Sunday, December 4, 2011

Panama Hats

...and other styles about which I will no doubt be corrected.

After wrapping up business and the last portions (fragments for me) of the recharging effects of the tropics, the flight home to New England will be met with mixed emotions.  In a recent post's comment section, a certain southern gentleman made mention of a hat pictured in one of the photos.  I needed little excuse at all to return to the hat shop to procure one.

The preference was stated, and the supply was bountiful.

I picked out the one that matched the order.

His band selection was a good choice: solid black.

It was tightened and measured.

Fitted and pinned.





Boxed and Shipped.  It will reach the Continental US before I will.  I hope it fits.


A day later...

Seems that it does. No gamble for ADG.


Then, at the last minute, I couldn't resist getting one for myself, with a band to match Jr.'s.

In the background, the first hat is ready, while mine is being measured for its band.

Mine in the foreground, Jr.'s smaller one behind.

$60 seemed reasonable, especially because I had spent $0 the preceding weeks, and it was the least expensive one there in my size.  Luckily, my taste for small brims was rewarded, because the brim diameter is directly correlated to price: smaller brim, cheaper hat.

Then, I got a tour of the other hats...

This one costs $6000... unfathomable to a Yankee.

I was then shown the $1000 hats.  Still, way beyond my tolerance, but beautiful at close examination.  I held my $60 hat next to it (mine is on the right) and you can see the difference in weave.  My hostess then held it a foot above my hands and dropped it to me.  It floated down like a silk scarf or a plastic shopping bag.  It was as light as a feather... and a surreal moment.

A closer shot:

"It takes over six months to make."  Judging by the impressively delicate hand weave, I'd say that is a generous production estimate.  Again, $1000 on the left and $60 on the right.

I'll be flying home soon, and sadly, the hat will have to wait until next summer to be brought out... just sitting on the shelf, reminding me about the grinding winter that will be yoking me soon enough.  I can at least get some miles under its grosgrain band for now.


  1. Looks like you had an amazing time. With winter setting in here, I'm extremely jealous, especially when it comes to the fresh food you must have been savoring.

    That pocket square in the last photo is ridiculously cool. The print looks like fancy origami paper or something.

  2. A deightful essay, and a pleasure to read (and see). A panama hat, purchased more than half a dozen years ago at Jay Kos's store (then) on upper Lexington Avenue, is one of my most-favored possessions, and the cornerstone of my collection of hats. Even though beginning to show signs of wear and age, I love it, and will rue the day when it will be no longer wearable, having succumbed to the vagaries of time (as I appear to be doing myself). As a "hair-challenged" man, I find the wearing of hats to be not only in good taste, but also wise when confronted by the summer sun's rays and the chill blast of winter's wrath. RD

  3. Well done Sunshine. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I loved the slow order image flow leading to ADG's mug.
    Great fun!
    ...I laughed OUT loud having one (actually number 2) of ADG's fav.s: A dirty Stoli martini...
    Nice cap. My lovely sis-in-law bought me one, in Panama, but they had not my size: Gi-normous head I have... so... i was really really bummed.
    ... btw, a $K for a hat?... that is a LOT of vinyl.... I'd stick to vinyl....

  5. *Mr. Midwester: The pocket square was made by my friend a few years back. I have some pics of it somewhere in the blog.

    *Reggie: When your Panama finally gives up the ghost, you can send away for one of these... they ship around the world daily.

    *Anon: Sunshine was the reason I got it.

    *Scale Worm: I guess ADG and I disagree on the elementals of a martini. What is your hat size?

  6. Safe traveling; we've ordered up some rain for your return.


  7. *JKG: I have a bottle of rum for you, by the way.

  8. Whee -- I'll be in touch when we can head north.



Let's keep it clean... but if you DO have to get foul, at least give it a bit of wit. Also, advertising disguised as comments will be deleted, unless it is clever.