Thursday, June 5, 2008

Napoleon Didn't Wear a Panama Hat!

But you can...especially now that it's summer in New York City. 
Panama hats are a cool, breatheable way to protect your head from the sun's rays.  They're made only in Ecuador and can be priced anywhere from 1oo up to thousands for an extra, extra, extra super fino Montecristi.  Yes, I did say thousands.
These hats are woven by hand from the fibre of the toquilla palm, stripped to different widths and formed, like a basket, into various patterns and shapes. There are artificial straws on the market that resemble a panama weave, but they never feel the same on the head. A true panama straw hat should be light, and comfortable, turning you into either Rico Suavay, or perhaps Greta Garbo, according to your mood. Or just yourself, ready to deal with the heat of the season.  It's the hat most people try on at Ellen Christine Millinery, and the hat that most people find when they're on vacation in exotic lands.  We like to do different ideas in fedoras and porkpies: a groovy jazzman, in black straw, or a MacDaddy in a checkered straw.......not every panama needs to be a natural white.  Charlie Chan wore the most popular style panama of the 1920's: the Optimo, or Colonial style, with the ridge down the center, and the flat brim.  Charlton Heston wore the plantation style, usually cocked off to one side.  The Duke of Windsor and Winston Churchill wore their favorite styles.  Gentlemen through the ages, good and bad,(okay, not all of them were gentlemen) all wore a Panama Hat.  Jump to modern day, and what do you see?  I don't know...I'm still looking.......hey guys, start wearing hats again, please!  You all look so good in a hat, really.  Andre 3000 wears one, or two, or more.  Kid Creole always wears one......Willy De Ville has his. Will Smith, Brad Pitt, Kid Rock, Bruce Willis... So what's stopping the regular dude from donning a hat and doing his thing every day? Tell me, so I can change it.

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