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Summer Shade


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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Summer Shade

I have never worn a straw or Panama hat but the idea is really growing on me.
Personally I don't think I would wear it with a suit but with a linen shirt and shorts it could work very nicely for me.

Since you guys probably know more about it than I, what should I be looking for?

I love this hat I saw at Piombo in Portofino.

10 Corso Como has a great selection of men's hats right now.
I might check out Jay Kos here in NYC

Comments on "Summer Shade"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:17 PM) : 

Since you are in NYC, go to Hat Corner (name of store) down near Wall Street,..the guys there got me in to the right hat for the shape of my face, etc..


Anonymous phyllis said ... (10:22 PM) : 

'Ya know, you're totally right Sart. This is a look that has been seriously overlooked for revival. When it works for everyone from Truman Capote to John Huston - that's saying something.


Anonymous Kyle Dunn said ... (10:23 PM) : 

I think straw hats are fine with suits. They're just the summer version of a wool hat. Personally I'd go with something that has a stronger brim, like the second hat you posted, rather than a flimsy panama if you are wearing a suit. Just be careful when wearing a straw hat with a dress shirt, you don't want to look like an Amish man...


Blogger monique said ... (10:24 PM) : 

I'm a big fan of the trilby. It's a Panama with a smaller brim. IMO a big brim works best on a big man (by bigger I mean fat). Those big brims can overpower.

I've bought several trilbies for my guy and often wear my own since I live at the beach and the sun is brutal on my curly hair. I wear them hiking, kayaking or all dressed up for dinner - but my own personal style is a bit boyish so it works.

Me thinks you will look quite handsome once you find the right style.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:38 PM) : 

This look either passes easily, or looks contrived. I think the first guy looks contrived. My FIL, of all people, has a hat that my MIL bought him, he could care less, and totally owns the wearing of it.

Honestly, I think the best thing is to entrust someone else to buy you the hat, and you wear it - with whatever. Spending a lot of time finding the "right" hat just screams trying too hard. It's possible you could shop for it yourself, but if someone else gets it, it's almost like trying on something belonging to someone else just for fun, and finding that it just fits you so well - and you never would've thought it would.


Anonymous AnonymousJK said ... (10:51 PM) : 

I'm on the fence about this pic and I don't know why... Maybe he's a little too lean for my liking, hence the reason the hat is so over powering (in my opinion) or maybe it's the pleated pant - either way, I don't love it, but I don't hate it either... What I do like is that it's forcing me to think!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:57 PM) : 

That man is hot.


Blogger emily said ... (11:10 PM) : 

i like them a lot!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:14 PM) : 

The hat itself clashes with the suit. I think it does surprisingly well as it takes away some of the formality in the suit.


Blogger Agos said ... (11:21 PM) : 

it doesn't work with the suit, but it's a hot item anyway!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:23 PM) : 

I like the concept as well but feel it looks contrived. I found some straw hats from Etro, one is blue, the other checks, that are a more interesting then the traditional Panama hat. I wear them with casual clothes and rock star sunglasses for a younger look.


Blogger dominicandandy said ... (11:32 PM) : 

I recently bought a Borsalino Panama hat with a 2 1/2 inch brim. Man, do I love it. I wear it with suits to work and I've worn it with jeans and a T shirt. I don't even need to wear sunglasses when I have it on. Pay careful attention to the weight. I tried several on and some were heavy and seemed to have a coat of baked enamel. I can actually feel the breeze on my scalp. Go see the guys at JJ Hat Center on 5th Ave. You can also try Orlando at
Worth & Worth. Once you get one, you will grow very fond of it quickly.


Blogger seasonal lust said ... (11:35 PM) : 

why does this entry and those hats bring on images of humphrey bogart?


Anonymous Brandon said ... (11:49 PM) : 

What do you call the flat brim hats that look similar to the last pic? Little bit longer brim then the fedora and flat all the way around, not flimsy or flipped up?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:00 AM) : 

Hey Sart,
Check out Hats in the Belfry. It's a philly store with an online shop.

I get all my straw summer fedoras there and can't say enough good things about them

-charles in philly


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:02 AM) : 

JJ's Hat Center in NYC,
they've got the selection and the knowledge.


Blogger snurvnurple said ... (12:12 AM) : 

Holy Sitcom Batman. This guy reminds me of Michael J. Fox. Now I know that he might not be the most fashion-forward of individuals but this guy does look great! I love the movement in the shot, how he's walking with some attitude and purpose. I think the fit of the suit is amazing. It's not an uber-fashion shot where the suit is so tight it looks uncomfortable, but it is slim (as he is). This guy carries a purpose but is also comfortable in his suit. And he looks a bit like Fox, which can't be a bad thing...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:19 AM) : 

A nice Panama is a fairly large investment (a coupla hundred bucks at least on up into the thousands). Your primary considerations (other than size and shape) should be the quality and density of the weave. The hat should feel delicate and flexible, but should, in reality, be very strong. Though breathable, the Panama should keep your hair dry if it rains. Really nice Panamas can be reshaped by a hatter (good luck finding one of those) even years after it's made.

Cheaper Panamas won't keep your hair dry in the rain (carry an umbrella) and will fall apart (go buy another).

I think they're still nice with a linen suit in sunny climes.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:45 AM) : 

try straw fedoras made by brixton


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:01 AM) : 

Just bought such a hat in Puerto Rico. Wider brim model.

Will definitely be wearing it with all types of attire, including business and business casual.

the hat just works.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:32 AM) : 

You should check JJ Hat Center on Fifth and 32nd. Great selection of classic hats and fedoras.


Blogger josh y lola said ... (1:55 AM) : 

Great pictures. In Spain we use this type of hats in the city, beach or bullfights :-)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:00 AM) : 

Watching 8 1/2 will make any man want to wear a hat.


Blogger madameshawshank said ... (2:07 AM) : 

Eric Bibb in a panama hat! plus the gorgeousness of his "Panama Hat" song...

even the word 'panama' looks gorgeous..the so so Summer..


Blogger Idia'Dega said ... (2:12 AM) : 

Classic, classic, classic. Think higher brim (right on Monique) and have a bit of fun with the band - maybe an unexpected color? I love hats, just bought a vintage straw hat - more of a cloche really. Anyway I look forward to seeing what you select. Please post a photo when you find your chapeau.


Blogger ethandesu said ... (2:25 AM) : 

If you get to Tokyo, Scott, check CA4LA in Daikanyama, where I got my last straw hat.. Not too ewxpensive, either,which is a plus when you have to cart it back overseas.. My last is in the image attached..



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:29 AM) :

my hats grow there ;-)


Blogger Panda Gets Bear said ... (2:29 AM) : 

Gotta go to Ecuador for some sweeeeeeet panama hats! It's bespoke panama hats over heehe.

Unrelated style question:
I consider myself a good giver of advice to my male friends, but one has me in a puzzle. For one thing, he is really, really tall (6'7"), and while simple, well-tailored clothes look great on him, I wonder if it is possible for the extremely tall to wear some more playful ensembles without looking... well, ridiculous I suppose.

I try to envision him in some of the great, fashion-foward outfits I see you posting on here, and I just can't envision any of them being pulled off by extremely tall guys. Like if he were to wear pants with a shorter hemline, it wouldn't look European; it would just look like he couldn't find pants long enough for himself. HAH.

Any tips on how the super tall can also look edgy?


Anonymous Don said ... (2:43 AM) : 

The Panama is a classic summer hat. You'll look great.

In New York, check out J.J. Hat Center 310 Fifth Avenue, near 32nd Street. (

Del Monico Hatter in New Haven is another classic store.

Key factors are matching size and shape of face.

Both stores have expert staffs. You'll love it.


Anonymous Artemis said ... (2:44 AM) : 

those hats have a great summer look. they would definitely look good with a linen blouse. although the hats look fine with a suit, they look too old-school with that ensemble.

to make it more modern, i would roll the linen blouse and wear linen pants - that would give it a more relaxed look.


Anonymous Honolulu Daily Photo said ... (2:46 AM) : 

He looks like he stepped out of a Fellini Film. Maybe channeling Marcello Mastroianni. Ciao


Blogger KittyKatt said ... (3:39 AM) : 

if you have what my other calls a 'hat face' then i think if you want one get one..& get one like in the top picture - classic! a quintessentially summer item that looks great new & simply improves with age..& do get someone to take a picture of you in it with the linen shirt & shorts..


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:45 AM) : 

Yeah, I agree with the recommendation to try a hat with a smaller brim, since I recall that you're not such a big guy.

Check out Makins hats. Wonderful selection, from mild to daring. Nordstrom sells them, and Makins is based in NYC.


Blogger Ingvild liker matblogging said ... (4:02 AM) : 

I love this page!
Please come to Norway...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:12 AM) : 

J'adore, so chic even for ladies! But not with a suit, i agree :)


Blogger António Erre said ... (4:59 AM) : 

I love hats... in others.
Unfortunately any hat doesn't match with me.


Blogger pussygalore2906 said ... (5:06 AM) : 

Well, a classic panama is manufactured only in Cuenca, Ecuador. It's made of the so called paja toquilla, a certain palm tree leaf growing in Monte Christo mostly. In Cuenca I bought my own Panama and my boyfriends for a fraction of what they would cost in the states in this quality. They are divided into several quality classes, the finest being superfino. They are fabulous. And pricy of course. I wouldn't know where to get them in USA but in Ecuador the most recommendable manufacturer is Alberto Pulla in Cuenca. Honestly, buy a superfino and it'll last for the rest of your life.


Blogger Mr Atrocity said ... (5:11 AM) : 

If you are seeking the best of the best then a Monte Cristi Panama is the one to go for. I have no idea about stockists in the United States but Lock & Co in London have a fine selection which you can peruse online here. They have other, more inexpensive hats also though a good panama will never be cheap.

I am not personally a fan of tiny-brimmed panamas mostly for practical reasons of keeping the sun off but equally I agree with the previous commenter that a very broad brimmed fedora type panama does not suit many. I have the trilby panama from Bates with which I am well pleased if you wanted a specific recommendation.


Blogger Chris said ... (5:18 AM) : 

I've always kind of struggled with the straw hat and suit until I saw Thomas Crown Affar (1968). Just watch the bank robbery scene. The stingy hats with the shorter brims tend to look best for my tastes. Very sharp.


Blogger Magic said ... (5:58 AM) : 

I have always thought to wear it on a nice sunny beach not in a street in NYC anyway I like the style.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:20 AM) : 

Im so happy you are back in NYC!!!


Blogger hetuu said ... (6:49 AM) : 

A nice blogy. I will ready every day your blogy. I live in Finland.


Blogger Johan said ... (6:54 AM) : 

You should go for a Borsalino Panama. I own one myself and it's unbelievable comfortable. Very light and soft. Just remember to spray it once a month with a bit of water in the summer months, so the straws don't dry out.


Blogger jonathan said ... (6:59 AM) : 

I finally found a good summer hat for me and it feels great!

Since you're in NYC you should check out the Victor Osborn store in Brooklyn. They custom make hats for you on the spot and would probably be really good at finding what works best for you. Someday I hope to go there and get one for myself. Enjoy!


Anonymous suzanne nelson said ... (7:21 AM) : 

As a woman and therefore a potential viewer i think fit is crucial. It is imperative you have exactly the correct size and take advice on this from a reputable, experienced hatmaker. I very much agree with the comments of anon 12:19 - buy the very best you can afford and it will last you a lifetime. Hats are like shoes, the quality really shows and a great hat can add so much panache to an otherwise ordinary outfit - formal or casual. Many people have mentioned Borsalino, i know from my travels to Munich they make exceptionally fine hats as do Locks of London. Take a stylish , opinionated woman or your wife with you when you buy, she will never let you walk out of the store looking like an idiot. Having seen a picture of you i think you could very distinguished in a good panama. Good luck with your search and show us the results!


Blogger Johanne said ... (8:02 AM) : 

I just bought one myself:) Straw hats are great for summer festivals.I like to attach brooches to them, or change the original ribbon. Verrry chic


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:17 AM) : 

+1 on JJ or Worth & Worth. I have a Panama from Worth & Worth that just bit the dust after 10 years. They have many styles and know how to fit both the brim size to a face as well as how to fit the diameter of the crown properly


Blogger Jonathan Ziegler said ... (8:33 AM) : 

The Panama never did it for me, but this gentleman wears it well. I prefer the pork pie. That's the great thing about hats, there's one for every style.

If you're in Seattle, visit Bernie Utz. It's on Union street between 3rd and 4th avenues. Great selection. The gelato store on the corner isn't bad either.


Blogger The Domina said ... (9:04 AM) : 

I love a nice hat on a man, it is an overlooked accessory, in my opinion. If you plan to wear a wider brim hat with linen, I would look for something more structured, so you don't look floppy and wrinkled all over, it will provide a nice contrast.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:07 AM) : 

check out
the best panamas


Anonymous Designgod said ... (9:26 AM) : 

Me thinks the gentleman's tie is too long.


Anonymous Michael said ... (9:50 AM) : 

Panama hats can definitely be worn with suits.
Most important is to make sure the dimensions of the crown and brim length suit the shape of your face.
Too many men are overwhelmed with large brims or look overstuffed in too short a brim. Try on a few hats before buying and find that perfect straw.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:16 AM) : 

I wear a wide brim panama on the beach. The grograin band is removed.

For some reason, I think a panama only works with suits on a gentleman over 65... they are very tricky to pull off correctly but great for sun protection.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:34 AM) : 

Sart, For a true Panama Hat you must visit Casey at you can order them to your choice of brim, to your head size. You have several styles and different qualities, also you can ask for additional bands to suit your taste. I am a happy customer and highly recommend.


Anonymous tj said ... (10:37 AM) : 

A word of advice to all, when you place your hat down (never on a bed because it is bad luck) put it upside down, not brim-down as shown in Scott's photo. Placing the hat brim-down can wreck the curve of the brim.


Anonymous Suzi said ... (10:39 AM) : 

I think it's a great look in an urban environment. However, I'm from Northern California where the Panama hat and silk Hawaiian shirt combo seems to be the uniform on every guy at a wine tasting or festival. Personally, I think a straw man's hat looks fantastic on a woman!


Anonymous Paisley said ... (10:40 AM) : 

Absolutely wonderful straw hats are found in a Toronto store.

The diamond crown short brim is wonderul. I hope they still make it.


Blogger How! said ... (10:47 AM) : 

As a redhead forever worrying about the sun on the skin, I have several hats, some straw, some made out of paper (I know -- cheeeep.) I enjoy having a variety of shapes and brim widths to choose from. Basically, I wear a hat every time I go outside in the summer. So variety is key. And because I travel around the city all day and my hat is going on and off my head frequently, it's crucial that it can withstand an occasional crushing. A panama hat should withstand such incidentals.

Thanks for the juicy post. I really want to see the front of the grey dress in the first photo. BTW.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:23 AM) : 

I usually wear my Panama hat on a suite to go to work.
It doesn't mind what other people think about my hat.
I simply like it!


Anonymous jess said ... (11:31 AM) : 

At the comme des garcons store in NY--Junya Watanabe did a handmade straw panama hat with a short rim--to die for! the silk scarf around the hat is made from kimono silk!!


Anonymous Rebecca said ... (11:57 AM) : 

I found my first such hat last week at a hat stand on the corner of Broadway and Houston. It works for me in the office even and out! Finding a sharp, well-colored sash around the brim is key. Thanks for this post.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:30 PM) : 

Did you know that "Panama" hats are in fact made in Ecuador? Since It's my home country the only recomendation is that you get one made in Montecristi, Ecuador. They are the real deal and a good one cost about USD 30 (In Ecuador, off course).

As for style, I love Fedoras. I just bought one for the summer and use it with everything from suits to jeans.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:35 PM) : 

guys have been wearing straw fedoras here in LA for about 2-3 years now w/ lots of clothing styles and they all look great.
the secret is the smaller the brim / overall hat size the better.
the classic panama is not happening - looks like a style that someone like jimmy buffet would wear w/ a Hawaiian shirt.
smaller and short brim much more modern and stylin. i just saw a young guy last night driving on sunset in a vintage triumph convertible and he was donning a small woven straw fedora and shades -he looked totally cool and glamorous. Any hat must be worn w/ nonchalance.



Blogger Mr Grey 4 said ... (1:03 PM) : 

Worth & Worth on West 57th Street is the place for the finer Montecristi straw. Orlando is a master craftsman.


Blogger sdg1844 said ... (1:05 PM) : 

That gentleman has a wonderful old world charm and polish to him. The straw hat takes the fomality of the suit down a few notches and I dig that.


Anonymous Ellen :-) said ... (1:18 PM) : 

Check out Meyer the Hatter in New Orleans, they have been around for years. My dad bought a Panama from there years ago and it still looks great...


Blogger SpanishGent said ... (2:33 PM) : 

In repetition with a previous post, the best Panama hats come from Ecuador, in South America, where they originated. Contrary to what he says, the best ones cost around USD 100 to USD 500 (in Ecuador), but if your intention is to wear it with bermudas and a shirt, a USD 30 hat would be fine. Eventhough they originated in the town of Montecristi, Ecuador, currently they are being manufactured in Cuenca, Ecuador, from where they are shipped to the best stores all over the world.
Regarding the shape, you must take into consideration the shape of your face, its width, your height, and your own personal style. A good sales assistant at any good hat store can help you choose the best one for you, but I would go for a fedora, a trilby or an andalusian-style one.
Personally I own several in varied qualities and shapes, as I like to wear mine with linen suits and no ties at the height of summer, and at the beach. I also own many bands as I like to change them according to the outfit, but the classic is the black one.
In any case, a great hat is a fantastic addition to any gentleman's wardrobe. Good luck with your search!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:52 PM) : 

Straw hats are wonderful for summer. No fear about wearing with suits when the weather is right! People will not think twice when you have a well chosen and styled straw hat in the heat.

If you are worried about looks and money, try going with a Bailey's inexpensive hat. They have a nice rollable for under $60 that is silky and comfortable, and packable. When you get comfortable with that hat you can move up into the swanky hats.

But get one that works with you head/face shape, because that is supremely important.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:35 PM) : 

Why do you ask for help?
Can't you figure out what
fits you for yourself?


Anonymous SLStephanie said ... (5:24 PM) : 

This man is a spitting image of my grandfather, from the suit and tie to his gait to the square jaw and heavy brows to the hat. His suits were always a little rumpled (not for fashion's sake, but because he was always working and always wearing the same few). Maybe his ghost lives the good life in lovely.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:34 PM) : 

still life has several different panama hats made of Toquilla right now. There store's in the LES & they can make one custom for you, or you can go online (


Blogger bDub512 said ... (6:33 PM) : 

Suzi hinted at something that I was thinking. I believe that if you wear a hat like that with shorts, it might come off as dorky. I keep seeing guys in golf carts or somebody's dad @ a college football game. Not sophisticated at all. With a suit, the Bogey and Fellini allusion seem very accurate and way cool.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:18 PM) : 

most people put up suggestions i would've put up. Makins Hats actually has a showroom where you can buy their hats, Cash only, located @ 212 W. 35th St. btwn. 7th & 8th Ave, 12th Flr,Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Closed Sat&Sun. Eugenia Kim has nice hats also. There is a nice hat shop on Nassau St below Park Row near NY City Hall behind the University Barnes & Noble bookstore. This place ( also does hats specially designed per person.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:44 PM) : 

Finally, a gentleman who doesn't look like he should be in jail for disturbing the visual peace!


Blogger Will said ... (10:49 PM) : 

Look for vintage. Can't beat the quality.


Blogger Grant Henninger said ... (12:05 AM) : 

If you're ever in San Francisco head over to Paul's Hat Works. It's hands down one of the best places in the world to get a custom Panama hat. Their website is and their address is 6128 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94121.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:42 AM) : 

just over the Williamsburg Bridge Bencraft Hatters 236 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:21 PM) : 

I love the hat with the suit! Why wouldn't you wear it that way? It's a great vibe.


Blogger Abby said ... (7:24 PM) : 

i find this look put together and very classy. I don't think there is anything wrong with wearing a hat with a suit- straw or felt. Look in the history books for men ... it's a new thing for men to be without hats! :)

But I would definitely follow other people's advice and go and get a nice fitted hat that compliments your face etc.

I also agree with the wearing it with a shirt and shorts too...hats are all about attitude. Wear it with whatever you want as long as it can be pulled off. :)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:51 PM) : 

A Panama will always remind me the movie Bonnie and Clyde :)


Blogger jana said ... (1:07 AM) : 

dear sartorialist,
you should check out Lock & Co Hatters of London, for some truly Hemingway-worthy Panama Hats.


Anonymous Anje said ... (6:54 PM) : 

Wearing a straw hat is a very, very sensuous experience. Choose a hat made of real straw: it is imperative that the hat smells of fresh straw. Wear it in the inner city, on the golfcourse, while boating on the river, while working on the farm and the straw will absorb the humidity from your forehead. At the end of the day your forehead is dry and the straw hat is soaked, but still smelling like fresh straw. The next morning the hat is dry and still smelling like fresh straw. Wearing a straw hat is a very, very sensuous experience. Enjoy


Blogger Oska said ... (3:36 AM) : 

In the ubiquitous mono-culture of American jeans, t-shirt, cap & sneakers - the mens dress hat stands out as a lovely symbol of elegant rebellion. We associate them with our favorite authors, musicians, painters and poets. Our parents rebelled against hats as a symbol of conformity. But they are anything but. If you are brave or lucky enough, a dress hat, as a regular part of your wardrobe is a fine statement of individuality and male beauty. yeah.......


Anonymous Ljerka-Susanna-Lukic said ... (5:40 PM) : 



Blogger Tara's Dolce Vita said ... (9:48 AM) : 

looks like he came straight out of "The Godfather" or "La Piovra"...
Love it!


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