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New panama hat (and hat etiquette)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Kai, Mar 5, 2004.

  1. Kai

    Kai Distinguished Member

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    I received my panama hat from Brent Black's Panama hats yesterday, (just in time for our 2nd biggest snow storm of the year.) http://brentblack.com/ I'm very pleased with the hat. I got a classic fedora. It is a beautiful color, and the intricate weaving is pretty amazing. Brent was nice enough to send me two hats to choose from, trusting me to send back the one I didn't want. I'm looking forward to wearing it this summer and keeping the hot, high-altitude Colorado sun from baking my bald head. I'm curious as to what the current etiquette is regarding the wearing of hats. Clearly I can wear it outside, and I should take it off when I enter someone's home, or a restaurant, or a church, but what about other public buildings. Could I wear a hat while walking around at a mall, or other place of public business? My inclincation is to think that it should be ok, as there is no hat check or other place to leave the hat, and if I doff it, I've got to carry it around in my hand. What do you think? Do I wear a panama hat indoors, or not?
     


  2. NavyStyles

    NavyStyles Senior Member

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    I say take it off upon entering any building.  A gentleman only needs one roof over his head.
     


  3. rayk

    rayk Senior Member

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    Kai, if you would, please elaborate on what you like and dislike about the BB hat.  I bought a BB hat a few years ago, albeit one of his less expensive, and while not cheap, I got what I expected and was generally pleased.  A little research is sufficient to discover just how much work goes into the creation of an authentic high quality Montecristi fino fino.  I've recently ordered another Montecristi Panama, this time a fino fino, direct from a dealer in Montecristi with whom I've had extensive contact, and from whom I've tried to gain as much information as possible.  I'm hoping that it will be here before the New York spring is in full bloom. RE hat etiquette, I generally adhere to the rules that were widely accepted prior to the decline of the hat as an essential part of the properly attired male wardrobe.  While not exhaustive, this information  will at least provide a set of rules that, if followed, will never lead you into trouble.
     


  4. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    Rayk's link has interesting information. It doesn't cover all situations but it is a great start toward classic hat etiquette. I'd say that in a mall or area where there is a commons between individual shops, the hat should stay on until entering a shop. Possibly it would stay on in the shop depending on how crowded it is, etc. Obviously it would come off if you entered a restaurant in the mall. The basic rule seems to be that if the area is public or common the hat stays on, ref. the section in the link on office buildings and office building elevators.
     


  5. jcusey

    jcusey Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

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    I can't add much regarding hat etiquette to what others have said, but could you tell us how you settled on this particular maker? Like you, I have to wear a hat outdoors if I don't want to bake my scalp; and I would really rather not wear a baseball cap.
     


  6. jrh

    jrh Well-Known Member

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    JCusey: As I am sure you know deciding on a particular maker is often what moves you, assuming all else is equal. I decided to go with Montecristi Custom Hats in Santa Fe rather then Brent Black because I thought Milton Johnson the owner of Montecristi custom Hats was more stylin' and appeared to do higher end hats.  For my felts I went with Rands Custom Hats in Billings because they gave the clear answers.  Ritxch Rand does a very nice catalog.  Both companies have web pages.  Prices are in the hundreds of dollars. Both Milton Johnson and Rich Rand have made me wonderful hats.  Milton is capable of doing the Rolls Royce and Mercedes and Ritch, being a no nonsense guy, does the Mercedes.  Milton does Panamas and  fur felts.  Ritch does fur felts and orders his Panamas from Milton.  Both make the hat to you specs with vaiations in crown hieght and crunch, brim width and shape and materials used.  The options can be to much to choose from Montecristi is offering 25 % off for the month of March.  I just ordered the Tecate Panama and expect to see it this month.  Ritch can take several weeks to months. web pages are www.montecistihats.com www.randhats.com All I know of Mr. Black is his web page is very informative and his name is good. Regarding hats, they are an essential, functional, and stylin'.
     


  7. rayk

    rayk Senior Member

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    jcusey:  My first Montecristi hat was the product of literally years of periodic study: all of us remember those college years when we were still developing taste and acquisitiveness, but lacked the necessary funds to turn these into more tangible expressions.  At some point during those years I was introduced to the Montecristi hats of Brent Black.  Without exception, he has always been included in any list of the greatest providers of Montecristi hats.  There are others of marvelous talent who provide these wonderful accoutrements, but there are many more "hatters" who survive on too much hype and too little hat.  I'm familiar with many makers of Montecristi hats whose products are simply garbage.  Tread cautiously. You might evaluate  Panama Hatworks of Montecristi for a hat that is as good as any that can be had.  Remember, from $500 to $20,000, ALL Montecristi hats come from the same small group of villages around Montecristi, Ecuador, and the absolute best hat that you can commission there NEVER costs more than $1000 at the source, including blocking.  So the obvioius question is: for what did someone pay an additional $19000?  For market hype... if anybody tells you otherwise, they are wrong. jrh
    Just curious, what criteria did you use to determine "higher end hats"? Â I've been interested in fine Montecristi hats for better than 20 years, and have repeatedly encountered the opinion that there were many inferior hats to those of BB....none better. Â If your decision of higher quality was based on style alone, then, this subjective criterion is undisputable. Â If you believe, however, that there is an objective superiority, I'd be very interested in hearing about it.
     


  8. Kai

    Kai Distinguished Member

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    Reasons I picked Brent Black

    He's been around for a while, and has a reputation in the area.
    I liked his web page. It provided not only information, but shows his mania for hats.
    I corresponded with him over the internet, and he seemed like a decent person.
    I liked his money back, no questions asked guarantee.
    He sent me two hats and let me pick which one I liked.
    His hats are beautiful and classic.

    Looking forward to Summer now.
     


  9. TimelessRider

    TimelessRider Senior Member

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    I don't believe I've ever seen anyone wear a panama hat in NYC - I'm talking about the masses that go to and from work dressed in suits etc. I may see a fedora every now and then, more so in the fall/winter. Is a panama considered more of a warm weather casual hat? When and to what activities do you folks wear your panamas?
     


  10. rayk

    rayk Senior Member

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    TimelessRider:

    Panama hats are a quintessential summer hat.  You may have actually seen them more often than you realize; many men who wear a Panama wear one of the classic fedora styles, which, excepting their light color, look like any other fedora.

    All things given, however, hats in general are not popular, even in NYC.  It's not a surprise that you don't see a lot of Panama hats...or any other style hat, for that matter.  This is truly regrettable; a hat offers a gentleman a great opportunity to achieve a distinctive elegance.

    I generally wear my Montecristi during the warm months in NY whenever I'm not professionally engaged.  It goes exceedingly well with anything that I might choose to wear.  It takes awhile to feel comfortable in a hat, but once you've overcome the initial self-consciousness, it often becomes something without which you won't leave home.

    If you are in NYC, stop by Worth & Worth on W. 55th, just to take a look at the selection.  I'd be surprised if you got out without the acquisition of a new rakish adornment.
     


  11. Gladhatter

    Gladhatter Senior Member

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    Following the progression of this thread is a good primmer for how to go about choosing the right hat and hatter for your needs.

    Here you see some strong feelings supporting the hatters of choice for a selected couple of hats. The reasons all differing on the choosen ones but yet they are all sensible to the folks doing the choosing.

    This is idealic and the way choosing a hat and hatter should work out. Not all are compatible but the main theme is to be satisfied in the end.
     


  12. GBR

    GBR Distinguished Member

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    RE hat etiquette, I generally adhere to the rules that were widely accepted prior to the decline of the hat as an essential part of the properly attired male wardrobe. *While not exhaustive, this information *will at least provide a set of rules that, if followed, will never lead you into trouble.



    Information link does not work.
     


  13. Gladhatter

    Gladhatter Senior Member

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    Information link does not work.

    While the original link Ray posted was information supplied from the Steton web links, it is fairly common and shared information.

    Here is the same or similar content from the owners of Stetson:

    Hope this helps.

    Charlie
     


  14. Incroyable

    Incroyable Member

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    I can't add much regarding hat etiquette to what others have said, but could you tell us how you settled on this particular maker? Like you, I have to wear a hat outdoors if I don't want to bake my scalp; and I would really rather not wear a baseball cap.

    I have read about a certain sect of monks who made it a habit of applying lichens to their bare scalps; as a form of protection from the sun.
     


  15. Gladhatter

    Gladhatter Senior Member

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    I have read about a certain sect of monks who made it a habit of applying lichens to their bare scalps; as a form of protection from the sun.


    Interesting comment about the monks. Not sure where the information arrived from but am understanding that the purple pigment in a a dye that was used in some religious hats periods ago was gethered from lichens.
     


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