Hats have always been a staple of men’s fashion. They are a great way to finish off and elevate any outfit. The challenge is to make a bold yet elegant fashion statement in the sea of fedoras and flat hats. Look no further than the classic men’s boater hats to make that statement for you.
The straw boater has been in fashion since the 1860s as a summer hat for women and children. It soon became an essential part of a gentleman’s wardrobe 20 years later. In the present day, it is most recognizable as a classic and versatile men’s hat.
If you’re looking to up your hat game, a straw boater might be precisely what you need.
Not All Straw Hats Are Equal
The boater hat is not to be confused with other straw hats like the Panama. Though they are both made of straw, the similarity ends there. The boater hat is made of stiff sennit straw, creating its signature look. A boater is characterized by a flat crown of medium height surrounded by a stiff, flat brim. The grosgrain ribbon around the crown could be either solid or striped.
On the other hand, Panama hats are made from toquilla straw, allowing for more variety in form. One of the most recognizable forms of a Panama hat is a fedora. It can even have a similar form to the boater but would be of a different material. The ribbon adorning the crown could range from solid colored to brightly patterned.
The Seasonal Boater
Boater hats gained popularity as warm-weather alternatives to felt or wool hats. They were formal without being uncomfortable to wear during the summer. However, it waned in popularity compared to the fedora or the bowler hats. Nowadays, it is regaining its rightful place in pop culture as among the most stylish men’s hats.
Straw Boaters for All Occasions
Men’s boater hats offer versatility along with their impeccable style. It works with both formal and casual looks. Wear it to a black-tie event with a solid black grosgrain. Wear it on a casual day trip to the seaside with a striped navy and red grosgrain. From a suit to a flannel button-down with shorts, the boater adds character and finesse to any ensemble.
The key to transforming a boater from day to night is careful coordination. Match the boater hat’s color and grosgrain with the rest of the wardrobe to accentuate any look. This versatility has kept this iconic hat style from being forgotten.
Manners Maketh Man
As always, confidence is the best accessory a man can have. Find a straw boater’s hat with a look and fit that you are comfortable with. Wear it proudly and prepare for the compliments to come your way. After all, it’s hard to ignore a man in a smart hat with the bearing and manners of a gentleman.