16 Jul 2013

Panama hat for shade and a certain panache

Visiting Genoa, Italy
I only got my first Panama hat this spring. Being a novice in the art of hat bearing growing up in the "anti-tradition" 1970s I like many men my age lack the basic knowledge of when, how and why regarding hats. But inspired by the British characters in the many TV productions by Clive Exton, e.g. the 90s ITV network TV series "Jeeves & Wooster" and men like Peter Urban Gad (famous Danish film director in the 1910s and 20s) I decided to try out the shade and comfort from a real Panama hat.

I must say that the lightness of the hat and the beautiful craftsmanship took me by surprise when I first had the hat in my hands. I had chosen the Fedora shape as I find it very flattering even though the foldable model with the crease down the middle of the top would be more practical for journeys abroad.

Asta Nielsen og Peter Urban Gad, 1912
I chose the Pachacuti Panama hat; it has a beautiful shape and colour, is reasonably priced, and Pachacuti is a Fair Trade certified company. Produced in Equador as Panama hats are supposed to be. 
I brought the hat abroad in May during a cruise in the Mediterranean Sea where it gave me shade from the sun and a certain  panache. You make a spectacle when wearing Panama hat and a suit (and a bow tie) in many places, but I felt well received and recognized for my boldness.
Still it is not natural for me to wear a hat at all times, so I need to get in to a certain mood to wear my Panama hat. But I wear it occasionally about my garden and for a stroll in the village where I live.

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