It takes a certain type of man to pull off a straw hat and not look like an utter fool. Of course, there are those designs which no-one, never mind how cool they are, can pull off. We’re looking at you, straw boater. But, on the whole, if you’ve got the confidence to commit to the style, a Panama hat will give you panache unlike any other.
So allow us to convince you of the virtues of these woven wonders, and listen to the reasons that being a ‘man of straw’ isn’t always a bad thing…
One of the main problems of hats in general is that they look far too formal – your top hats, bowlers and felt fedoras – or unforgivably informal – think the baseball cap, beanie or, god help us, visors. However, occupying the middle ground, is humble straw.
Neither too smart nor too casual, a straw hat straddles the sartorial line deftly and with great style – meaning it’ll look just as good with a linen suit at a summer party as it will on the beach paired with swim shorts and a Cuban-collared shirt.
As we clutch at the last straws of summer, it’s important to keep dressing for the season. That means lightweight shirts and linen trousers – even if the weather would have us think that the sunny days are behind us. But, on the days when the clouds do part – and on the many holidays yet to be taken this summer – the straw hat is a must-have accessory.
Breathable, great for keeping the rays off your face, and with a light summer look, these hats were made for summer, and are great for travelling given their minimal weight. Some hatters even offer Panama hats or straw fedoras that can roll up in order to make them easier to store.
Brimmed straw hats have been around for decades – and will continue to be in vogue for years to come. And, as with their versatility across formal and informal attire, hats such Panamas can be worn by the young and the old with equal aplomb.
The only rule we’d recommend in this department is brim-related. For reasons we can’t fathom, but seem set in straw-hat stone, it appears that your hat will look better if the brim gets bigger with your age. Young men, stick to a straw trilby. But, older gents, embrace the brim and go for the wide look.