Panama Hat Help, Please...

Discussion in 'Hats' started by kiltie, May 19, 2010.

  1. kiltie

    kiltie Practically Family

    Messages:
    733
    Location:
    lone star state
    I'll be taking a road trip in about three weeks and I need a hat ( yes, I said NEED, not want...). I'd like it in my dirty paws by the first week of June, so I need something that a shop would have in stock.
    Specifically, I'm looking for:

    Panama
    Optimo/Colonial crown
    2 1/2" brim or less
    Natural Color, though I'll take white in a pinch
    7 1/4
    $100 or less, but will go a bit higher for something REALLY solid

    I've scoped out the usual suspects ( Village Hat Shop, ebay, etc... ), and I do have a couple of standbys that'll do as a last resort, but I'd like some input over the next day or two before I commit ( lest someone whip out the old "I Googled 'panama-hat-optimo' and got eleventy billion hits..." post ). I'm looking for either personal experience or a shop that someone particularly likes to support that I can get behind.
    I'm really keen on getting an order in within the next coupla days, so I thank you in advance for whatever you've got.
     
  2. Atticus Finch

    Atticus Finch Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,717
    Location:
    Coastal North Carolina, USA
  3. fluteplayer07

    fluteplayer07 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,844
    Location:
    Michigan
    Don't have one from Panamabob yet, but from what I've heard, he's one of the best out there, and his overheads are low. I'd second that recommendation. Or you could always go vintage. And the classifieds here are a great resource. ScottF has an amazing one up right now (albeit over your budget).
     
  4. Razzman

    Razzman One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,357
    Location:
    South of Boston
    I'll second Panama Bob. I've purchased two hats from him, and I'm satisfied with them.
     
  5. ScottF

    ScottF Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,742
    I have one in the Classifieds that would do as a last resort, but it's over $100.
     
  6. Rick Blaine

    Rick Blaine My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,958
    Location:
    Saskatoon, SK CANADA
    Panama Bob



    :arated: No doubt. Have a few & have given a few as gifts. All purchased on eBay. Always has come through f/ me... my .o2
     
  7. kiltie

    kiltie Practically Family

    Messages:
    733
    Location:
    lone star state
    Just had an email exchange with Robert: that's the route I'll be taking. He was super fast in his reply, hitting the nail right square on the head. You can't beat that attitude. Thanks for the replies to my OP everyone. Robert says he can have the hat out by the weekend, so hopefully I can post it late next week. Thanks again everyone and most especially, thank you Bob for your help in a minor bind. Great service thus far!!!!
     
  8. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,717
    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO
    PanamaBob is first class in my book. I have three of his Panamas and they're all great values and nice hats.
     
  9. Maguire

    Maguire Practically Family

    Messages:
    619
    Location:
    New York
    I have a panama hat question as well- i'm interested in getting the "stetson retro panama hat". It looks good and the price is decent. But they for some reason refuse to sell it in "large" size. Does anyone know why? or perhaps they simply don't carry it until later in the year? I've looked at several sites and every single one has the same issue.

    http://www.delmonicohatter.com/Merc...Code=IT545&Category_Code=Stetson_Panama_Straw
     
  10. kiltie

    kiltie Practically Family

    Messages:
    733
    Location:
    lone star state
    I think "large" tends generally to fall into the 7 1/4 - 7 3/8 hat size. It'd be my guess that they sell out in that size relatively quickly. Factor in the popularity of the "stingy" paper hats that are still hot right now ( God help is all...) and I'd bet there's not an especially deep stock in most shops to begin with. Just speculating, of course...
     
  11. Rick Blaine

    Rick Blaine My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,958
    Location:
    Saskatoon, SK CANADA

    In stock here.
     
  12. Maguire

    Maguire Practically Family

    Messages:
    619
    Location:
    New York
    GREAT! I just ordered it. Thanks again!
     
  13. RHY

    RHY One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    181
    Location:
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Panama Bob - Quality hats

    I purchased one of his hats on Ebay a couple of years ago and it really nice for the money. Recently, I made a serious mistake and bid on an Ultrafino on Ebay. When it came, I was very disappointed in the quality of the hat.

    I paid more for the Ultrafino, but really think I would not wear it in public. The quality is that poor. The weave size was the same, but the Ultrafino material was not even finished in any manner. The material was rounded and shiny compared with Panama Bob's. The brim was finished with sewing machine in a rough manner. You cannot even tell how Bob's is finished unless you get within a couple of inches of the edge.
     
  14. kiltie

    kiltie Practically Family

    Messages:
    733
    Location:
    lone star state
    GOT THE HAT -

    I got the hat today and...WOW! First off, I wasn't expecting it so quickly, and secondly: GREAT HAT! Thanks, Robert. I really appreciate all the help from you and thanks for being so accomodating. I'll be back - definately.

    I'll put some pics up in today's "new hats" thread. Thanks for suggestions everyone.
     
  15. Panamabob

    Panamabob Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,012
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, Indiana
    Como fue? Kiltie's went great...how was the stetson? (shamefully asked) :p
     
  16. kiltie

    kiltie Practically Family

    Messages:
    733
    Location:
    lone star state
    I have no bones with "modern" Stetsons. I have one felt I'm very fond of ( a Firenze in sort of a green color... ) that's held up well with regular wear over the last few years. That one is a "Soveriegn". I had a "Royal" ( forget the model ) that was...okay. But those are the last two modern ( post 70's ) mass production hats I'll likely ever buy, save for Akubra. The quality is...inconsistant.

    The point is, I'm not a modern Stetson hater, so I'm not running down the straw that I have for the sake of it. Ten years ago, I think it was around $60 - $65. At the time, I figured it was just fine. Unfortunately, for me, a crack devoloped in the rather brittle straw within a couple of years of VERY light wear. Secondly, the pattern of the weave is, shall we say, a bit eccentric and it has an awful machine sewn underwelt. Finally, the ribbon is - and there's no other way to put this - a joke, both in construction and application.

    Over the years of coming to recognize what's a good hat and what's okay and what's just plain bad, I have to honestly say that the Stetson straw fit's into the low end of "okay", particularly when factoring in the price. I realize now that I've got a five dollar hat with a fifty-five dollar label. That's okay: lesson learned.

    I know the hat that I got from PanamaBob is not top of the line; not the end-all in straw hats. Right now, I can't afford the end-all in straw hats, nor would I care to make that kind of investment in a straw hat. I just wouldn't wear it enough to justify the investment: I tend wear felt all year. So this hat from Bob is supposed to be entry ( re-entry? ) level for me. My first straw in a decade.

    But what an entry level hat! It leads me to only imagine how nice these hats could get as you move up the product line. For the price, I am 100% satisfied. At twice the price, it'd still beat the pants off Stetson and I would be VERY satisfied. It got it's first extended wear last weekend and performed like a champ.
    Here's a pic from the Pacific Combat Zone ( better outlined in my thread in the WWII section ) -

    http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj290/safdkiltie/PIC_0026.jpg

    And here are some side-by-sides with the Stetson -

    Stetson:
    http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj290/safdkiltie/IMG_1361.jpg
    http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj290/safdkiltie/IMG_1363.jpg

    PanamaBob:
    http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj290/safdkiltie/IMG_1362.jpg
    http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj290/safdkiltie/IMG_1364.jpg

    I think the pics say what needs to be said. Thanks again!
     
  17. bradford

    bradford Familiar Face

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Sacramento / Phoenix
    Just curious and maybe Panama Bob or someone can answer. Why are the prices so different on the direct website vs. Ebay?
     
  18. Mr E Train

    Mr E Train One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,050
    Location:
    Terminus
    Kiltie, your PB looks much the same as mine, although I added a pleated puggaree, which I think improves it. It's a fine hat.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Panamabob

    Panamabob Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,012
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, Indiana
    Website hats are different than ebay hats. Some of the website hats may appear on ebay, but the prices are a direct reflection of what I have to pay for the hats. If you are worried about quality, don't be too alarmed. Most of our lower dollar hats command big prices from name companies. Most ebay hats are better quality than the Cuenca $15.00 website hat, but not as good as most of the $39.00 Cuenca website hats. Some Montecristis are the same, just might have to get rid of some stock.

    I've sent a Cuenca to both Kiltie and Maguire and they were as good or better than the Stetsons in their opinions.
     
  20. HatRak

    HatRak Familiar Face

    Messages:
    80
    Location:
    Virginia's Shenandoah valley
    PB,

    I ordered an extra-fino Cuenca in the Caballero style last week and am excitedly waiting its arrival! Hope it gets here before I head off to Florida for a couple weeks in mid-July. Will post pics when it lands on my head.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.