More You Know... Find
a Panama Hat...
The popularity of the Panama hats and straw dress
hats soared at the start of the 20th century when a photograph of U.S.
President Theodore Roosevelt sporting a stylish one appeared in the world
press. The demand for the chic hat rose. Prominent companies around the
globe began distributing them. By 1944 it had become Ecuador's primary
export item. You might reasonably ask why call it a Panama hat if comes
from Ecuador. The reason is that straw hats from Ecuador were purchased
for the workers who built the Panama Canal and hence came to be called
By the second half of the 20th century,
the popularity of hats waned. Yet, Ecuador's finely woven Panama hats
maintained their mystique. Indeed, expert hatters throughout the world
compete for premium grade specimens. Famous people from bygone eras to our
day have been captivated by the elegance of the Panama hat. It has graced
the heads of Winston Churchill, Nikita Khrushchev, Humphrey Bogart, and
Michael Jordan, to name but a few.
True panama hats are not defined by
their shape or even where they are manufactured but by the fact that the
straw is hand woven in Ecuador. Each Panama hat should have a stamp inside
of its crown indicating its origin. Panama hats have a distinctive
circular weave at the top of the crown indicating its hand woven nature.
Prices of Panama hats can range as low as $40.00 up to thousands of
dollars. So what is the difference? The two components that affect cost
are quality of construction and the quality of the straw. Generally
speaking, just like a fine Persian rug, the finer the weave the higher the
price with the finest straw coming from a region in Ecuador called Monte
Of course, there are inexpensive mass
produced imitations of the genuine article. However, many of these crack;
others do not breathe. In contrast, the genuine product is light and airy,
and long lasting. Each is hand woven and therefore is one of a kind.
After some time away from the fashion
scene, this stylish headwear is now coming back with a vengeance, and
there's no better way to tell the world that you're a sophisticated person
who recognizes the importance of image, than by choosing one that suits
Didn't find what you are looking for? Search