Women's Montecristi Panama Hats

Women’s Montecristi Panama Hats

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custom made montecristi panama hats for women

Custom Made
Montecristi Panama Hats for Women
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Choose from 15 classic and contemporary women’s Panama hat styles. Each hat is custom-made and custom sized. Each hat is blocked, shaped, styled, and finished entirely by hand—a one-of-a-kind work of art.

Brent Black is the world’s leading designer of fine Panama hats for women and men. His designer Panama hats are inspired by classic styles, subtly modified to be beautifully compatible with contemporary fashions.

Fedoras

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

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

Classic Fedora (AC)

Classic Fedora (AC) Classic Fedora (AC) 2 Classic Fedora (AC) 3 Classic Fedora (AC) 4

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. $575.

Prices

PREMIUM

$575

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

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.

Prices

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

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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The Hemingway’s Hat is exactly the same style blocked on exactly the same blocks as my Classic Fedora, EXCEPT 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

Gatsby Fedora

  • Gatsby Fedora
  • Gatsby Fedora 2
  • Gatsby Fedora 3
  • Gatsby Fedora 4
  • Gatsby Fedora 4
  • Gatsby Fedora 5
  • Gatsby Fedora 6
  • Click photos for larger version


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Gatsby Fedora photos

 
“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

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

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 434 inches tall. Brim is 278 inches wide. $1000.

Prices

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 more info

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

Havana Fedora

  • Click photos for larger version

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Havana Fedora photos

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.

Prices

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

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 478 inches measured on the side from the brim to the top of the dimple.

Prices

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

Italiano Fedora

This is a nice style. Short and simple. The crown is about four inches tall. Smooth clean lines. Bold diamond shape in top of crown. Shorter brims suggested.

Technically, this is a fedora with a completely different look than any of my other fedoras. No pinches. The front comes to a sleek V, like the bow of a sailboat. Overall, it has sort of a “streamlined” look.

The Italiano would wear well with retro, euro, or jeans and an aloha shirt. It will never be my most popular style. But for some, it will be the perfect style.

Consider a narrow ribbon for an even stronger statement.

The hat in the photos is size 718, crown 414 inches, brim 258 inches, ribbon 1116 inch black grosgrain, $700.

Prices

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 inches

CROWN

3 ¾ to 4 inches

SIZES more info

21 ¼ to 22 ¾ inches
(54.5 to 58 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.

Italiano Fedora Order Now

Wider Brims ***

Monte Carlo

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This is the original Planter style, as immortalized atop Clark Gable in GWTW. His had a relatively tall crown, which is usually less flattering. Of course some people look good in anything. And a lot of them become movie stars. See movie clip

Charlton Heston wore a wider brim version with an almost flat crown top in his portrayal of a South American plantation owner in Naked Jungle. His wife (Eleanor Parker) looked even better in hers. Hers had an especially wide brim and fairly short crown styled like my Monte Carlo. See movie clip

The mass market version of this style, these days, is often called a Gambler. My Monte Carlo is blocked and styled by hand, so the brim edge gets a full curl (instead of just turning up). That’s the way they made them when there really were 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/or 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 234 inches to 312 inches (after the curl). Curl diameter can vary from about 14 inch to about an inch, the default is about half an inch. Send me an email or call if you want help deciding.

Prices

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 more info

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 Carlo Order Now

Monte Carlo (AC)

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The same classic style as the Monte Carlo above. The (AC) means “Air Conditioned.” Instead of having a solid weave like the hat above, the crown of this hat alternates open spaces and solid weave to create designs. The attractive geometric designs vary from one hat to another.

The open areas allow air to circulate freely in and out of the crown, so it is “Air Conditioned.” For extra shade, ask for a wider brim. The hat in the photos has a brim of about 312 inches. That should be plenty.

As with the solid weave Monte Carlo (above), brim width can vary from about 234 inches to 312 (after the curl). Curl diameter can vary from about 14 inch to about an inch, the default is about a half inch.

As you can see from the photos, even though they are the same style, the solid weave and the (AC) crowns create very different first impressions.

Almost all styles are available with either a regular or an (AC) crown. The Monte Carlo (AC) with a cloth inside band (instead of leather) might possibly be the world’s finest golf hat.

Also see The Golf of Panama in the Men’s section. Why did I call it that in the Men’s section but not the Women’s? Women usually can look at a style and figure out for themselves what to do with it. Men are more likely to need help.

Prices


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

REGULAR

2 3⁄4 to 3 1⁄8″ — $750

WIDER

31⁄4 to 3 1⁄2″ — $1000

Details

CROWN

3 5⁄8 to 4 inches

LIMITED SIZES more info

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 1⁄16 inch black.

Monte Carlo (AC) 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. 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.

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.

I would not be at all surprised if his wife has realized by now that Andy’s Keeneland looks even better as Mrs. Andy’s Keeneland.

As with the Monte Carlo, a wider or narrower brim, a bigger or smaller curl, can make a big difference in the overall look of this style. My recommendation would be 258 to 3 inches with a small curl.

The hat in these photos is size 738, crown is 334 inches, brim is 3 inches curled, 314 inches before curl, $900.

Prices

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 more info

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

Plantation

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Plantation photos

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

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

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Aficionado photos

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

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

La Costa

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Another custom-made style. The block for this crown is barely four inches tall. This is the same diamond crown as the Italiano (above). But the brim of La Costa is a little wider and curled three-fourths of the way around like the Keeneland (above).

This is a good example of how you can mix and match crown styles and brim styles to create your own custom style.

I prefer this style with a relatively short brim, under 314 inches. La Costa is very “tailored” looking. I think it goes better with designer resort wear than with cut-offs, but some people can wear anything and make it look great. Consider a narrower ribbon to push the look even further.

Prices

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 ½ to 3 18 inches (after curl)

CROWN

3 ¾ to 4 inches

SIZES more info

21 ¼ to 22 ¾ inches
(54.5 to 58 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.

La Costa Order Now

Greenstreet

  • Click photos for larger version


Click here for more
Greenstreet photos

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.

Prices

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

Other Favorites

Marcie PoloSM

  • Wobbly Brim

    Marcie Polo Montecristi Panama hat with a “wobbly” brim viewed from the side
  • Marcie Polo Montecristi Panama hat with a “wobbly” brim viewed from the front
  • Marcie Polo Montecristi Panama hat with a “wobbly” brim viewed from the back
  • Up Brim

    Marcie Polo Montecristi Panama hat with an “up” brim viewed from the front
  • Down in Front Brim

    Marcie Polo Montecristi Panama hat with a “down in front” brim viewed from the front
  • Sort of Flat Brim

    Marcie Polo Montecristi Panama hat with a “sort of flat” brim viewed from the front

Marcie Polo is the great, great, great, great, great, great—well, she’s really great—granddaughter of Marco Polo. Like her illustrious ancestor, she knows how to travel. And she knows a good idea when she sees one.

Marcie wanted a high quality women’s travel hat. Asked me to design it. Said the Optimo just didn’t suit her. She wanted a classic Montecristi travel hat she could roll up: lose the crease, lose the dome, keep the black ribbon, something a man wouldn’t wear but not the least bit frilly or fussy.

She asked for something with classic styling, a hat she could wear to the Prime Minister’s garden party. She insisted it also must be ruggedly practical, a hat she could wear on a camel crossing of Tunisia with Sahara temperatures soaring to sauna levels.

She didn’t say if she intended to ride the camel to the garden party. I didn’t ask. With Marcie, just assume the outrageous and you’ll be right more often than not. She’s fun to watch.

For those of you with more normal travel itineraries, you will find the Marcie Polo℠ hat perfect for climbing Maya ruins in the midday sun (but must you?), then again for savoring fresh shrimp at sunset (better). For shopping in souks, for dancing beneath the stars at Stonehenge. Or just hanging out by the pool.

Golf hat? That works.

It goes where you go. It does what you do. And you always look good together. Can a mere hat be better than a husband?

Marcie says Marco would have given me an “attaboy” for this one. An “attaboy” from Marco Polo. That would be very cool.

Since you probably looked at the pictures of the hat before you started reading, I don’t exactly have a Voila! moment here. As you can see, I chose classic simplicity. No creases, no dimples, no dome. 112-inch black ribbon, bow centered in back, loops tacked down for travel stability, brim 234 to 3 inches (shade) or 314 to 312 inches (more shade), inside sweatband of cotton twill. Everything shaped, sized, and sewn by hand. The brim is artfully distressed. Or not, if you prefer. Choose from: Wobbly, Up, Down In Front, Sort of Flat. The hat pictured has a 3-inch (7.6 cm) brim. Same hat, different brim styles.

Wobbly—Artfully distressed. Un-smoothed. First, I smooth and flatten the brim. Then I steam it and mess with it. No two alike. Confident, coquettish, casual.

Up—Smoothed and curled. Gentle upward curve all the way around. Like a nice big smile. A happy brim. Optimistic with a touch of schoolgirl flirtatiousness.

Down In Front—The front of the brim is turned down. The rest is up. A little more serious, a little more mysterious, a little more imperious. You will define which is which, and which is you.

Sort of Flat—I take out the curl. But it won’t stay flat. It will acquire attitude. Yours. Put it on and stuff happens. If there’s a seatbelt handy, you might want to fasten it first.

Prices

PREMIUM

(regular brim width) $400, $500, $650, $800, $1000, $1500

(wide brim width) $425, $550, $700, $850, $1050, $1500

SUPER-PREMIUM

$2000, $3000, $5000

Details

BRIM

(regular brim width) 2 34 to 3 inches

(wide brim width) 3 14 to 3 12 inches

CROWN

3 12 to 4 inches

SIZES more info

21 18 to 24 14 inches
(53.7 to 61.6 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is cotton twill.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 12 inch black.

Marcie Polo
with Wobbly Brim

Marcie Polo™
Wobbly Brim Order Now

Marcie Polo
with Up Brim

Marcie Polo™
Up Brim Order Now

Marcie Polo
Down in Front Brim

Marcie Polo™
Down in Front Brim Order Now

Marcie Polo
Sort of Flat Brim

Marcie Polo™
Sort of Flat Brim Order Now

The Lover

Pierani sent me an email from Thailand to ask: “Did you see the movie The Lover, starring Jane March?”

She wanted me to make her a hat like the one Ms. March wore in the movie.

I own the movie, so I scanned through it to find scenes with the hat. Pierani also sent me some screenshots of the hat. As you can see in the photo to the left, it’s a great style. Looked easy enough to make—Monte Carlo crown and a wobbly brim.

Movie Poster for The LoverThe hat in the movie is a felt hat. A Montecristi Panama hat won’t ever behave like a felt hat. But I was pretty confident I could match the general look.

I enjoyed the challenge. Did I come close?

Photo below left is Pierani and her husband. They make me proud to be a hatter.

Update: After about a year, Pierani decided she wanted a non-wobbly, more orderly brim. That’s easy. The wobbly brim is one of those things that requires a lot of effort to make it look effortless.

I should have taken pictures of the new look. It’s good. I’ll make another one.

The ribbon on the hat in the style photos is 134 inches wide. The bow loops are very short, the keeper is very wide.

Prices

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 ¾ to 3 18 inches

CROWN

3 ¾ to 4 inches

SIZES more info

21 to 25 18 inches
(55 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.

The Lover Order Now

Breton

The Breton is the Panama hat equivalent of the simple black dress. All occasion, always appropriate, casual or elegant.

Simple rounded crown. Narrow ribbon. Gently scooped brim. My most popular women’s style for nearly two decades.

Note: the brim on the hat in the photos is unusually wide. Photographer error. Yes, I am the photographer. I hate it when there’s no one to blame but myself.

You can get quite a lot of different looks from the same hat by varying how you wear the brim. Up all around, down all around, up in front down in back, down in front up in back, and so on. A short-brim Breton worn tilted back can have a very fun “school girl” look.

The brim in the style photos is about as wide as they come. Most women prefer a little less brim on the Breton, as in the photo of Astoria to the left.

If you’re looking for a really wide brim, be sure to look at the UltraWide and WideBrim in the Beach & Garden Hats page.

Hat in the style photos is size 718, crown about 4 inches, brim 4 inches, ribbon 12 inch black grosgrain.

Prices


$425, $525, $625

Details

BRIM

3 to 3 ¾ inches

CROWN

3 to 4 inches

SIZES more info

21 18 to 24 inches
(54 to 61 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is Cotton Twill.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 916 inch black.

Breton Order Now

Breton (AC)

Here is the (AC) version of the Breton. Exact same style. The only difference is the weave style of the crown.

The (AC) means Air Conditioned. Instead of having a solid weave like the hat above, the crown of this hat alternates open spaces and solid weave to create designs. The attractive geometric designs vary from one hat to another. Like snowflakes, no two are identical.

The open areas allow air to circulate freely in and out of the crown, thus allowing you to keep your cool while others about you are losing theirs. This would be the “inspiration” for dubbing them “Air Conditioned.”

Sharon in Knoxville asked me to make a Breton (AC) for her. She was kind enough to write, on beautiful stationery:

“When I opened the perfectly wrapped box, I actually gasped. The hat was lovelier than I pictured in my mind. Now that I have it, I wonder what you were thinking when I told you I wanted to wear it outside to work in the yard! There is NO WAY I would subject this work of art to yard work. It will spend its days showing off at garden parties, lawn weddings, bridge club games, political events and any other glamorous meetings I can conjure in my mind!”

That’s what Sharon does with her Breton (AC). What will you do with yours?

I should point out that’s not Sharon in the photo. That’s Deborah. Which one looks better in her Breton (AC)? Whichever one I’m talking to of course.

The hat in the style photos is size 678, crown about 4 inches, brim 334 inches, ribbon 12 inch black grosgrain.

Prices


$425, $525, $625

Details

BRIM

3 to 3 ¾ inches

CROWN

3 to 4 inches

SIZES more info

21 18 to 24 inches
(54 to 61 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is Cotton Twill.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 916 inch black.

Breton (AC) Order Now

Lace Breton

Ella in a Montecristi Panama Lace Breton HatLucy in a Montecristi Panama Lace Breton Hat

Amazing isn’t it? I have actually watched the weavers’ fingers as they create these incredible lacy designs before my very eyes-and I still can’t believe it.

The all Lace Breton has geometric designs of open and solid weave in both the crown and the brim. It weighs exactly half of nothing.

A Spring or Summer hat, casual or dressy. Garden parties, backyard barbecues, White House meetings in the Rose Garden, afternoon tea on the veranda of the Moana Surfrider Hotel as the setting sun turns a green Diamond Head to gold.

Field reports suggest the Lace Breton is compatible with champagne flutes and wedding bells.

The ribbon on this one is a simple crisscross. If you prefer a bow, as shown on the other two Breton styles, just let me know.

The hat in the style photos is size 678, crown 4 inches, brim 334 inches, ribbon 12 inch black grosgrain.

Prices


$400

Details

BRIM

3 to 3 ¾ inches

CROWN

3 to 4 inches

SIZES more info

21 18 to 24 inches
(54 to 61 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is Cotton Twill.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 916 inch black.

Lace Breton Order Now

Optimo

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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 want one to roll up, go here: Foldable Panama Hats for Travel

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-foldable Optimos. I’ve even taken to wearing one myself from time to time. A writer friend wears his Optimo as his Writing Hat. And as his Travel Hat. And as his Going To Town Hat. And 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

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 more info

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

Homburg

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.

While I was putting the finishing touches on his hat, I realized that, as with most styles, it would look great on women. Some women. They know who they are.

To wear this style, and truly own it, a woman (or man) has to have a higher-than-average level of personal style. No slouches allowed.

This is a tall hat with a short brim and an extra-wide ribbon. A very dressy style. A hat with attitude.

After I finished the first one for my client, I immediately started another one for myself. That’s it below with the brown ribbon. It’s interesting how the brown ribbon gives the hat a completely different mood.

The ribbon is from my Vintage Collection. I have several browns, grays, greens, and tans in the Vintage Collection. Unfortunately, I’ve never had the “extra” time to photograph the various colors and re-engineer my web site to make it possible for you to choose one. If you want one of the ribbon colors you see in one of my style photos, just let me know which style and I can retrieve that ribbon color. Keep in mind that the color you see on your monitor may not be the exact color of the ribbon. (Another reason I don’t try to offer a wide range of colored ribbons on this site.)

The hat in the bottom photo is size 7¼, crown is 5 inches, brim is 212 inches, grosgrain ribbon is from the Vintage Collection and is 2 inches wide, $1000 (plus ribbon upgrade $35).

Prices

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 more info

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.

HomburgOrder Now

Downing Street

The Downing Street is very similar to the Homburg. The difference is the pinches. It’s always fascinating to me how one simple difference creates a completely different look.

I originally created the Downing Street as a men’s style. But almost all of the men I showed it to thought it was a little too much of a “dandy” hat for them. Men are such style cowards, aren’t they? I knew women would be more appreciative of a style that departs from the mainstream, media-inspired fashion norms. It’s interesting to me that most men prefer to blend in and most women prefer to stand out.

This strikes me as a dressy style. I can easily picture you wearing it with a black pants suit. Or white. Or…

Prices

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 more info

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 Street 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. But not to the beach. Well, wait. I might be wrong. If it’s a nude beach, and you wear only the Derby, that could work.

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 434 inches, brim 218 inches after curl, 212 inches uncurled, $1000.

Prices

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 more info

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

 
The Panama Hat Company of the Pacific dba Brent Black Panama Hats 1314 Center Dr., Suite B-448 Medford, OR 97501 There is no retail store at this address. (more) Toll Free: (888) 658-6500 Phone: (541) 201-3113 Fax: Coming soon

Text and photos © 1988-2018, B. Brent Black. All rights reserved.

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