I love my Panama hats, my friends know this. Some of them actually don’t understand where my love for these white straw hats comes from. But that is because they haven’t been to Latin America yet. It is not a white cowboy hat, guys! This is a toquilla, better known as a Panama hat, and it has been a gentleman’s must-have since the 1920s. It is meant for travelling to the sunny regions of the globe. So it belongs to the adventurer. Kind of the poshy type of adventurer..
The Panama suits a casual summer or beach outfit. It gives a sophisticated touch to your look and yet minimalistic. The straw hat is timeless and a true work of art – if handmade. It originates from Ecuador where it is part of traditional clothing. But when U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt wore one on a visit to Panama to check upon the progress of the Panama canal, he proved it was possible to wear the traditional hat in combination with regular clothing. This visit to Panama is also when the hat received its nickname. Also, it became a more popular item throughout the Americas and Europe. Also Hollywood stars in the 1920s wore it often. And still the hat is worn in South America a lot. Okay, by the elder generation. But isn’t it nice to sometimes pick some elements from that classic Hollywood era, in order to brighten up your outfit?
When buying a Panama, make sure that it is a genuine one made in Ecuador. Traditionally there are several models, among them are: Cuenca and Montecristi (referring to the region of origin in Ecuador). The finer the straws, the more expensive the hat. Prices can go up to more than 1500 euros. Many brands have Panama hats in their collection, but my personal preference goes out to the Italian brand Borsalino.