Men's Hand Blocked Montecristi Panama Hats

Men's Hand Blocked Montecristi Panama Hats

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Five Simple Steps to Eternal Hat Happiness

1. Choose a style

Take a look at the seventeen styles below.

2. Measure your head or request a free tape measure

3. Place your order

You may request a tape measure when you place your order online or by phone.

4. Try on the sweatbands I will send you

I will mail you five sweatbands. One will be sized to the measurement you give me. The others will be incrementally larger and smaller. Choose your perfect fit.

5. Open the box, put on your hat, look in the mirror, smile

Your hand-blocked, custom-sized Montecristi Panama hat looks great, fits perfectly.

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Your Very Own Hand-Woven, Hand-Blocked, Custom-Sized Montecristi Panama Hat.

Yes, I can custom make your hat even when your head is there and my hands are here.

Most heads do not come in exact hat sizes. So let’s forget about hat sizes. I will custom size your hat to fit your head. Just measure your head. If you don’t have a tape measure, send me an email and I’ll send you one of my hat size tape measures and a few suggestions to help you measure your head accurately. Easy. BBB@BrentBlack.com Include your regular mailing address; the tape measure cannot be emailed. You can also go ahead and order your hat today, just click to request a tape measure when you are asked for your head size.

Style Photos

The photos are representative of the general look of the style. Please don’t assume your hat will look exactly like one of the photos. If you fall in love with one of the photos, just let me know and I’ll aim for that proportion. If you want a flatter brim, or a wider one, than in one of the photos, or a taller crown, or whatever, let me know and I’ll do my best.

Classic Fedora

Regular Brims

Classic Fedora

In the 1940’s when men were men and women were dames, the “Panama” Fedora was the gentleman’s hat of choice in sultry climes and classic films. It remains the most popular style today.

There are many style variations that are all called Fedoras. I offer five different Fedora styles of Montecristi Panama hats.

The Classic Fedora is my personal favorite. It is, to me, the most elegant, most classic of all. (I especially like the tear-drop-shaped “island” in the top of the crown.) This is the style I wear personally about seventy-five percent of the time.

I designed the blocks (that give the hats their shape) for this particular style myself. I wanted to keep the classic styling while giving the hat a less “blocky” look than was the norm in the ’40’s. I’ve reduced the space between the “dimples” in front and have given the hat a slimmer, more tapered look.

Judging from the number of compliments I receive when wearing this style, and from all the happy emails and phone calls from customers who like what they’re seeing in the mirror, I think it’s safe to say that people like the look.

You can wear this hat with anything. Shorts, jeans, designer resort wear, even a business suit. If you’re buying your first fine Panama hat, or if you’re only likely to have one Panama hat, you should give serious consideration to the Classic Fedora.

The Classic Fedora in the top three photos is size 7¼. Crown is 4½ inches tall. Brim is 2¾ inches wide. $800.

Prices About My Prices & Pricing

PREMIUM

$500, $650, $800, $1000, $1500

SUPER-PREMIUM

$2000, $3000, $5000

RARE TREASURES very limited availability A $25,000 hat? Really? How Fine Are the Finest?

$7500 to $25,000

Details

BRIM

2 ½ to 3 18 inches

CROWN

4 38 to 4 34 inches

SIZES details

21 18 to 25 14 inches
(53.5 to 64 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is fine leather.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 116 inch black.

Classic Fedora Order Now

Hemingway’s Hat

November 12, 1959. My parents were out, so I answered the phone myself. The connection wasn't good. Some man said he was calling from Cuba, and his name was Hemingway. Who? I was still reading the Hardy Boys. I was ten years old.

“Listen, kid.” He called me “kid.” Kids hate to be called “kid.”

“You don't know it yet, but you're going to make Panama hats someday. You're going to be good at it, so let me tell you what I want. When you're ready, make it for me.

“I do NOT want one of those bright white Reginald-at-the-club-looking things. Hell, I don't even want it to look new. It should look like it's been somewhere, like it has stories to tell.

“Make it a fedora. Pinches in front. Teardrop-shaped island in the top. When you block it, go easy. I don't want it all crisp and ironed looking. Don't worry about it. I want it to lose the shape you give it, as it takes the shape I give it. It should be shaped by life, by experience, by the occasional careless handling, by being too dumb to come in out of the rain once in awhile, by a bottle of Havana Club and some rummy idea about what a brim should look like, maybe even by thoughtless idiots who don't know enough to keep their damn hands off another man's hat.

“Don't be stingy with the brim. Give me some shade. A proper Panama should have a brim that sticks out farther than the end of my nose, not as far as the end of my cigar. Turn it down in front. Drink, smoke, and cuss while you're making it.

“Don't make it until you're ready. If I'm not still around, make it anyway. There will always be men who need a good hat while they're getting on with getting on. And if women want one, too, so much the better. I can't think of one damn thing that doesn't look better on a woman than on a man.”

He said goodbye and hung up.

I said, “That was weird,” and didn't tell my parents. They probably would just think I'd found the key to the liquor cabinet. I had, but that's not part of this story.

Thirty years later, I started making Panama hats. The first style blocks I designed were the style he described. I called it the Classic Fedora. It was too late to make one for Hemingway, so I didn't rush into it. But I'm ready now to make one for you, if you need a good hat while you're getting on with getting on.

The story above is a dramatization of an event that never occurred.

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When I block these, I use Montecristi hats that are older or have brims more irregular than usual or have a spot or two of dark straw or an area where the color is off, maybe some broken straw or a small hole, anything that would disqualify the hat from being chosen to be blocked without disclaimer. Some might call them seconds. Others might say they have character. They are what I would choose to block for myself for an off-road trip or a no-frills safari or just banging around the neighborhood.

Like Forest Gump's box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. Don't ask me to send a photo of the specific issues of specific hats. I don't have time for that. And if you're going to worry and fuss about what might be “wrong” with any particular hat, then you missed the point of what Mr. H. was asking for. “It should look like it's been somewhere, like it has stories to tell.”

I don't put as many hours into the blocking. I don't iron them and obsess over them as I normally do. What I do with these might be what others call full-on hand blocking, but for me, it's blocking lite.

Remember, these are not my “regular” hats on sale. They are as I have described.

Prices

May have flaws, spots or irregularities. Will definitely have character.

PREMIUM

$350, $400, $500, $650, $800, $1000, $1500

SUPER-PREMIUM

$2000, $3000, $5000

Details

BRIM

2 12 to 3 18 inches

CROWN

4 38 to 4 34 inches

SIZES details

21 18 to 25 14 inches
(53.5 to 64 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is fine leather.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 116 inch black.

Hemingway's Hat Order Now

Classic Fedora (AC)

Look at that weave! This is the same Classic Fedora style shown above. But I had these hats custom woven for me with specially designed “open weave” crowns.

The dark areas are spaces between the straw. The light areas are the straw itself. This style of “open weave” allows the trade winds to have free trade with your head. Sort of like having an air conditioned hat, hence the (AC).

I have a personal hat with this diagonal pattern. It’s one of my favorites. I like it so much I thought you probably would too. So last year I decided to commission a few dozen hat bodies to be specially woven for me, all with this same pattern.

Usually, the geometric designs in the weave change from hat to hat. None of the weavers could remember anyone ever making several dozen hats with the same geometric pattern.

Get ’em while they last.

The Classic Fedora (Special AC) in the photos is size 7½. Crown is 4½ inches tall. Brim is 2¾ inches wide. Ribbon is 1½ inches wide. $525.

PRICE About My Prices & Pricing

PREMIUM

$525

Details

BRIM

2 58 to 3 18 inches

CROWN

4 38 to 4 ¾ inches

SIZES details

21 78 to 25 ¼ inches
(54 to 64 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is fine leather.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 ½ inch black.

Classic Fedora AC Order Now

Gatsby Fedora

 
“Who wants to go to town?” demanded Daisy insistently.
Gatsby’s eyes floated toward her.
“Ah,” she cried, “you look so cool…You always look so cool,” she repeated.

F. Scott Fitzgerald,
The Great Gatsby

Fitzgerald never revealed exactly what sort of hat Gatsby wore. But we know Gatsby, so we know his hat would have been elegant, distinctive, stylish, expensive, the envy of all who didn’t have one just like it. Well, envy no more; I give you—The Gatsby.

My Gatsby Fedora is a totally custom design. To make one requires two completely different blocks, an unreasonable amount of individual hand-work, and a couple of personal trade secrets. To wear one requires simply that you have a good head on your shoulders.

The Gatsby has a slightly taller crown, wider brim, wider ribbon, deeper “dimples” than my Classic Fedora. The top of the crown has a distinctive center crease.

The Gatsby is especially appropriate when driving your Bugatti to the club, drinking rum beneath a slowly turning ceiling fan, doing anything with palm trees nearby, or just looking like a man who looks great in a Panama hat.

The Gatsby in the top two photos is size 738. Crown is 4¾ inches tall. Brim is 278 inches wide. $1000.

That’s Bruce in His Custom Gatsby

Bruce comes over Friday afternoons to help me guard the lake.

My back yard borders a decent sized lake. It makes for a nice view, framed by two palms and a mango tree. I would hate to lose it. So Friday afternoons Bruce and I sit out back and watch the lake to make sure no one steals it. We also make sure several cold beers were not brewed and bottled in vain. Clearly, we are Men of Conscience.

Bruce’s custom Gatsby is a long oval. Half way between 7¼ and 738. The ribbon is Jamaica Brown.

Ya gotta love it. That’s my buddy Bruce sitting in the backyard wearing a red T-shirt and his custom Gatsby. The man looks like he could be sitting in the Director’s chair of a multi-jillion-dollar movie set. (I’m glad he wasn’t. He’s easier to talk to when he’s in the back yard.)

Should you have your hat custom-made? Look at Bruce. When the man defines the hat, the hat defines the man. © BBB

Prices About My Prices & Pricing

PREMIUM

$500, $650, $800, $1000, $1500

SUPER-PREMIUM

$2000, $3000, $5000

RARE TREASURES very limited availability A $25,000 hat? Really? How Fine Are the Finest?

$7500 to $25,000

Details

BRIM

2 58 to 3 18 inches

CROWN

4 78 to 5 14 inches

SIZES details

21 78 to 25 ¼ inches
(54 to 64 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is fine leather.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 ½ inch black.

Gatsby Fedora Order Now

Optimo

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  • Click photos for larger version

  • Roff Smith in front of the Taj Mahal. Roff does not roll his Optimo, not even for travel.

The Optimo is the classic Panama hat style. In Ecuador, it’s called the Natural. The Optimo was the style of choice for British travelers, ex-pats, and empire builders in Malaysia, Hong Kong, India, and throughout the tropics—anywhere a gin and tonic had actual therapeutic value (against malaria, not just tropical tantrums). Even today, the style is more popular in the UK than in the US.

Some people think of it as a “Charlie Chan” hat. I preferred it on Peter O’Toole in The Last Emperor, Sean Connery in The Man Who Would Be King, Sidney Greenstreet in Casablanca.

This style probably originated as a natural consequence of people rolling up their hats. If you roll up an unblocked hat a few times, you wind up with a center crease. So why not call it a style, give it a name, and make some blocks.

This particular Optimo is hand-blocked and has a leather sweatband. You don’t roll it up. If you want one to roll up, go here: Foldable Panama Hats

As with fedoras, there are several variations of the Optimo style. And as with Fedoras, I have definite opinions so I designed my own blocks. I prefer a more rounded crown over a flatter crown. Why? Better looking. Also better architecture.

The Optimo has been growing in popularity. More and more of you are choosing to swan about in non-roll-up Optimos. My friend, Roff Smith, wears his Optimo as his Writing Hat. As his Travel Hat. As his Going To Town Hat. As his Going To The Swings With Daughters Hat. And so on.

A good hat is like that. A good hat becomes a good friend.™

Visualize having ten good friends.

Now make it so.

Prices About My Prices & Pricing

PREMIUM

$500, $650, $800, $1000, $1500

SUPER-PREMIUM

$2000, $3000, $5000

RARE TREASURES very limited availability A $25,000 hat? Really? How Fine Are the Finest?

$7500 to $25,000

Details

BRIM

2 ½ to 3 18 inches

CROWN

4 to 4 ½ inches
(to the top of the center crease)

SIZES details

21 38 to 25 ¼ inches
(54 to 64 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is fine leather.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 116 inch black.

Optimo Order Now

Montego Bay Fedora

People sometimes ask me “Is this really the style of Panama hat that wealthy celebrities like Errol Flynn and Noel Coward wore when they disembarked from their private yachts in Jamaica and other Caribbean islands during the 1940’s and ’50s?” Well, if it wasn’t perhaps it should have been.

The Montego Bay is another classic fedora style Panama hat. It is equally appropriate for disembarking from yachts in the Caribbean, seaplanes in private bays, golf carts at the club, or lounge chairs by the pool. Some have suggested that wearing the Montego Bay while drinking a piña colada improves one’s chances of seeing the green flash as the sun winks goodbye in the tropics. I think more research needs to be done. Any volunteers?

Do you see how the Montego Bay Fedora differs from the Classic Fedora at the top of the page? Compare the profiles. The Montego Bay is proportionately taller in front and lower in back. In the top of the crown of the Montego Bay, the “island” is a little less teardrop shaped, a little more diamond shaped.

If you want a skinny-brim hat, this is a good style to work with.

The hat in the photos is size 7, crown 4¼ inches, brim 2¾ inches, ribbon black grosgrain 1116 inch, $700.

Prices About My Prices & Pricing

PREMIUM

$500, $650, $800, $1000, $1500

SUPER-PREMIUM

$2000, $3000, $5000

RARE TREASURES very limited availability A $25,000 hat? Really? How Fine Are the Finest?

$7500 to $25,000

Details

BRIM

2 ½ to 3 18 inches

CROWN

4 12 to 5 14 inches

SIZES details

22 14 to 25 14 inches
(56.5 to 64 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is fine leather.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 116 inch black.

Montego Bay Fedora Order Now

Havana Fedora

Time lost its job three days ago. Fired. You left the airport in a ’54 Coupe DeVille taxicab and you left the known world in a distant memory bank that no longer allows withdrawals.

¡Bienvenidos á la Habana!

The bar you’re in looks like a movie set. Except it really is old and authentic, not just made to look that way. One of the three ceiling fans turns at half speed. Nice touch. You asked about rum, you learned about 20-year-old estate bottled Havana Club. Legs like a Rockette. Goes well with Cohiba Robustos. Sip slowly. Forget the lime juice. Bring on the bulls.

Old locals nod to you. Here, and everywhere else you’ve been. They don’t nod to other tourists. At first you kept looking behind to see who they were nodding to. You finally figured it out.

It’s the hat.

I love classic styles. I’ve wanted to offer this style for years. I finally found some blocks that have just the right pinches, just the right center dent, just the right vertical taper on the sides of the crown, and just the right front-to-back profile curve on top of the crown.

So this must be just the right time to order one.

The hat in the top three photos is size 7¼, crown 5 inches, brim 278 inches, ribbon black grosgrain 1½ inches wide, $700.

Prices About My Prices & Pricing

PREMIUM

$500, $650, $800, $1000, $1500

SUPER-PREMIUM

$2000, $3000, $5000

RARE TREASURES very limited availability A $25,000 hat? Really? How Fine Are the Finest?

$7500 to $25,000

Details

BRIM

2 58 to 3 18 inches

CROWN

4 78 to 5 14 inches

SIZES details

21 12 to 25 14 inches
(54.5 to 64 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is fine leather.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 ½ inch black.

Havana Fedora Order Now

Wider Brims

Plantation

You don’t have to own one to wear one. A plantation, that is. But if you do own a plantation (or horse farm or ranch or maybe even just a really big yard), here’s your hat.

This may not be your working hat, mind you. You might want something a bit less fine for actual physical labor. But after the cane is cut or the cotton is picked, and it’s time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor, perhaps with a rum punch or mint julep in hand, this is the hat to be sitting under.

Wide brimmed straw hats have shaded planters from Mississippi to Manila to Mombasa since time immemorial. Rarely have those hats been as finely woven or as impeccably styled as this one.

You may have noticed that my Plantation style hat has the same pinches in the front and teardrop-shaped island in the top of the crown as the Classic Fedora. I make both styles on the same blocks. Only the brims are different.

If you like the look, but feel a little too conspicuous wearing a wide-brimmed hat, consider a Plantation with a Fedora-width brim, 3 inches or less. That’s been my personal preference over the years.

Either way, the Plantation definitely makes a different statement than the Fedora. And offers a bit more shade.

Prices About My Prices & Pricing

PREMIUM

$550, $700, $850, $1100, $1500

SUPER-PREMIUM

$2000, $3000, $5000

RARE TREASURES very limited availability A $25,000 hat? Really? How Fine Are the Finest?

$7500 to $15,000

Details

BRIM

3 to 3 ½ inches (after curl)

CROWN

4 38 to 4 34 inches

SIZES details

21 18 to 25 14 inches
(53.5 to 64 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is fine leather.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 116 inch black.

Plantation Order Now

Aficionado

The Aficionado style was originated around the turn of the century (2000) by Master Hatter Trent Johnson of Greeley Hat Works. Some say that a Plantation and a Fedora got to fooling around in his back room. One thing led to another, and an Aficionado was the result.

Could be.

The Aficionado brim is wider than a Fedora, usually not as wide as a Plantation. The brim is curled like a Plantation for about three-fourths of its circumference, and turned down in front like a Fedora. The crown is the same as both parents.

It’s quite a nice look and has been very popular since its birth a few years ago. Many now favor it over the Plantation.

The Aficionado can give you a little more portable shade than the Fedora. Some say it can look a little more dressy than the Plantation. Others say it has a more Western look than the Plantation.

It can provide you with the perfect choice if you just can’t make up your mind between the Fedora and Plantation. Or if you just like the look. Many do.

Good idea, Trent. I think you’ve created an instant classic.

Prices About My Prices & Pricing

PREMIUM

$550, $700, $850, $1100, $1500

SUPER-PREMIUM

$2000, $3000, $5000

RARE TREASURES very limited availability A $25,000 hat? Really? How Fine Are the Finest?

$7500 to $15,000

Details

BRIM

2 ¾ to 3 ½ inches (after curl)

CROWN

4 38 to 4 34 inches

SIZES details

21 18 to 25 14 inches
(53.5 to 64 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is fine leather.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 116 inch black.

Aficionado Order Now

Monte Carlo

This is the original Planter style, as immortalized by Clark Gable in GWTW. Charlton Heston wore a very wide brim version in his portrayal of a South American plantation owner in Naked Jungle. His wife (Eleanor Parker) looked even better in hers.

These days, the most common interpretation of this style is usually called a “Gambler.” And because most of them are shaped on a hat press, the outer edge of the brim just sort of turns up.

My Monte Carlo is blocked and styled by hand, so the brim edge gets a full curl. That’s the way they made them when there really were plantations and riverboat gamblers. And that’s the way I make my Monte Carlo now. No short cuts.

You can change the look of the style to suit your look by having me make your brim wider or shorter, and by making the curl diameter bigger or smaller. In the top photo the brim is about 318 inches with a slightly larger than regular curl. The same hat is shown in profile. The Monte Carlo in the second photo from the top has a wider brim and a regular curl. The same hat is shown in the bottom photo.

Brim width can vary from about 2¾ inches to 3½ (after the curl). Curl diameter can vary from about ¼ inch to about an inch. Send me an email or call if you want help deciding.

Prices About My Prices & Pricing

PREMIUM

$550, $700, $850, $1100, $1500

SUPER-PREMIUM

$2000, $3000, $5000

RARE TREASURES very limited availability A $25,000 hat? Really? How Fine Are the Finest?

$7500 to $15,000

Details

BRIM

3 to 3 ½ inches (after curl)

CROWN

3 58 to 4 inches

SIZES details

21 to 25 18 inches
(53.3 to 63.8 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is fine leather.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 116 inch black.

Monte CarloOrder Now

The Golf of Panama

Before the Tiger leapt onto the course, the Shark was at the top of the food chain on the links, and at the top of the sales charts for golf hats.

His golf hats were exactly that—hats. Hats with brims all the way around. Sun protection for the back of your neck and the tops of your ears. That is a very good thing. How did everyone forget that?

Golfers also enjoyed the advantages of an open weave, or ventilated, crown. The breeze blows right on through to keep you cool-headed at all times (not an easy task when you’re putting for a birdie on the 18th at Augusta).

But now, alas, golf caps are the trendy choice of millions, and you know what that means: the world’s golf courses are filled with a bunch of hot heads with sunburned ears. Perhaps it’s time to elevate your game by elevating your choice of headwear.

I suggest the Golf of Panama, also known as the Monte Carlo (AC). Monte Carlo is the style name (same style as this one) and the AC stands for Air Conditioned, to signify the open weave, patterned crown. This is not just a hat, it’s Art. The artists of Montecristi weave the straw of the crowns into geometric designs. Like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike. I’ve watched them do it, and I still don’t believe it’s possible.

Woven by hand in the Montecristi area. Blocked and finished by hand in Hawaii. Black grosgrain ribbon outside. Cotton Twill band inside. Leather sweatbands also available by request. The wide brim offers sun protection. The open weave crown provides natural air conditioning.

Some clients swear that the Monte Carlo (AC), aka The Golf of Panama, takes at least five strokes off their game. I’m inclined to believe them.

Prices About My Prices & Pricing

Brim widths shown are after the curl. So they are the final brim width.

REGULAR

234 to 318″ — $750

Wider

314 to 312″ — $1000

Details

CROWN

3 58 to 4 inches

SIZES details

21 to 24 ½ inches
(53.3 to 62.2 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is Cotton Twill.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 116 inch black.

The Golf of Panama Order Now

Greenstreet

You might think from the name that Sidney Greenstreet wore this style. He didn’t. But he would have if I’d been around then. I’d have said “Sidney, put this on. There. Now look in the mirror. See what I mean? Next time, Sidney, you get the lead instead of Bogie.” Perhaps wearing this style would have made his illustrious career even more so.

There is still time for you.

An Optimo crown with a wider pencil-roll brim. Odds are, no one else at the party will be wearing this style. If there really is someone else wearing this same style, go say hello. You probably have a new best friend.

One small caution. This is not the style to wear if you do not want to be noticed. The Greenstreet does not exactly blend in. If you’re a private detective following someone and you don’t want them to see you, leave the Greenstreet at home.

The hat in the top three photos is size 718, crown 4¼ in., brim 3 inches after the medium sized curl, 3¼ inches uncurled, $750.

Prices About My Prices & Pricing

PREMIUM

$550, $700, $850, $1100, $1500

SUPER-PREMIUM

$2000, $3000, $5000

RARE TREASURES very limited availability A $25,000 hat? Really? How Fine Are the Finest?

$7500 to $15,000

Details

BRIM

2 ¾ to 3 ½ inches (after curl)

CROWN

4 to 4 12 inches
(to top of the center crease)

SIZES details

21 38 to 25 ¼ inches
(54.3 to 64 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is fine leather.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 116 inch black.

Greenstreet Order Now

Keeneland

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This style was created for a client who lives on a tropical island off the coast of China. He didn’t say whether he has it all to himself. He did say the sun is strong.

He wanted a special style. One he could wear to the club for lunch or to Hong Kong for a meeting. Elegant without being formal. A style that would look good with a cigar.

After some discussion, we agreed on a Monte Carlo crown. After some experimentation, we agreed on a relatively short Aficionado brim. As soon as we saw the combination we knew it was a winner.

Fortunately for Andy, he’s not my size. If this hat had been my size, I would have been sorely tempted to start on a new hat for Andy. The moment I stepped back from the finished hat to take a look, I wanted to put it on and go watch thoroughbreds thunder down the home stretch at Keeneland on an Indian Summer afternoon perfumed by horses, bourbon, and burgoo. But that’s just me. Andy probably took it out of the box, put it on, and went to the beach.

The hat in these photos is size 738, crown 3¾ inches, brim 278 inches curled, 3¼ inches before curl, $900.

Prices About My Prices & Pricing

PREMIUM

$550, $700, $850, $1100, $1500

SUPER-PREMIUM

$2000, $3000, $5000

RARE TREASURES very limited availability A $25,000 hat? Really? How Fine Are the Finest?

$7500 to $15,000

Details

BRIM

2 ¾ to 3 ¼ inches (after curl)

CROWN

3 58 to 4 inches

SIZES details

21 to 25 18 inches
(53.3 to 63.8 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is fine leather.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 116 inch black.

Keeneland Order Now

Special Styles

For people who live at high attitude.

Classic Fedora SB (skinny brim)

  • Three quarter view.  Classic Fedora SB (Skinny Brim) Montecristi Panama hat.
  • Front view.  Classic Fedora SB (Skinny Brim) Montecristi Panama hat.
  • Side view.  Classic Fedora SB (Skinny Brim) Montecristi Panama hat.
  • Alternative side view with the brim turned up.  Classic Fedora SB (Skinny Brim) Montecristi Panama hat.
  • Click photos for larger version

The skinny brim is back! Big time. Can’t leave the house, can’t even turn on the TV, without seeing skinny-brim hats.

As you know, I don’t sail with the trade winds of fashion. I favor classic styles that have never gone out of style. But I’ve been told, many times, that the skinny-brim Panama never went out of style. It just went on vacation.

So here is my Classic Fedora crown, with a skinny brim. That’s what the SB stands for. The brim is about two inches wide. You can wear it turned up all around. Turned down in front. Turned down all around. You can wear it backwards if you’ve had two too many, or if that becomes the fashion next week.

This one is shown with a wider ribbon. Why? I just got this new color (Happy Gray) and wanted to see it on a hat. It doesn’t come in the regular (1116 in.) width. I wish it did. I really like the color.

If you want a less wide ribbon on your own Classic Fedora SB, that works. And you have a lot of good choices in addition to classic black.

When I made up this sample, it didn’t want to be my size, and I let it have its way. Now that I’ve seen the finished hat, I guarantee that the next one I block will be exactly my size. I will begin blocking that hat in about an hour. When do you want me to begin blocking yours?

NOTE: I only have a couple of dozen hat bodies with brims this short, so I may not be able to make every size in each price. But order what you want, and I’ll confirm I can do it. More are being woven at this very moment.

Everyone else calls short-brim hats stingy-brim hats. Or in my case stingy-brim Panama hats. But there is never anything stingy about my hats; the quality is always quite lavish. So I call them skinny-brim hats instead of stingy-brim hats.

Hat in photos is 2278 inches (head size), brim is 2 inches, crown is 4 inches measured on the side from brim to top of dimple.

Prices About My Prices & Pricing

PREMIUM

$500, $650, $800, $1000, $1500

SUPER-PREMIUM

$2000, $3000, $5000

Details

BRIM

About 2 inches (5 cm)

CROWN

4 38 to 4 34 inches

SIZES details

21 18 to 23 58 inches
(53.5 to 60 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is fine leather.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 116 inch black.

Classic Fedora SB Order Now

Havana Fedora SB (skinny brim)

  • Three quarter view.  Havana Fedora SB (Skinny Brim) Montecristi Panama hat.
  • Three quarter view.  Havana Fedora SB (Skinny Brim) Montecristi Panama hat.
  • Front view.  Havana Fedora SB (Skinny Brim) Montecristi Panama hat.
  • Side view.  Havana Fedora SB (Skinny Brim) Montecristi Panama hat.
  • Side view.  Havana Fedora SB (Skinny Brim) Montecristi Panama hat with brim turned up all the way around.
  • Click photos for larger version

Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.

You want a skinny-brim Panama hat. But not one of those cheap, junk hats everyone wears that look like they cost all of $20. Because they did.

You want a real hat. A skinny-brim Panama hat that outhats every hat in the room. Even if Brad Pitt is in the room. Maybe especially if Brad Pitt is in the room. (The man wears a lot of hats. But they’re all cheap hats. Yes, that makes me sad. You’d think he could afford a decent hat on his salary, wouldn’t you?)

Back to your skinny-brim Panama hat. Obviously, you knew where to look. ‘Cause here you are. You found my Classic Fedora SB a little higher up the page and figured you’d gone to hat heaven. But now, you see the Havana Fedora SB and, well, you have to think it over.

Classic SB or Havana SB? Havana SB or Classic SB? Tough call.

Simple solution. One of each.

See how good I am at making decisions, solving problems? Another example: If you’re dating two brilliant, beautiful women and can’t decide between them, send them both to me. Problem solved. Hey, I’m here for you.

Everyone else calls short-brim hats stingy-brim hats. Or in my case stingy-brim Panama hats. But there is never anything stingy about my hats; the quality is always quite lavish. So I call them skinny-brim hats instead of stingy-brim hats.

The hat in the photos is 23 (hat size), brim about 2 inches, crown height 4 inches measured on the side from the brim to the top of the dimple.

Prices About My Prices & Pricing

PREMIUM

$500, $650, $800, $1000, $1500

SUPER-PREMIUM

$2000, $3000, $5000

Details

BRIM

About 2 inches (5 cm)

CROWN

4 78 to 5 14 inches

SIZES details

21 12 to 23 58 inches
(54.6 to 60 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is fine leather.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 116 inch black.

Havana Fedora SB Order Now

Big Daddy

Also known as The Homburg. This hat was made as a special request for a client who’s a financial whiz by day and a blues player by night. He was so happy with his hat I fear his blues may suffer. He thought the style should be called the Big Daddy. Works for me.

This is a tall hat with a short brim and an extra-wide ribbon. A very dressy style. Or a very hip style for those who have enough style of their own to make it work.

Deion Sanders could own this style. I can easily imagine this style on musicians. Jazz, salsa, hip hop, rap. Not a lot of accordion players.

Wear this hat into an interesting bar and others will buy your drinks just to find out what’s up with the hat.

I first saw a Panama hat homburg on George Kennedy in Death on the Nile. His hat just knocked me out. I remember playing that scene over and over and pausing several times so I could study the hat. Peter Ustinov wore a Panama hat homburg in Evil Under the Sun. Kennedy’s had a crisper look. As did his character.

After I finished the first Big Daddy, I immediately started another one. For myself. That’s it with the brown ribbon.

The hat bodies I use for this style are specially woven to have taller crowns. I used some of these taller hat bodies to make Montecristi Top Hats. (I still have a couple around here somewhere.)

The hat in the bottom photo is size 7¼, crown 5 inches, brim 2½ inches, ribbon Havana Brown grosgrain 2 inches wide, $1000.

Prices About My Prices & Pricing

PREMIUM

$575, $725, $875, $1100, $1500

SUPER-PREMIUM

$2000, $2500, $3000, $3500, $5000

RARE TREASURES very limited availability A $25,000 hat? Really? How Fine Are the Finest?

$7500 to $25,000

Details

BRIM

2 18 to 2 14 inches (after curl)

CROWN

4 78 to 5 14 inches

SIZES details

21 78 to 25 inches
(56 to 63 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is fine leather.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 ½ inch black.

Big Daddy Order Now

Derby

A Derby. A Montecristi Derby. I just couldn’t resist. The hat in the photo is a personal hat.

I have a lot of shirts with old fashioned stand up collars. The Derby is very right with those shirts. Vertical stripes are nice. Maybe a vest. A silver-handled walking stick might be fun.

Another way to go with the Derby would be dressed-to-the-nines formal. If you attend the Kentucky Derby, wearing my Derby might be a good way to get on TV when they feature great hats. (Just for the record, I grew up in Kentucky and this is the hat I wore last Derby Day while mixing family recipe mint juleps. Served in Kentucky-made sterling julep cups, of course. Even here in Hawaii, I still celebrate the first Saturday in May as Spring’s High Holy Day.)

You could wear a Derby to a polo match. It would look good with a cigar in your mouth and your elbows on an old mahogany bar (works for men or women). Wear one around London in the summer and sooner or later someone will offer to buy it right off your head. Take several. Pay for the trip.

The hat in the photos is size 718, crown 4¾ inches, brim 218 inches after curl, 2½ inches uncurled, $1000.

Prices About My Prices & Pricing

PREMIUM

$575, $725, $875, $1000, $1500

SUPER-PREMIUM

$2000, $2500, $3000, $3500, $5000

RARE TREASURES very limited availability A $25,000 hat? Really? How Fine Are the Finest?

$7500 to $25,000

Details

BRIM

2 18 to 2 14 inches (after curl)

CROWN

4 ¼ to 4 ¾ inches

SIZES details

21 78 to 25 inches
(55.6 to 63.5 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is fine leather.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 116 inch black.

Derby Order Now

Downing Street

The Downing Street is very similar to the Big Daddy. The difference is the pinches. One simple difference creates a completely different look.

This is another attitude hat. If you could wear spats to the club and make everyone else wish they had some too, then you’ll be fine.

If you decide to wear the spats and the Downing Street, give me a call. I might like to come see that.

Hat in photos is size 718, crown 4¼ inches, brim 258 inches, ribbon 1116 inch black grosgrain, $775.

Prices About My Prices & Pricing

PREMIUM

$575, $725, $875, $1100, $1500

SUPER-PREMIUM

$2000, $2500, $3000, $3500, $5000

RARE TREASURES very limited availability A $25,000 hat? Really? How Fine Are the Finest?

$7500 to $25,000

Details

BRIM

2 18 to 2 14 inches (after curl)

CROWN

4 78 to 5 14 inches

SIZES details

21 78 to 24 ¼ inches
(56 to 61.5 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is fine leather.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 ½ inch black.

Downing StreetOrder Now

Rare Treasures

The very finest Montecristi Panama Hats
in the entire world.

Really.

I have 14 hats with weave counts of 1600 to 2500/sq in. These hats are quite literally the stuff of legends. Woven so finely that they are more like linen than straw, as much art as apparel. Each is signed by the artist.

I am the exclusive representative of the very best of the very few who still practice the rare sorcery of turning straw into cloth.

These priceless treasures are not just a media rumor. They really exist. I have them. As with all priceless treasures, they have prices. $8,000 to $25,000.

Serious inquiries only please.
Call my direct line: 808-262-2892.

Simón Espinal,
the best weaver in the world

 
The Panama Hat Company of the Pacific dba Brent Black Panama Hats 111 Hekili Street, Suite A-293 Kailua, HI 96734 There is no retail store at this address. (more) Toll Free: (888) 658-6500 Phone: (808) 262-2892 Fax: (808) 262-7725

Text and photos © 1988-2014, B. Brent Black. All rights reserved.

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111 Hekili Street, Suite A-293; Kailua, HI 96734 Ph: (888) 658-6500 Fax: (808) 262-7725 www.BrentBlack.com