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.