UNIFORM | Panama Hat

Photo of French actress Mireille Darc in Rome by Leonard de Raemy.

The Panama Hat is surely a signal of summer and as versatile an accoutrement as any. Its origin is actually Ecuador and traditionally made from plaited leaves of the toquilla straw plant. The lightweight hats were named for their point of international sale (The Panama Canal) rather than their home country, and were popularized by Teddy Roosevelt upon his visit in 1906. Today variations are made all over the world, but purists buy Ecuadorian-made only.

Clockwise from top left: Christys' Folder Panama made in Ecuador ($73); Spring Jillian Hat made in the U.S. ($135); Robert Geller hat made in Japan ($139); Carla Hat made in the U.S. ($135); Grevi Hat made in Italy ($129); Madewell Panama hat made in Ecuador ($58). See also: Michael Stars, J.Crew, Bencraft Hatters.


Kay said...

I am such a fan of the Panama hat, and adore Mireille Darc!
xx, {with fingers crossed}

Milly said...

Wonderful post. I'm desperately trying to find my perfect Panama hat before my holiday on Saturday!x


Sarah said...

I remember being very shocked and saddened to find out that Panama hats weren't made in Panama - perhaps a slight overreaction.

Madeleine Roberts said...

I always wish I could pull off the Panama hat. I find it so cool and chic. But I'm just not a hat person..I lack the confidence to walk around in a hat. Perhaps it's because my father scarred my as a child. He always wore funny hats specifically floppy uncool hats.

Lizzie said...

Sara: hahaha, just maybe. very funny!

Madeleine: maybe your dad was just ahead of the trend???

Barbra R said...

You're also missing incredibly awesome made-in-Ecuador Panama hats from Goorin Brothers Hat Co, of Pittsburgh.