I just moved to San Antonio, TX and am interested in buying a Panama Hat. Appreciate any recommendations on store I can visit.
Sorry to revive this 3 week old thread but;
For this there is a lot of information over at the Fedora Lounge. Basically there are 3 players in the fine Montecristi market. Panama Bob, Optimo Hats, and Brent Black. I chose Brent Black, all 3 are exceptional hats. Quality straw, nice neat weaves and a good amount of weaves per inch. The hats are actually not made in Panama but come from Equador, Montecristi hats are not made in Montecristi, I think they are brimmed or finished but not 100% made there. Sorry my hat knowledge is a bit rusty. Premium hats are also "Hand Blocked" instead of just put in a device and pressed to give the hat the pinch. Hand blocked hats are much more durable and hold their shape longer. But like all things in life expect to pay for them. Montecristi's run about $500. Panama Bob's hats are the best priced and very popular on the Fedora Lounge.
Robert, Panama Hats: http://www.panamas.biz/
Graham, Optimo Hats: http://www.optimohats.com/
Brent Black Hats: http://www.brentblack.com/
My personal experience with PANAMA BOB was bad, Big delays,i ordered a Cuenca grade 16 hat suppose to take 6 weeks and end up to have it in 18 weeks. And surprise after 18 weeks i receive a Cuenca grade 3-5. Than after all long wait he tell me if i don't like it to send it back.What bad business practice,Robert Weber strategy business is bait and switch for me so called PANAMA BOB. Spend little more money and treat your self good to other vendor. Read clear the terms in panama bob website www.panamabob.com/ and you will find his terms are kind misleading to be in his advantage. Horrible business practice.If you want to gamble your money there than Good Luck. I will post a photo with the junk hat he send me.
Now he abandon the his website www.panamabob.com and move his website to http://panamas.biz/ a typical move for dishonest hat makers.
Avoid panama http://panamas.biz/ ,If you want to get a the bait and switch business scheme Panama Bob will be a bad move.Think twice and do your home work before you buy from Robert Weber.The fedora lounge a lot of threads belong to Robert Weber under different user names so he can boost his panama hats bait and switch sales.