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Panama Hat Thread

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Burma Shave, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. Burma Shave

    Burma Shave One of the Regulars

    Interested in panama hats?

    Check out this book: The Panama Hat Trail, by Tom Miller, published in 1988 by Vintage Departures, a division of Vintage Books.

    Of course, some of the information included is outdated, since it's close to 2 decades old. However, the essentials -- how the hats are made, for example -- remain true.

    Rather than try to summarize the book, I'll simply copy the back-cover text: "Tom Miller sets out on more than a journey -- he engages in a rare and extraordinary detective story. Panama hats, those fashionable head toppers with a style and mythology all their own, are America's most popular haberdashery. But where do they come from? When the answer in Ecuador, not Panama, the intrigue begins. Tracing these hats from the harvesting of jungle straw to their sale in California stores, Miller's quest brings him face to face with drug traffickers, zealous missionaries, Amazon prostitutes, and more than a few banana republics. All in all, an exceptionally entertaining adventure played out in a part of the world we rarely see."

    It's good stuff. Only about one-third to one-half of the book is about the hats, including history, production and marketing. But the rest of the book is pretty interesting travelogue, so many people here on the Lounge will likely enjoy it.
  2. Read it awhile back. A good book about how Panamas are made...KC
  3. stylin

    stylin Familiar Face

    Nah.. Prefer fur felt to Panama look....perhaps if i settle down in S. America.
  4. Hemingway Jones

    Hemingway Jones I'll Lock Up Bartender

    You just need the right one. Check out the gangster in "Key Largo" or Victor Lazlo in "Casablanca," or Warren Beatty's "Clyde." That, my friend, is a fine Panama. ;)
    M Hatman likes this.
  5. The book almost exclusively focuses on the Cuenca hats and only hits on the surface of the Montecristis.
  6. Stylin, both are great hats. A fine Montecristi Panama is one of the greatest works of art in existence. The first time I held one in my hands, looked at the unbelievably fine weave and put it on my head, I knew I was in love...KC
  7. couldn't agree more with KC

    Actually, the reason i got into fedorae is because of panamas (panamae?) Whilst travelling in Athens, i stumbled to a hat shop that sells unfinished montechristis. when i finally touched one, tears almost fell from my eyes. I bought one in the optimo style (the one with the ridge running down the middle of the crown), and still haven't gotten around to send it to Mr. Fawcett to put on the sweat band and bow. I'll post some pices when i do.
  8. I got my first fur felt fedora back in December, just in time for the coldest winter here in the San Fernando Valley that I can remember. In a few months, we'll be back to 100¬? + temperatures, and I may be on the lookout for a Panama.
  9. Ok fellas, lets show what ya got. All straws are welcome and appreciated.

    These first two are my vintage straws, a Lee panama and a Adam milan.



    I finished this body last year and it has served me well.

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2011
  10. Zig2k143

    Zig2k143 Practically Family

    My frist white straw:

    totallyfrozen and addison like this.
  11. I can not say anything but good about Panama Bobs Straws. I am fortunate to have a few and here they are.



  12. Nice lid zig
  13. This is a modern Stetson and is working out fine as yard hat.

  14. Zig2k143

    Zig2k143 Practically Family

    Thanks I was uncertain about a white hat for myself but I think it looks good.
  15. deanglen

    deanglen My Mail is Forwarded Here

    I have since put a different ribbon on this hat, a Borsalino.

    Max30 likes this.
  16. Not a Panama but a nice soft shantung:

  17. Nice lid Aaron. I have been wearing Shantung westerns for decades. I picked up a Guatemalan palm 2 years ago, it is very durable, but quite a bit heavier than other straws that I have had.

    I like the Boso Dean, looks coooooool
  18. Zig2k143

    Zig2k143 Practically Family

    Ok what is the difference between a straw hat and a Shantung hat?
  19. There are different types of material used in making "straw" hats. Shantung is generally used for western hats but sometimes you find it used on fedoras.

  20. Zig2k143

    Zig2k143 Practically Family

    Is it a good material?

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