out Panama hats. These hats started being crafted in Ecuador centuries ago. However, they are becoming quite popular once again.

You can see famous celebrities walking around in their trendy Panama hats such as Jennifer Aniston, Sienna Miller and Katie Holmes, to name but a few. The classic elegant appeal of this hat makes it well loved by fashion forward men and women worldwide.

Those who are into boho-chic style should definitely consider adding a couple of Panama hats to their accessory collection. Moreover, a Panama hat would be a great match for your smooth and flowing sundress and give you an ultra-feminine look.

Have you ever wondered why people call them Panama hats if they were first crafted in Ecuador? In the 1600’s, Ecuadorian craftsmen started weaving straw hats that would protect their wearers from the sun. Then, at some point in the mid 1800’s, gold seekers traveling to and from California noticed these odd hats and realized that they could sell them outside Ecuador.

The reason why they are still called Panama hats is because, until the early 20’s, all South American goods were shipped to Panama before sailing for North America, Europe and Asia. In 1898, the U.S. government purchased about 50,000 of these exquisite hats from Ecuadorian merchants. From then on, these simple yet fashionable hats became visible in several states in the U.S and even in neighbouring countries. Thanks to famous Hollywood celebrities of the silver screen such as Humphrey Bogart and Carey, Panama hats have become a trademark in the industry.

What makes authentic Panama hats unique is the material used to make them. The straw used in weaving a classic Panama hat comes from the leaves of paja toquilla, a type of palm found in Ecuador. Skilled and professional Ecuadorean craftsmen have perfected the art of weaving these straw hats. It is important to note that each hat should have a good colour, consistent weave and exhibit a variety of patterns. From the crown all through the body of the hat, the spiralling and concentric patterns should be perfect.

Nowadays you can see different types of Panama hats such as Cattleman, Classic Fedora, Teardrop and Monte Fedora. Each of these hats is unique in its own way. For instance, the teardrop has a wide brim with the crown portion measuring 4 1/8 inches. The band is usually made of fine leather or grosgrain ribbon. The Diamante Trailboss design comes with a bucked brim and a leather band that features a single tassel.

Take your pick and don a fashionable Panama hat that will make you look classy and effortlessly stylish.

Fedora Panama Hat

Teardrop Panama Hat

Cattleman Panama Hat

Monte Fedora Panama Hat

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