Women's Montecristi Panama Hats

Women’s Montecristi Panama Hats

custom made montecristi panama hats for women

Custom Made
Montecristi Hats for Women
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Choose from 22 classic and contemporary women’s Panama hat styles. Each hat is custom-made and custom-sized. Each hat is hand-woven, hand-blocked, hand-styled, and hand-finished—a one-of-a-kind work of art.

Styles 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.

Availability

I do my best to have the right hats to be able to make all my styles in a full range of sizes, grades brim widths, and even different heights. But it is not always possible to make every conceivable possibility.

Favorites

Marcie Polo

Wobbly Brim

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, 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.

Prices

Custom Made
Custom Sized
Everything by Hand


$700, $900, $1100, $1450, $1850, $2350

Master Weaver
&
Mil Fino hats


$3500 to $40,000


Go to:
About Mil Fino Hats

Details

BRIM

(regular brim width) 2 34 to 3 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

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.

Prices

Custom Made
Custom Sized
Everything by Hand


$600, $800, $1000, $1350, $1750, $2250, $2750, $3250, $4000, $5000

Master Weaver
&
Mil Fino hats


$3500 to $40,000


Go to:
About Mil Fino Hats

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 un-dyed fine leather.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 116 inch black.

Classic Fedora Order Now

Monte Carlo

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

Custom Made
Custom Sized
Everything by Hand


$700, $900, $1100, $1450, $1850, $2350

Master Weaver
&
Mil Fino hats


$3500 to $40,000


Go to:
Mil Fino Page

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

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

Custom Made
Custom Sized
Everything by Hand


$600, $800, $1000, $1350, $1750, $2250, $2750, $3250, $4000, $5000

Master Weaver
&
Mil Fino hats


$3500 to $40,000


Go to:
About Mil Fino Hats

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 un-dyed fine leather.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 ½ inch black.

The Lover Order Now

Wide Brims

Monte Carlo IS

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

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.

Prices

Custom Made
Custom Sized
Everything by Hand


$700, $900, $1100, $1450, $1850, $2350, $2850, $3250

Master Weaver
&
Mil Fino hats


$3500 to $40,000


Go to:
About Mil Fino Hats

Details

BRIM

2 ¾ to 3 ¼ inches (after curl)

CROWN

3 58 to 4 inches

SIZES more info

21 18 to 24 12 inches
(53.5 to 62.5 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.

Keeneland Order Now

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

Custom Made
Custom Sized
Everything by Hand


$700, $900, $1100, $1450, $1850, $2350, $2850, $3250

Master Weaver
&
Mil Fino hats


$3500 to $40,000


Go to:
About Mil Fino Hats

Details

BRIM

3 14 to 3 34 inches
(after curl)

CROWN

4 38 to 4 34 inches

SIZES details

21 18 to 25 12 inches
(53.5 to 62.5 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.

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

Custom Made
Custom Sized
Everything by Hand


$700, $900, $1100, $1450, $1850, $2350, $2850, $3250

Master Weaver
&
Mil Fino hats


$3500 to $40,000


Go to:
About Mil Fino Hats

Details

BRIM

2 ¾ to 3 ½ inches (after curl)

CROWN

2 34 to 3 32 inches
(after curl)

SIZES details

21 18 to 25 12 inches
(53.5 to 62.5 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.

Aficionado Order Now

Diplomat

Have you met Marcie Polo? You’ve heard the stories, right?

Marcie is the great, great, great, great, great, great — well, she’s really great –– granddaughter of Marco Polo.

She is an international enigma, with an overdose of excellence in multiple skill sets.

Marcie “invented” this style in order to prevent a war. She’s like that.

She was called in to mediate a merger between North Unsteadistan and South Unsteadistan.

Not a lot of job security working for one of the Unsteadistans. No point asking about a twenty-year pension. Twenty months is a long tenure for an Unsteadistan government. One lasted less than twenty minutes.

Marcie stipulated they pay in advance.

Parliaments of both nations had voted long ago to merge the two nations into one. Everything went surprisingly, perhaps shockingly, well for many months.

They agreed on the shape of the negotiation table after only five months of debate.

They agreed on a new flag, new national anthem, national capital, national bird, tree, flower, gem, holidays (first item on the agenda), and almost everything else. Then it all came off the rails.

They couldn’t agree on the official national hat.

One popular proposal had been a soccer ball. Fully inflated. The rationale was that a soccer ball, as a hat, would be about as stable and secure as the nation itself.

They debated, argued, and insulted each other for three months, before finally coming down to two finalists.

North Unsteadistan was united in favor of my Gatsby Fedora. Good choice.

South Unsteadistan was equally in favor of my Keeneland. Equally good choice.

Three separate duels were fought over the issue. Two men and a woman lost their lives. A rare albino camel, frightened by the gunfire, ran off into the desert and was never seen again.

Citizens of both nations mourned the loss of the camel.

No agreement was reached regarding an official national hat. They did agree to call Marcie Polo.

She flew in on a chartered DC3 that looked as if it had just flown out of an old movie. She insisted on riding a camel from the airport to the conference center, to express solidarity with the runaway albino camel.

You can always count on Marcie for great photo ops. And a round of drinks. The press love her. As do the-– well, let’s not bring that up just now.

Marcie met with both sides. She asked for a couple of days to study the issue.

She studied by the hotel pool. Often consulting with Piña Coladas and Mojitos. Constantly on the laptop, researching hats, both nations, and peace treaties of the past century. While also squeezing in a little power reading of Sun Tzu, Niccoló Machiavelli, Henry Clay, and Gandhi. She told me she did not look to Gandhi for any fashion advice. (You have not heard True Magical Laughter until you have heard Marcie Polo laugh at one of her own jokes.)

About the time her bar bill hit four figures, Marcie saw a simple solution. Compromise. Channel Henry Clay. A little of this, a little of that. A little from one side, a little from the other side. Time for another Great Compromise.

Combine the two styles.

And order more drinks.

Gatsby crown. Keeneland brim. Brilliant. A nation with both style and attitude. Mission accomplished.

Unanimously approved.

Well, not quite. We still need your vote.

Prices

Custom Made
Custom Sized
Everything by Hand


$700, $900, $1100, $1450, $1850, $2350, $2850, $3250

Master Weaver
&
Mil Fino hats


$3500 to $40,000


Go to:
About Mil Fino Hats

Details

BRIM

2 34 to 3 12 inches
(after curl)

CROWN

4 12 to 4 34 inches

SIZES details

21 18 to 24 12 inches
(53.5 to 62.5 cm)

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is un-dyed fine leather.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 716 inch black.

The Diplomat Order Now

La Costa

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

Custom Made
Custom Sized
Everything by Hand


$700, $900, $1100, $1450, $1850, $2350, $2750, $3250, $4000, $5000

Master Weaver
&
Mil Fino hats


$3500 to $40,000


Go to:
About Mil Fino Hats

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 un-dyed fine leather.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 116 inch black.

La Costa 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.

Prices

Custom Made
Custom Sized
Everything by Hand


$700, $900, $1100, $1450, $1850, $2350

Master Weaver
&
Mil Fino hats


$3500 to $40,000


Go to:
Mil Fino Page

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 Classics

Classic Fedora IS

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

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.

---

Important Stuff:

Style:
Same style as my Classic Fedora.
Blocked on exactly the same blocks.

Prices:
One or two levels below a Classic Fedora
with the same weave count.

Why Lower Prices?
These are older hats and/or have irregular brim edges, spots, areas of darker straw, maybe some broken straw, anything that would disqualify it from being one of my regular Classic Fedoras.

Some might call them seconds. Others might say they have character.

Prices

Custom Made
Custom Sized
Everything by Hand


$450, $600, $750, $900 $1150, $1500, $1750, $2750, $3250, $4000, $5000

Master Weaver
&
Mil Fino
Hemingway’s Hats


$2500 to $15,000
Includes some
Simón Espinal hats


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.

Hemingway's Hat 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.

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

Custom Made
Custom Sized
Everything by Hand


$675, $875, $1075, $1425, $1925, $2325, $2825, $3325, $4075, $5000

Master Weaver
&
Mil Fino hats


$3500 to $40,000


Go to:
About Mil Fino Hats

Details

BRIM

2 58 to 3 18 inches

CROWN

4 58 to 5 inches

SIZES details

21 18 to 25 ¼ 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 ½ inch black.

Gatsby Fedora 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.

Prices

Custom Made
Custom Sized
Everything by Hand


$600, $800, $1000, $1350, $1750, $2250, $2750, $3250, $4000, $5000

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 12 to 24 12 inches
(54.5 to 62.5 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.

Montego Bay Fedora Order Now

Key Largo Fedora

  • Photos 1-6 of 6

  • Key Largo Fedora, Montecristi hat (G1047_71A0404)
  • Key Largo Fedora, Montecristi hat (G1053_71A0775)
  • Key Largo Fedora, Montecristi hat (B1053_71A0927)
  • Click photos for larger version

  • Key Largo Fedora, Montecristi hat (G1047_71A0044)
  • Key Largo Fedora, Montecristi hat (G1053_71A0812)
  • Key Largo Fedora, Montecristi hat (G1047_71A0418)

Key Largo, the movie, is an absolute classic. Bogart. Bacall. Palm trees. Panama hats. Who could ask for more?

Well, maybe Bogie could have been the one wearing the great hat. Instead of the relatively minor character Toots. Toots was one of the tough guys with Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson).

Toots wore a fedora. Same shape as my Montego Bay Fedora, but with a distinctive difference: a little raised crease line running vertically up each side and the back of the hat. The crease line in front is a little wider, which is what it should be.

Toots wore his hat in the bar, and in the hurricane. He and the hat looked better in the bar than in the hurricane.

So, when you wear your own Key Largo- That’s the obvious, perfect name for the style, right? Most of us would rather wear a “Key Largo” than a “Toots.”

When you wear your own Key Largo, favor bars over hurricanes. And especially favor bars near beaches, swimming pools, palm trees, in country clubs, island-bound airplanes, and tropical resorts.

TIP: If you are wearing your Key Largo and decide to roll into a hammock and have a little nap, take off your hat!

Put it over your face (good for shading the eyes and looks good in ads), or put it on your chest. If you leave it on, you will wreck the brim. You knew that? Okay. Good. Sorry. I take it personally if you wreck my hat.

You probably can guess what size I made the very first Key Largo, the prototype. My size, of course.

Love it. Nearly wore out three mirrors.

I didn’t go with the Classic Black ribbon, as Toots did. Can’t go wrong with a black ribbon on a Panama hat. But some of us like something a little less formal, a little more cheerful, a lot more island attitude.

I decided on Caribbean Blue. What color is perfect for you?

No. Don’t go there. Ribbons are not changeable. Wish they were. But I am a nutcase for best possible everything. So ribbons are hand sewn with special thread, great skill, rare patience, and often spiced (I’m told) with blasphemy practice for Talk Like a Pirate Day.

When you wear your own Key Largo, it’s definitely okay to imagine yourself as Bogie’s character, instead of Toots.

In fact, I encourage it.

Prices

Custom Made
Custom Sized
Everything by Hand


$600, $800, $1000, $1350, $1750, $2250, $2750, $3250, $4000, $5000

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 12 to 24 12 inches
(54.5 to 62.5 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.

Key Largo 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.

Prices

Custom Made
Custom Sized
Everything by Hand


$600, $800, $1000, $1350, $1750, $2250, $2750, $3250, $4000, $5000

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 34 to 5 18 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 1 716 inch black.

Havana Fedora Order Now

Optimo

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

Custom Made
Custom Sized
Everything by Hand


$600, $800, $1000, $1350, $1750, $2250, $2750, $3250, $4000, $5000

Master Weaver
&
Mil Fino hats


$3500 to $40,000


Go to:
About Mil Fino Hats

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 un-dyed 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

Custom Made
Custom Sized
Everything by Hand


$675, $875, $1075, $1425, $1825, $2325, $2825, $3325

Master Weaver
&
Mil Fino hats


$3500 to $40,000


Go to:
About Mil Fino Hats

Details

BRIM

2 14 to 2 34 inches (after curl)

CROWN

4 58 to 5 18 inches

SIZES details

21 18 to 25 inches 14
(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 1 716 inch black.

Homburg Order Now

Derby

  • Photos 1-8 of 8

  • Derby, Montecristi hat (B1860_3642)
  • Derby, Montecristi hat (B235_0729)
  • Derby, Montecristi hat (NA_1201)
  • Derby, Montecristi hat (B235_0725)
  • Click photos for larger version

  • Derby, Montecristi hat (NA_LK1)
  • Derby, Montecristi hat (B1860_3650)
  • Derby, Montecristi hat (B1860_3637)
  • Derby, Montecristi hat (NA_1195)

A   Derby. A Montecristi Derby. I just couldn’t resist.


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.

Prices

Custom Made
Custom Sized
Everything by Hand


$675, $875, $1075, $1425, $1825, $2325, $2825, $3325

Master Weaver
&
Mil Fino hats


$3500 to $40,000


Go to:
About Mil Fino Hats

Details

BRIM

2 14 to 2 34 inches (after curl)

CROWN

4 18 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.

Derby Order Now

Porkpie

People who will look good in this style, already know it.

I look silly in this style. And I know it.

It looks great in my camera. It looks wrong in my mirror.

Most likely, I’m just not cool enough to wear this style. Maybe you are. Maybe you have a better mirror.

Jazz musicians always look good in this style. Why is that? I’m told a couple of jazz hall of famers didn’t find their perfect sound until they found their perfect porkpie.

The ribbon is important. In many ways, the ribbon will define your hat, personalize it, differentiate it from other perfect porkpies.

Which color family? Browns? Blues? Grays? Whites? Reds? I suppose jazz musicians might think about the Blues first.

Solids? Stripes? Vintage?

Width deserves careful consideration. A five-eighths-inch ribbon is a very different look than a one-and-three-fourths-inch ribbon.

Vintage ribbons are an option. I have a lot of vintage ribbons. Including blow-your-mind vintage ribbons. I have vintage ribbons so incredible I won’t even sell them. Others are $25 to $1500.

Yes. You’re right. It would be great if they were easy to change. They aren’t. One per hat. But you can get a lot of hats. Each with a different ribbon.

---

Jazz Hatt

Another porkpie. But different.

Better?

For some, it will be love at first sight. A crescendo of desire, quickly leading to a can’t-live-without-it decision. Been there, bought that.

The primary Porkpie (above) has an oval “island” shape in the top of the crown. The “island” is more or less flat on top. More or less even with the rest of the top of the hat. Looks good.

The Jazz Hatt also has an oval “island” in the shape of the top of the crown. But it is a different oval. And it is not flat. It is a dome shape. The top of the island dome is not even with the rest of the top of the hat. It is clearly higher. So the attractive oval dome can be appreciated. It is intended to be an improvement. The proud designer wants us to see it.

Okay. I can see that.

I wish I could make a Jazz Hatt my size. I only have one block. It’s just a little too big for my size. I can make a lot of other sizes, though, larger than 22 ¼, with that one block.

I wish I had more of these blocks. Please let me know if you find some.

If you would like a Jazz Hatt, please send me an email. Let me know what size and what price. Then I can let you know if it is possible.

I hope it is. I like this style.

Writers of hit songs composed while wearing a Jazz Hatt might want to consider allocating a small percentage of royalties to The Montecristi Foundation, Inc. to help keep alive the art of fine hat weaving in Montecristi.

Or, if you would prefer to allocate a large percentage of royalties to a Swiss bank account for my personal benefit, I could roll with that.

Prices

Custom Made
Custom Sized
Everything by Hand


$600, $800, $1000, $1350, $1750, $2250

Master Weaver
&
Mil Fino hats


$3500 to $40,000


Go to:
About Mil Fino Hats

Details

BRIM

2 12 to 3 18 inches

CROWN

3 58 to 4 34 inches

SIZES details

21 18 to 24 12 inches
(53 to 62.5 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.

Porkpie Order Now

Italiano Fedora

  • Photos 1-4 of 4

  • Italiano 1
  • Italiano 2
  • Italiano 3
  • Italiano  f2

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.

Prices

Custom Made
Custom Sized
Everything by Hand


$600, $800, $1000, $1350, $1750, $2250, $2750, $3250, $4000, $5000

Master Weaver
&
Mil Fino hats


$3500 to $40,000


Go to:
About Mil Fino Hats

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 un-dyed fine leather.

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 116 inch black.

Italiano Fedora Order Now

Rare Treasures

The very finest Montecristi Panama hats
in the entire world.

Really.

For more than thirty years, I have been collecting finely woven Montecristi hats like some people collect fine wines.

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 with the weaver’s initials.

Imagine straw thinner than dental floss, woven by hand, for as long as eight months to create a single hat that defies belief. These treasures are not a mere media rumor. They really exist.

As with all priceless treasures, they have prices. $5000 to $40,000.

Discover-

Mil Finos – true “super finos” with weave counts of 1000 and higher

Simón Espinal – the best weaver in history can weave a hat for you

hatart1wSimón Espinal

Simón Espinal,
the best weaver in the world

 
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Text and photos © 1988-2021, B. Brent Black. All rights reserved.

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