So steeped in the culture of Ecuador are Panama hats that UNESCO has added the weaving of the hats onto its Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Legend has it, the wearing of Panama hats began with peoples living in coastal provinces and a town called Montecristi. When you hear about a Montecristi Panama hat, you are listening to people talk about a historic type of millinery.
Much later in its history, the Panama hat was a favorite adornment among Americans traveling through the Panama Canal and up toward California to make their fortunes during the Gold Rush. Because many travelers first saw the hats during their voyage across Panama, and because Theodore Roosevelt was photographed wearing a Panama hat while observing the Panama Canal, the name stuck despite their actual country of origin. The next time someone asks you which country makes Panama hats you can smile and reply calmly, “Ecuador.”
Imagine, you’ve just touched down on an exotic runway, and a warm ocean breeze blows and lush fauna creeps over the edge of the runway, reminding you that maybe paradise is real. You’re ready to begin your tropical adventure. Before you disembark, you’ll need one more item: your best Panama hat. A traditional hat that originates from Ecuador, Panama hats are woven from the straw of the toquilla palm. Authentic Panama hats from Ecuador have become popular accessories for beach days and tropical getaways alike, providing lightweight sun protection and style, to boot.
Today, Panama hats are no less popular and no less stylish than when they first made their global appearance at the World’s Fair in Paris in 1855. Built with a wide brim, Panama hats are often the first choice of travelers venturing to a warmer locale. They are elegant and timeless and provide needed protection from rays of the equatorial sun.
Despite their original purpose as hot-weather wear, Panama hats are an excellent complement to just about any occasion. They can be worn to the beach just as they can make a backyard BBQ feel that much more special. At Tenth Street, we’re pleased to offer you some of the finest quality Panama hats direct, ready for your next summertime jaunt to a peaceful island or quiet sandy beach. Whatever your Earthly desires, just remember that a well-placed toquilla Panama hat can make all the difference.