Here is our Digest guide to summer hats, accompanied by a great visit to our friends at Goorin Brothers in Nashville, TN.
Your quintessential summer hat. Everybody knows it. Everybody should have one. Interestingly enough, the Panama hat originally comes from Ecuador, but we guess the “Ecuador hat” didn’t sound quite right.
Panamas, among all summer hats, are a work of art and not every hat bearing the name actually deserves it. Real Panama hats are only a fraction of what is casually called a Panama. The vast majority of straw hats are not Panama hats. Panama hats, originated in the town of Montecristo, adhere to very strict standards of weaving, similarly to a fine suit from Italian wool. Although there are quality measures and grades used in the market, we recommend caution: grades differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. The only way to determine the real quality of the weaving is to count the weave, the so called Montecristi Cuenta. Using a simple measuring tape, the weaves per square inch can be counted and the vertical and horizontal counts can be multiplied. The result will give you an idea of the hat quality. Highest quality hats can achieve a count of close to 1000 and above. Good hats, however, can come in counts of about 300, depending on your personal budget.
Goorin Brothers offers a variety of authentic panama hats. Besides, they offer diverse selection of other straw hats in different shapes, colors, and sizes. A visit to a store near you will certainly help you find the hat best suited for your.
Boater hats have a very distinct, flat form for both the top and the brim. Traditionally, boaters are made from exotic sennit straw, braided from dried high grass or palm leaves. In England, South Africa, New Zealand, and also in Australia, the boater is still part of some school uniforms for young gentlemen – and also for ladies.
The hat is famously featured in countless dancing scenes by classics such as Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin (see the clip here), or Fred Astaire and is considered a fairly formal sort of headgear. Boaters should therefore not be worn without the proper attire. For more casual settings, the gentleman should switch to the Panama hat which is perfectly fine with your shorts at the beach. The boater hat, however, can be considered the perfect choice for the modern gentleman to accentuate his attire for special events like the Kentucky Derby or for any classy celebration in the warmer months.
If you are looking for a great boater hat, click here for our friends at Goorin Brothers‘ Nashville shop.