New Panama hat

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by AlanC, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

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    Arriving bright and early this morning was my new Art Fawcett blocked, Panama Bob supplied Montecristi body. Although tempted by so many different block shapes, I finally settled on what I really have been wanting for a long time, a traditional Optimo block.


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  2. marc237

    marc237 Senior member

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    Really very nice. Will you post pictures with it in use?
     
  3. Dragon

    Dragon Senior member

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    +1 I would love to see it on you.
     
  4. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Very nice, Alan. Will you actually roll it up?
     
  5. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

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    I'll try to post a picture of me wearing it later, although it will likely be tomorrow.

    Doc, I will not be rolling this Panama. I do plan to get a (much) cheaper version for rolling and travel.
     
  6. Roger

    Roger Senior member

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    That's a beauty, Alan. Can you tell us a little about the process here? I gather that you bought the hat unblocked from Panama Bob and then had Art Fawcett block it. Correct? I'm sure there's a good reason for this, but why didn't you just have Panama Bob block it--or use whatever service he does for blocking?

    I really like the block shape. I got a Panama recently with the typical Fedora block shape. When I move up to a better Panama, I think I may very well go with the shape you chose. [​IMG]
     
  7. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

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    Thanks, Roger.

    I did purchase through Panama Bob. With Robert you can choose Ecuadorian or US blocking, the latter being more expensive, of course. Robert has a relationship with Art already, so you can purchase the US blocking option with your hat and specify that you want Art to block it. I've previously ordered from Art so he also has my hat size specs. When the hat body arrived from Ecuador Robert shipped it to Art (I'm sure with other orders, too), and then I worked with Art on what I wanted (block shape, ribbon color and style). The hat then shipped from Art directly to me. All of that was included in the price I paid Robert for the hat and US blocking.

    I fear this won't be the last time this process plays itself out for me. [​IMG]

    I will add that ordering from Bob can take a little time, but you're also dealing with a truly handmade item shipped from Central America. Although it's easy to get impatient, most of us know that with such things it can take some time.
     
  8. Ivan Kipling

    Ivan Kipling Senior member

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    Suave and stylish. You might want to watch a great, 1940 movie: The Letter. Fantastic film. Lots of elegant wardrobe changes. Panama hats, included.
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  9. compfi

    compfi Well-Known Member

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    How fine a weave is this in weaves/sq in? I've been itching to buy one, but didn't know how fine to go. I like yours so it would be a perfect reference point for me.

    Do you find that it holds its shape quite well? My understanding is that the superfine weaves are a bit more flimsy, blow off in the wind, that sort of thing.

    Thanks! Looks great!

    Arriving bright and early this morning was my new Art Fawcett blocked, Panama Bob supplied Montecristi body. Although tempted by so many different block shapes, I finally settled on what I really have been wanting for a long time, a traditional Optimo block.
     
  10. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

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    This one is 400+ wpsi, but I purchased the 300+ wpsi/$179 level (the extra wpsi are a bonus). That was a (relatively) comfortable price for me. The next level of fineness is 500+ and another $100.

    One thing to remember about Panamas is that although the finer woven hats are, well, finer, they are also not as cool. The cheaper Panamas will allow more heat to escape. Panamas can be woven fine enough actually to hold water, but such a hat would be far beyond my ability to purchase and really defeat the purpose for which I want it.

    Thanks for all the kind comments.
     
  11. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    Cool hat Alan.

    I love the rakish brim angle that seems to be common to many of the pics of Art Fawcett's hats I've seen online.
     
  12. NukeMeSlowly

    NukeMeSlowly Senior member

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    AlanC,

    How did you work out the crown height and brim size? Was this in collaboration with Art Fawcett on a previous hat or did you guesstimate?

    I would love one of these hats but I have a large melon head and I am concerned about getting the right balance, especially since I would not be able to try it on until it is delivered.
     
  13. Sator

    Sator Senior member

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    I own a couple of Panamas but not one like that. When spring hits these shores I will be tempted!
     
  14. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

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    I would love one of these hats but I have a large melon head and I am concerned about getting the right balance, especially since I would not be able to try it on until it is delivered.

    I have worked with Art before so he has an idea of my dimensions, and I did specify the brim width I wanted. My head is larger than average (7 3/8), too. If you have concerns, I would just express those to Art and he'll work with you.

    For many--including myself--there is a period of getting used to having something up there on your head. It tends to look big, but it's exaggerated in your eyes. When you see someone else wearing the same hat it looks fine. Of course, Panamas need to have a somewhat bigger brim in order to perform their function of blocking out the sun.
     
  15. Will

    Will Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Excellent choice Alan. The Optimo is the king of Panamas, in my opinion.
     

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