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How to Wear a Panama Hat: Style Guide for Men

As the summer season approaches, it’s time for you to relax and enjoy the sun. Switch up to something a lot more comfortable, chill, and laid back. But this doesn’t...

As the summer season approaches, it’s time for you to relax and enjoy the sun.

Switch up to something a lot more comfortable, chill, and laid back. But this doesn’t mean that you have to lose your style.

Unlike the different choices of hats available in the winter season, there’s only one summer hat that’s worn across the world, and that’s the panama hat.

Whether you’re having a Hawaii beach holiday, drinking a sharbat in your backyard, holding a barbeque in the park, or just walking on a sunny day, a panama hat is a must-have.

Panama hats are the trend during the hot and sweaty months because of their lightweight, breathable and wide-brimmed shape. Not only do they give you cool relief, but also a sophisticated and fashionable edge to your get-up.

If you want a style guide for panama hats, keep reading on. We’ll discuss its history, some buying tips, and how to style it with your get-up

What Is a Panama Hat?

A “Panama hat” is a finely woven hat usually crafted from the straw of the South American palm plant. These hats are specially hand-woven by Ecuadorian craftsmen hailing from the cities of Cuenca and Montecristi.

Creating one hat takes a long process of around 30 steps, starting from the selection and harvest of the toquilla straw to the tightness and of the weave.

The prominent element of Panama hats is that they are made of straw weave, not the type of shape. The two most used patterns for the Panama Hats are the Brisa and the Cuenca weave patterns.

Although it’s named after Panama, its origins are in the popular hat-making and tropical nation Ecuador. It’s initially called sombrero de paja toquilla or straw hat in the native language.

Let’s first have a look at the brief history of this iconic hat!

History and Tradition of the Panama Hat

The Panama hat has been around for over a century. The first historical reference to a Panama hat was around the 1700s.

The reason why it’s called Panama hat is because these middlemen were mainly working in Panama City, the global center of trade. Men sporting this dapper hat, even visiting President Theodore Roosevelt, were photographed while constructing the Panama canal.

Fashion experts claim that the Panama hat reached its peak during the golden age of the ‘20s.

Yet to adapt to the changing times, the Panama hat has evolved to modern styles. Add to that their versatility and comfortability, they are again soaring in popularity.

How to Wear a Panama Hat?

Now that you’ve learned all about panama hats, it’s essential to proceed to the next step.

We’ll discuss the basics of wearing a panama hat so you can have your summer holiday in style!

Choose Your Hat Style

There are two major points to consider in choosing a panama hat to flatter: the shape and size of the brim and the crow. Although there are a lot of available options in the market, we’ve listed down the top panama hat profiles that may fit your style.

  • Fedora-shaped panama hat: these classic hats need no more introduction. If you want a modern look with a classic feel, then this is the piece for you. These work great on shorter and rounder face shapes as they give the illusion of more length. Most fedoras have a black grosgrain ribbon tied around the crown for a sophisticated edge.
  • Planter panama hat: this style is known for its rounded, molded crown and a wider and longer brim for extra sun protection. These suit longer faces for great proportion. It’s a statement piece that’s sure to gather admiring glances left and right.
  • Trilby panama hat: similar to fedora hats, these are best for short and round faces. The difference is that trilby hats have a shorter brim that is tilted in front.
  • Optimo panama hat: the optimo-shaped one reached its peak popularity during the 1900s, yet it’s still considered one of the most elegant hat shapes. With its top-seam and rounded crown, it gives off a distinctly sartorial appeal.

Pair It Up With Your Get-Up

Another huge factor for your panama hat is how you dress up. If you’ve chosen a hat style that fits you, you must then coordinate it with your clothes.


For folks who simply want to chill and take things lightly, the panama hat is an easy way to upgrade your outfit. You may wear this for watching football matches and beer combos, summer picnics in the park, or Sunday brunch at the beach.

If you’re having a bad hair day or a stay-in-bed-all-day mood, this hat has got you to the rescue. Simply throw in a white shirt, ragged jeans, and pop on a panama hat, and you’re good to go.

Gatsby aficionado

Although the panama hats may not seem the most formal of headpieces, you can still achieve a mid-century Gatsby flair wearing these! Pair it up with black linen suits, silk or velvet ties, polished shoes, and a gold signet ring.

This go-to style will put you up there with the old Hollywood actors who are symbols of sophistication. For black-tie events, balls, and date nights, this style will sweep women off their feet.


If your style is rule-breaking, quirky, and peculiar, a panama hat still has a place in your wardrobe.

Rock this with some cowboy boots, daisy dukes and denim pants, leather belts, vintage band t-shirt, and fringe galore – all part of that boho branding. Wear these, and you’ll definitely look free-spirited, hippie, and artsy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. How should I wear panama hats?

Hats should be worn at a certain angle instead of it just being plopped straight onto your head. You can tilt it forward, backward, or vertically, depending on your face shape and features.

2. How to take care of panama hats?

Because of its straw material and weave, it’s not recommended to wash your hat often. We recommend that you store this hat in a dry and room temperature storage and keep it off dust and spills. If it has stains, you may lightly pat it out with soft soap and water.

3. Where can I buy panama hats?

There are lots of panama hats available online, but you need to keep in mind that quality and durability are of utmost importance. At, you have a wide selection of panama hats to choose from. Additionally, all of their products are curated to meet the highest standards.

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