Hats are a fun (and often practical) accessory every season; lightweight straw hats in a classic style for summer are no exception. However, when it comes to hats, one size does not fit all. Generally speaking, when choosing a hat in the fedora family, men should go for a brim proportionate to his shoulder size. In other words: wider frame, wider brim; narrower frame, narrow brim. Here are three popular styles and their respective characteristics:
Fedoras were traditionally made of felt, but can now found in a variety of other materials. Their distinguishing characteristics include a medium-width brim, a lengthwise crease in the crown and pinched sides in the front. Left: Elliott hat from Bailey of Hollywood, $60; right: James Dawkins hat from Goorin Bros., $140.
The trilby got its name from the London stage adaptation of George du Maurier’s novel, Trilby, in which it first appeared. Basically a shortened fedora with a narrow brim that is snapped (or angled) down in the front and up in the back. Left: Aero Washed Trilby from My Bob, $160; right: the Marco hat from Stefeno Hats, $75.
Surprisingly, Panama hats are made in Ecuador. (The misnomer is because the hats, when they first gained popularity, were shipped through the Panama Canal, which is where Americans and Europeans thought they were made.) Woven from the straw of a palm-like plant, the Panama hat's brim is generally snapped down in the front. Left: Panama Clasico from Montecristi Hats, $98; right: Laurence straw hat from Loro Piana, $735.
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