Boater Hats

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Going on a summer getaway? Whether you’re walking along the beach or taking a boat out to sea on the weekend, a boater hat can make you look ten times more confident than you already are.


What is a Boater Hat?

A boater hat is a form of men’s headwear that features a flat top and a wide brim. Boater hats often come with a ribbon that’s wrapped around the crown for a pop of color.

If you’re wondering why it’s called a boater hat, that’s because it’s exactly what its name suggests. Boater hats are believed to have come from Italy, worn by the gondoliers that manned the flat-bottom boats of Venice’s canals. Boatmen continue to wear boater hats to this day, but they’ve made their way into fashion, as well. Now, boater hats can be worn as fashionable men’s headwear, and are best suited for water-related recreation.

The Anatomy of a Boater Hat

Traditional boater hats are made from a variant of straw that is tightly woven together to give it its no-budge build. These days, you’ll find a variety of boater hats that are made from more timeless materials such as wool and leather.

Compared to typical summer hats, boater hats come with a medium brim that’s wide enough to shield the wearer’s eyes from the sun, but not too wide that it starts to obstruct their view. After all, boater hats were (and are) worn by boatmen to safely steer their gondolas through the waters – it wouldn’t be safe if they wore wide-brim hats!

Boater hats tend to be decorated with a colored ribbon, its end hanging freely from the edge, and sashaying in the wind for a dramatic flair. However, modern hats have said goodbye to the long ribbon, and have traded it for a more subtle alternative – a subdued ribbon that’s either solid or striped and that does not freely hang off of the edge.

Boater Hat vs. Panama Hat: What’s the Difference?

Boater hats and Panama hats are both medium-brim hats that are crafted from straw, but they’re not the same hat. A boater hat is made from fibers of Sennit Straw that are carefully intertwined to create a circular pattern. Sennit Straw is a stiff material, so the result is a summer hat that maintains its shape at all times.

Panama hats, on the other hand, are made from Toquilla Straw. Since this variant of straw is more flexible, the Panama hat can take on a variety of shapes such as its iconic fedora-like construction.

In short, boater hats have a distinctive shape, while Panama hats are harder to tell apart due to their ability to be bent into any shape. A “hack” to tell the two apart is to look at the top – if it has a flat top, it’s a boater hat, but if it has a dent in the middle, it’s a Panama hat.

Why Should You Wear a Boater Hat?

As a summer hat, it completes your outfit for sunny afternoons. Wear a boater hat on warm days to add a vibrant flair to your ensemble. Whether you’re going to a music festival, arranging a small get-together, or going to a weekend cookout, a boater hat can make you look from drab to fab.

Not only do boater hats protect you from the sun, but they’re also designed to bring life to your outfit with their colorful ribbons. Even if you’re in a plain white tee, by wearing a boater hat, you’ll be able to create a “focal point” in your outfit, making you look more debonair.

What to Wear With a Boater Hat

Many men hesitate to wear a boater hat because they think they look outdated, but the key to rocking a boater hat is knowing that you look good in it.

Since the boater hat is a summer hat, it’s best suited for laid-back outfits. Thrown on a white tee with a colorful button-up on top, pair it with flip-flops, and top it off with a straw boater hat. One of the best things about boater hats is that they can be dressed up, too. If you want to look like you take a yacht out on the weekend, wear a boater hat with a color-coordinated summer suit.

Kinds of Boater Hats

    • Straw Boater Hat. A traditional type of boater hat, it is made from straw fibers that are tightly bound together. Straw boater hats feature a flat top and a stiff brim that wraps around the entire crown.
    • Wool Boater Hat. Wool boater hats look like straw boater hats, but they’re more formal and feature a stiffer structure. Boater hats made from wool are often dyed a deep, velvety color and paired with a ribbon of the same color.
  • Leather Boater Hat. Leather boater hats are designed to be long-lasting. They can be worn casually, such as with a pair of ripped pants or a plain tee.

Find a Fashionable Boater Hat at DapperFam

If you’re planning a summer getaway, or if you’re attending a formal weekend affair, pair your outfit with a boater hat from DapperFam. Our boater hats are carefully crafted from the finest materials such as Koberg Straw and wool to make sure that your look as sleek as can be. Browse our wide selection of boater hats today to find the perfect one to complete your outfit.