Spotlight: The Panama Hat

What do Teddy Roosevelt, Sean Connery, and Paul Newman have in common? In addition to being smart, stylish, and timeless they’re are known for their famous affinity for a good Panama Hat.

Slightly less ostentatious and more utilitarian than the fedora, the Panama hat came into fashion in the early 1900’s when Roosevelt donned one his trip to Panama to build the Canal. Although the style is not from Panama (it actually originated in Ecuador) the hat became tied to Roosevelt’s project, and has bared the moniker ever since. Panama hats are a light straw color and are traditionally woven from the leaves of an Ecuadorian plant, which resembles a palm. The hat has a contrasting band which is usually black or dark, dark navy, keeping the look crisp and clean. For over a hundred years, these hats have been associated with tropical destinations and luxury vacations.

Like all things, what’s old is new, and the Panama hat is in style again — although some would beg to differ it never went out. Regardless, it’s back in a big way. Perfect for adding some flair on your beach vacation thanks to its larger brim that shades the face, it adds an air of sophistication and intrigue that garners attention. Low maintenance and effortless, it can be paired with beach wear, casual clothing or even light colored suits. Thanks to its forgiving fit, you can easily add sunglasses underneath as well, which is not always the case with any hat. If you’re looking to up the ante for your next outdoor occasion, consider the Panama hat. It’s sure to make a statement in all the right ways.

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