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Beach & Garden Panama Hats

The Ultrawide

The Ultrawide

For women, mostly

You’ve probably never worn a hat with a brim as wide as these. I really enjoyed testing this style by showing it to women friends. The usual reaction was to shriek, grab the hat, and run for the mirror. Now I’ll be the first to admit that I know nothing about women. (Okay, okay, maybe less than that.) But I figured the shriek-and-mirror reaction meant it was a winner.

Apparently, there is something very comforting about a hat with a 7-inch brim. Several said they felt like they just wanted to get under there and wrap themselves in it like a security blanket.

I have no idea what your reaction will be when it emerges from the shipping box. You may let out a cry of joy and run for the mirror. You may head for the beach. You may head off to some elegant affair, knowing you will be noticed.

I have these custom woven for me. As usual, I requested a much higher than average weave quality, natural straw. I finish them with black grosgrain ribbon outside. Taller crowns get wider ribbon, shorter crowns get less wide ribbon. Bow is centered in back

You can turn the brim up all around. Turn it down in front. Turn it down in back. Turn one side down, one side up. You may decide to pin up one side. Or the other. One hat, many styles. One woman, many moods.

The young ladies in the photographs are not at all overwhelmed by that much brim. The woman wearing the necklace is no more than 4’10” and as thin as my patience at the end of a long day.

It’s a wide brim. Really wide. Ultrawide. It will be the widest brim on the beach. Or at the garden party.

Specifications

  • Hand woven genuine Panama hat
  • Hand woven brim edge
  • Natural straw color (not bleached white)
  • Hand blocked and custom sized
  • Crown about 3 3/4 to 4 ½ inches
  • Ultrawide Brim is about 7 inches, Some a little more, some a little less
  • Cotton twill sweatband standard
  • Classic Black 1 7/16 inch ribbon is standard (many other choices)

Prices

UltraWide

$400
or 2 for $700

BRIM

7 inches

CROWN

3 ¾ to 4 1/2 inches

SIZES details

21 1⁄8 to 23 inches

54 to 58.4 cm

SWEATBAND see choices

Cotton Twill is the standard sweatband.

RIBBON see choices

Black 1 7/16 inches is the standard ribbon.

Single Hat - $400

Two or More
- $350 each

Cocoa Beach SAFARI EDITION

  • Click photos for larger version

  • Click photos for larger version

Cocoa Beach SE – Cocoa

For Women, mostly

There you were – looking in your mirror and thinking “I look like someone who should be on a beach. Soon. Often.”
You were right.

Go look again.

See? You still have that look. And you’re not the only one who sees it.

People look at you, even total strangers, and they know, they just know – you were Born to Beach.

Hank Williams, Jr. knows he was Born to Boogie, and you know you were Born to Beach.

You have a calling, a mission in life.

Your mission is to get the good stuff in life, and to look great while you’re getting it. Good mission.

The Cocoa Beach SE is part of the good stuff in life. Obviously. And you will look great in it. Obviously.

Decision time. Regular brim or wide brim?

Oh, all right. Both.

I make decisions like that, too.

In this case, you can’t go wrong: Wide brim on days when a wide brim is perfect. Regular brim on days when a regular brim is perfect. Perfect.

The hat color is Cocoa. The standard ribbon color is Whiskey. If you’ll be traveling, it won’t show dirt easily. Black and Chocolate Brown are also good. NOTE: For some reason, the hats look taller in the photos shot from the front and back than from the side. I’m trying to figure it out. To me, the profile photos look right.

If you’ll spend most of your time by the pool or on the beach, the lighter colors of White Sand and Parchment might also be perfect choices.

The bow is centered in back. I could put it on the side if you prefer. For men, it’s recommended.

In case you are wondering if the crown shape is the same as the Marcie Polo –– yes. Same blocks. Why didn’t I call it the Marcie Polo SE? Maybe I should. I’ll ask Marcie what she thinks.

When your hat arrives, and you put it on, Remember to feed the pets and leave a note before you follow your destiny to the nearest beach.

Specifications

  • Hand woven genuine Panama hat
  • Hand woven brim edge
  • Straw dyed “Cocoa” color
  • Hand blocked and custom sized
  • Crown about 4 to 4 ¼ inches
  • Wide Brim is more than 3 inches
  • Regular Brim is less than 3 inches
  • Cotton Twill sweatband standard
  • White Sand 1 ¼ inch ribbon standard (many other choices)
  • Weave count comparable to some of my Montecristi hats

Price

Why One Panama Hat Costs More than Another

Regular brim - $400

Wide Brim - $425

Details

BRIM

Regular Brim - under 3 inches
Wide Brim – more than 3 inches

CROWN

4 to 4 1/4”

Measured on the side.

SIZES details

21” to 23 3/4”
(53.5 cm to 60.5 cm)

I will send you size test bands
and will custom size your hat,
included in the price.
Extra shipping cost outside of U.S.

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is Black Cotton Twill


RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 7/16” Whiskey Brown

Cocoa Beach SE

Regular brim - $400

Wide Brim - $425

Mombasa Café

Mombasa Café

FOR MEN & WOMEN

Of course you’ve heard of it. The ancient, the legendary, the dilapidated, the damn near roofless—Mombasa Café. Have you been there? The great ones all stopped by when they were in town. Stanley, Livingston, Burton, Speke, Rhodes, Quatermain, and the others. Current kindred spirits still do.

They are drawn by a fireplace roaring as needed in the rainy season, the most comfortable hand-carved wood chairs in the world, the best cup of coffee in a thousand miles, cold Tusker on tap, and a cellar full of big oak barrels of extraordinarily-well-aged Jamaican rum which may or may not have disappeared from the hold of a British merchant ship in port for a few days in the summer of 1921.

As an extra bonus, the food won’t kill you. Mostly. There have been exceptions.

No one comes in without a hat. You just don’t muck about in the noonday sun of equatorial Africa without a hat. Even mad dogs and Englishmen wear hats. As a general rule, the Englishmen look better in theirs. They are also less likely to chew them up in an absent moment. Though some do.

The prevailing style of choice is the Mombasa of course. Classic center dent crown, generous dimples, safari brim, wide ribbon. Some favor a hand-blocked Montecristi Mombasa. The one shown here is called the Mombasa Café, because this is the kind they sell at— you guessed it, the Mombasa Café.

These are hand woven, genuine Panama hats, dyed a dirt-defying, café-con-leche color. Brims are folded and sewn with a plastic thing inside the outer edge to hold the brim shape. Hats are woven, shaped, and finished in Cuenca, Ecuador. Black grosgrain ribbon 13⁄8 inches wide, cloth sweatband inside, brim 3 inches wide. The hat I chose at random has a count of 15×23.

You know what? This is a good hat. I have worn this hat myself and have received compliments. I like the feel of it. Some of my friends pronounced this more their kind of hat than the higher priced Montecristi hats. Fair enough. It’s a good hat. It’s a good price.

Stanley wears these. He buys 8 or 10 each time he passes through the Mombasa Cafe between expeditions. Like any sensible person with an addiction, he doesn’t want to run out.

He knows at least two will be stolen, a hazard of wearing a great hat into areas where there are no hats. He will have to give three or four as presents to tribal chiefs who won’t take no for an answer, and through whose territory he must pass. He may have to leave one or two behind on a tree branch to fool hostile warriors while he runs like hell.

It’s good to have more than one of a great thing. Especially true if it is reasonably priced. Imperative if one doesn’t want to run out.

ALMOST OUT

These are almost gone. Especially the big sizes. Great hat. Great price. Measure your head to the nearest 1/8 inch and use that to place your order. These are labeled S, M, L but no two are the same size. So it’s best to tell me your head measurement, and I will see if I have one to fit you. While they last.

Specifications

  • Hand woven genuine Panama hat
  • Caramel straw color
  • Factory shaped and finished in Cuenca, Ecuador
  • Brim edge folded and sewn
  • Brim width is about 3 1/4 inches.
  • Crown height about 4 ¾ inches
  • Cotton twill sweatband
  • Black 1 3/8 inch ribbon

Prices

Mombasa Cafe

$300

BRIM

7 inches

CROWN

4 ¾

SIZES details

S,M,L

Measure your head and I will find the best fit

SWEATBAND

Cloth

RIBBON

Mombasa Cafe

Order Now

Island Style

Genuine, Hand-Woven Monetcristi Panama Hats
With Rare Ventilated Weave – Very Cool

People who live in the islands are a little more laid back. We walk slower. We smile faster. We talk to strangers. We yield, even where there is no sign. We wave at other drivers, using all five fingers. We don’t own neckties. We are the opposite of buttoned down. We stop to smell the plumerias. We prefer convertibles to hardtops, sandals to wingtips.

In the island tradition of stylish comfort, I give you–– “Island Style” Montecristi Panama hats. Sandals for your head TM.

  • Plumeria Flowers from My Yard

These “open weave” crowns let the trade winds have free trade with your head, blowing right on through the geometric weave patterns, cooling your brow and calming your life. Wider brims will provide nearly weightless shade and comfort. If you thrive on envy, wear one to the company 4 th of July picnic.

  • Waimanalo Beach, Oahu
  • Me on Waimanalo Beach

Once you get your hands on your favorite style, watch what happens when you put it on. Get in front of a mirror. There you are, looking like you, feeling like you. Then you put the hat on. Suddenly, you’re Stylin’ ‘neath the palms.TM Even where there are no palms.

Cool. Very cool.

Special note: “Island Weave” Montecristi hats have a serious wow factor. You will receive compliments from admiring strangers. You may want to have a short response ready. Think about TV news sound bites. Be brief. Be modest. Mention my name at least five times.

  • Conch on the Nose

Classic Fedora ISLAND STYLE

The Classic Fedora has been my most popular style for more than 30 years. And the Classic Fedora Island Style is the most popular of the “open weave” styles. If you wear one, you also will be popular.

Many years ago, I made a personal hat with this diagonal weave pattern. It got compliments every time I wore the hat. So, I had more hats custom woven with this same pattern. Why should I be the only one getting all those compliments?

Just in case you’ve never seen this type of weave close up, the dark areas are spaces between the straw. The light areas are the straw itself. Serious ventilation. Almost like having an air-conditioned hat.

Montecristi hats are famous for being woven of very thin (fine) straw. So they are lighter weight, thinner, and less “firm” than most Panama hats you may have experienced. The open weave crowns have about half as much straw as a solid weave Montecristi hat. So, they are even lighter weight, even less “firm.” I do put a little stiffener in the straw so they will hold the shape better, but I don’t make them stiff. (If you want it stiff, just ask.)

Crown heights and brims widths vary. Minimum crown height is 4 3/8 inches measured on the side. I generally aim for about 2 1/2 to 3 inches of brim width. If you have a specific brim width in mind, let me know and I’ll see if I have a hat that will block to your size, and will also have the brim width you prefer.

This is a very cool style. Both literally and figuratively. By wearing one, you also will be very cool.

Prices

Custom Made
Custom Sized
Everything by Hand

Premium

$650

Master Weaver
&
Mil Fino hats


$3500 to $40,000


Go to:
About Mil Fino Hats

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 un-dyed fine leather.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 116 inch black.

Classic Fedora IS Order Now

Monte Carlo ISLAND STYLE

This has been a very popular style for many years. I used to call it the Golf of Panama. (Small joke on Gulf of Panama, and a good style for golfers.) Now, I’m welcoming the style to the family of Island Style styles and renaming it accordingly.

This is an absolutely classic Panama hat style. Think Clark Gable in GWTW. Perhaps Mr. Gable would have preferred the open weave and better ventilation of the Island Style version had it been available, especially while escaping the inferno of Atlanta burning. That would have been much hotter than an August afternoon in Atlanta today, even factoring in global warming.

It is a truly great style for golfers. Good sun protection, good ventilation, and very good looking. Some clients swear the Monte Carlo IS takes at least five strokes off their game. I’m inclined to believe them.

Not a golfer? No worries. Unless you have a personal prohibition against looking great, this is an excellent choice for men or women.

Geometrical patterns vary, but they are all attractive, so no need to fret over what I might choose. I generally choose whichever hat will block to your size, and will also have the brim width you prefer.

As you can see, this is not just a hat – it’s Art. The artists of the small village of Las Lagunas, in Montecristi Canton, weave the straw 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. They assure me it is, and keep weaving.

Prove it to yourself by ordering one.

Prices

Custom Made
Custom Sized
Everything by Hand


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

REGULAR

234 to 318″ — $800

Wider

314 to 334″ — $1100

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.

Monte Carlos IS Order Now

Keeneland ISLAND STYLE

  • Click photos for larger version

Keeneland – ISLAND STYLE

For men and women

Same crown shape/style as the Monte Carlo IS (above). The difference is the brim. Not curled in front. So I favor a little less brim width than the Monte Carlo IS. Good looking style.

Keeneland is the name of a famous thoroughbred horse race track in Lexington, Kentucky. It is a beautiful, perfect racecourse. And this is the perfect style to wear if you want to look like a winner. Distinctive yet understated. Imparts to the wearer a sophisticated, confident, stylish charisma. I am confident you will use this power cautiously and ethically.

You will look like a high roller, an insider who probably knows more than you will reveal. Don’t be surprised if strangers seek your advice on the featured stakes race that day.

Women’s – Bow In Back

Some women have told me they prefer the bow to be centered in back, instead of on the side. Okay. That’s easy enough. Just specify Bow In Back when you choose the ribbon in the selection process.

And if some men prefer the bow in back, that’s fine, too. Just specify Bow In Back when you choose the ribbon in the selection process.

Personally, I think it looks better on the side. But this is a business (sort of). So I’ll do as you ask (a lot of the time).

Price

Why one hat costs more than another

PREMIUM

Regular Brim - $750
Wide Brim - $1000

Details

BRIM

Width of brim before curling
Curl subtracts 1/4 to 1/2 inch

Regular - 3 1/8 to 3 3/8 inches
Wide - 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 inches

CROWN

3 1/2 to 4 inches

SIZES details

21 1/4 to 24 ¼ inches
(53 to 62 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is un-dyed fine leather – with breathing holes


RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 1/16 inch Classic Black.

 
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Text and photos © 1988-2022, B. Brent Black. All rights reserved.

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