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Optimo Chicago Quality, recommendations, etc

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Lemko Ray, Aug 10, 2018 at 5:29 PM.

  1. Lemko Ray

    Lemko Ray New in Town

    Messages:
    1
    Hi Gents

    Nice to be here - I have followed this forum for a while and am happy to have finally joined.

    As this summer has been hot and sunny, I finally decided to buy a Panama hat. My work takes me all over the globe, so I have been browsing wherever I stop - London, Rome, NYC, etc. Brent Black seems to be the undisputed master in terms of reputation, however I got into Panamas a bit late in the summer and his hat ordering process can take a while, so decided to try him for next season and find something more ready made for the time being.

    I settled a few weeks ago on an Optimo Panama, their basic level Panama. Not a cheap hat, however, to my untrained eye, the hat seemed to be very well made and designed, better than the others I have seen. I chose the basic weave as it appealed to me, the more coarse, rustic look. Unlike the hats in other places I have tried, which offered very little sun protection as they were so thin (even expensive ones), this Optimo is great in the sun, offering good shade. Have worn it out in all sorts of contexts, and it always attracts attention and smiles from ladies...I was quite impressed by their finer weaves, and am thinking I probably should have gotten a few notches up from mine - oh well.

    3C78BC0C-86E9-4E8C-9542-5C546820692A.jpeg

    One thing niggles me slightly, and I am trying not to be too OCD about this. This hat is a very low grade weave it seems - was counting the stitching. For the price I paid, I am wondering how to tell value with these things. I dont have complaints as I needed a hat and this was the best option I could find, however I’m wondering how this lower grade hat compares to Mr Black’s offerings, or someone else’s. The weave is quite even and uniform, also the colour is even - for what it is, it appears to have been very well made and I love the way it looks. Does anyone have experience with these? Also, would a lower grade weave be less sturdy or more so than a finer weave?

    I really dont want to get into Panamas too much, maybe buy a few and rotate. The Optimo Milan looks beautiful too - I may get that along with a Black, if Optimo can get me one, the wait list is long it seems.


    Any suggestions would be helpful for future hats, also experiences with the Optimo and their longevity, quality, etc



    Thanks

    Lemko Ray
     
  2. belfastboy

    belfastboy Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,197
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    Check out NorthWest Hats, out of Eugene. Mike brings in Panama hats to his shop and does a great job of bashing it to your specs, ribbons etc. He is under $200 and offers great value. If you would like a bespoke Milan check out Vintage Sillouhettes, Art sews his own Milans out of real milan straw. I have to buy one but it is next on my list. I just need to decide on a straight Milan or one of his Duplex.
     
  3. belfastboy

    belfastboy Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,197
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    Further thought, check out Tom Gomez on ETSY. He does great work with his Panama bodies and his pricing is most reasonable for the quality of the offering.
     

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