Straw Hats

Sunny days, tropical islands and lemonade... those are the best parts of Summer, and there's no better way to enjoy it all then wearing one of our stylish straw hats. Woven from the best straw available including natural seagrass, paper braids, toyo and yes the fine toquilla straw of the Panama hat, these are a designer option that guaranteed to keep your looking and feeling cooler in the hot weather.

Depending on the depth of the crown, size of the brim and adornments, our straw hats can be preppy, dressy or rugged suitable for any adventure this summer. So, if you are heading to the beach or out on the trail take them with you to keep comfortable, cool and stylish. Even if you wear it purely for show, you get functional UV protection and cooling shade out of it. Plus, you'll turn heads everywhere you go.

We have a wide variety to choose from and many are on sale. Equally as appropriate for a garden party, pool parties and barbecues or a hike in the woods. Go sporty with the safari straw hat, be classier with the straw fedora or stay traditional with a wide brim sun hat. They provide excellent shade and breathability to keep you cooler.

Straw is one of the best materials to weave hats from. It is light, breathable and stiff just like felt so it is ideally suitable for the task! You can even reshape it to keep yours looking nice and proper for years to come. You will also find them extremely useful for fending off the elements espeically when it rains, gets windy or in the intense midday sun. For protection against the elements they are up to the task. We offer sun hats, beach hats and lots of different style-enhancing options to choose from. Find one that suits your style best!

A Little History on the Straw Hat

Betsey Metcalf, a New England teenager, is credited with inventing the modern straw hat in 1789. She couldn't afford the bonnet that was typical of English style. Therefore, she came up with a way to weave it herself. Her method became so popular that people flocked to her to learn how to make their own headwear. Metcalf founded Day's Academy, a school in Providence, Rhode Island, that taught women how to weave hats.

Although Metcalf never patented her method, Mary Kies recognized an opportunity in the market. In 1809, she earned a patent for weaving these types of hats using thread or silk. The bonnets were inexpensive and kept the sun and rain out of ladies' faces as they worked long hours in the garden. By 1810, the New England hat industry had taken off.

Hat weaving was a productive business in other countries before the 1700s, however. The people of Ecuador used leaves from the toquilla palm to weave straw hats for shade from the equatorial sun. Entrepreneur Manuel Alfaro set up an exportation company in Panama in 1835, and the Panama hat was born.

Styles and Trends

Some say that the straw hat broke the fascination with the bowler or derby hat in the mid-1900s. Men began going for a wide brim in the summers and they hesitated to go back to narrower brims in the fall. The derby became a more formal piece, and the straw hat evolved into a variety of shapes and sizes.

Fedora hats began to shift from wool or felt construction to woven straw. Boater hats were still around, but trends were transitioning to a deeper crown. You didn't need a chin strap anymore. These straw hats were meant to be worn all day, if necessary. They were becoming just as functional as they were fashionable.

Straw Garden Hats

Garden hats are a curious and interesting play on style and fashion. They're perfect for spending long hours digging in the dirt. The wider the brim, the more shade you get on your neck, ears, shoulders and face. The coverage will keep you feeling breezy when you're participating in outdoor activities.

If you're spending leisure time in the garden without getting your hands dirty, you will also be more comfortable with a wide-brimmed hat. You don't have to do a stitch of dirty work to warrant protecting your pretty head. Historically, ladies wore garden hats at fancy parties, horse races and outdoor barbecues.

When to Wear Your Straw Hat

Now that you're sold on woven hats, you need to understand the right times to wear them. If you're wearing one as part of your outfit, you can usually keep it on while dining or having drinks. The smaller the hat, the more acceptable this practice is.

No matter how cute and adorable you look in it, please have courtesy and take off your straw hat indoors, especially at that new movie if it's large enough to be distracting. If you wear a hat purely for function, you should probably remove it when you go indoors.

How To Wear and Care for Straw Hats

Any fashion blogger will tell you that celebrities have no trouble adopting the trend. A straw hat creates an instant outfit. Women can pull on a vintage dress and sandals and be ready to go. Stripes of any kind evoke a nautical punch just don't overdo it unless you want to look like a sailor. Pair it with all white for a clean look that can be fancy or casual.

On the other hand, you can curate a contemporary outfit by popping on a hat over bold prints, bright corduroys or T-shirt. Jeans and boots add Western appeal. Golfers wear woven hats to infuse personality into their ensembles. Don't overthink this style. It can add flair to almost anything you put on. It's really one of the best accessories in your summer wardrobe because it is so functional and stylish. Keeps the sun off your face and gives you a new complete style that is truly part of the season.

Caring for your straw hat is also fairly easily. Clean it with a damp cloth or a very soft bristled brush. As most straw hats are designed to wear outdoors you can't go wrong as long as you are careful and pay close attention to cleaning instructions on your label. Some harsher cleaning products can alter the color or ruin the surface treatment on your hat so be careful. Always store it on a hat rack and keep it out of the sun. You should also wash the sweatband frequently because salt from your sweat can stain the brim of your hat.


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