No one type of hat has the versatility of a Panama hat. Instead, Panama hats come in various styles that can suit anyone’s fashion sense.
What’s the best type of Panama hat for you that you can wear whenever you want?
We’ve handpicked the five most stylish Panama hats that are perfect for daytime activities and nights out on the town.
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The History of Panama Hats
Panama hats are one of the world’s most iconic styles of hats for both men and women. However, despite its name, Panama hats aren’t from Panama.
Panama hats are from Ecuador and are made of a type of Ecuadorian straw from the toquilla palm plant. As far back as the 1600s, hat weaving was a beginning in the town of Montecristi, which many people consider to be the birthplace of these hats.
On a trip to the Panama Canal in 1904, President Teddy Roosevelt was photographed wearing a traditional Ecuadorian straw hat, the Montecristi hat. After this photograph became famous, that style of hat was called the Panama hat.
Another interesting thing about Panama hats is that the term refers to the material that hats are constructed from, Ecuadorian toquilla straw, not the actual style of the hat. This construction feature is why you can see Panama hats in various styles like fedoras, outback, and safari, to name a few.
For a hat to be a genuine Panama hat, it must be constructed from toquilla straw, and it can vary in quality depending on the fineness of the weave and the straw.
American Hat Makers – Riverboat Panama Gambler Hat
The American Hat Makers Riverboat Gambler Panama Hat has that iconic riverboat style with a 2 ½” brim and high 3 ¾” crown, which offers excellent sun protection.
Its Fino Grade Panama Straw design offers class, comfort, and the cooling effect of this style of hat.
The Riverboat Gambler hat is also lightweight and durable. It comes with a sewn-in sweatband to help wick moisture away from your forehead.
This stylish hat looks good anywhere, from the beach, the river, the golf course, and on sultry nights out on the town.
It comes in four sizes, from small to large, and it does tend to fit a bit larger than average. It comes in a classic natural color as well.
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Scala – Roswell Panama Hat
This Scala handwoven Roswell Panama straw safari hat is perfect for afternoons in the park and evenings sipping on cocktails.
It’s made with handwoven Grade 8 Ecuadorian Panama and comes with a sharp 2 ¼” brim and a modest 4 ½” crown. The Roswell has a stylish Grosgrain Band and a Vom Bauer sweatband to keep your brow nice and dry on the hottest days.
It’s coated with Teflon, so it’s water-repellent in case you get caught in a random afternoon shower while out and about.
It comes in one natural color and three sizes M, L, and XL.
American Hat Makers – Pamela White Panama Hat
Panama hats aren’t just for men. The American Hat Makers Pamela White Panama hat has a chill yet sophisticated style. It is perfect for a stylish woman walking down busy city streets shopping or taking a barefoot stroll on the beach at sunset.
It’s got a 3” brim, and a subtle 3 ½” crown provides ample protection from the sun. The Pamela is lightweight and comfortable to wear all day long.
The Pamela Panama Hat comes in four sizes, from small to extra large, and fits true to size.
Tommy Bahama – Remy Handwoven Panama Safari Hat
The Tommy Bahama Remy Panama Safari Hat is an outback-style hat handwoven from Panama straw in Ecuador. It’s great for afternoon rounds at the golf course and drinks at the yacht club after the competition.
Its 3” brim provides plenty of protection from the sun, while the elasticized sweatband will give you hours of cool comfort when wearing it. The Remy also has a reinforced crown tip to help ensure it keeps its shape.
It’s trimmed with a contrast leather band and a stylish sailfish pin.
The Remy Panama Safari Hat comes in two sizes: S/M and L/XL.
Scala – Highlands Panama Fedora
The Highlands Panama Fedora is part of the Classico collection from Scala, which never disappoints in producing stylish hats.
This Highlands is made from handwoven Ecuadorian Panama straw. It features a 2 ⅝” brim and a prominent 4 ½” crown for that classic fedora shape.
It also has a stylish 16-line Grosgrain band that adds to its simple yet sophisticated style. The Highlands also has a twill sweatband to keep your brow dry and cool when wearing it on jaunts around town.
The highland comes in a bleached color. It also comes in three sizes: medium, large, and extra large.
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Panama Hats For a Cool Look Day or Night
Because Panama hats are defined by what they are made of, not by a specific style, they are one of the most versatile hats one can wear.
There are cool styles of Panama hats for both men and women that can be worn for outdoor activities and nights out on the town.
From fedoras, safari, outback, and gambler, there are Panama hats with varying brim widths and crowns that can help showcase anyone’s facial features.
Panama hats aren’t just stylish. They are also functional, as they provide excellent protection from the sun and their breathability helps keep their wearers cool on sultry days.
Suppose you’re looking for a hat that is as fashionable as it is functional and can be worn all day long and well into the evening. In that case, the Panama hat might be the perfect fit.