They protect from the heat and sun, but let’s be honest, today men’s summer hats are considered essential and stylish accessories. Elegant, classic, casual or quirky: directly from the streets of the 90th edition of Pitti Uomo the best summer hats, to beat the heat in style.
The Panama, arguably the most worn summer hat ever. It’s lightweight, breathable and natural color. Quick quiz: where are they made? Panama, right? Actually no, Panama hats are Ecuadorian in origin. Traditionally these hats are made by hand and woven from young leaves of the jipijapa plant (a palm). The popularity of the Panama hat in the US grew after President Teddy Roosevelt visited the construction of the Panama Canal and was photographed wearing one of the tropical weight hats. Whether you’re wearing poplin or linen, or even khakis and a crisp oxford, a Panama hat is the perfect complement to your warm weather wardrobe.
Credits: Pitti Immagine
The coppola, also known as flat cap, began being used in Europe during the late 18th century as a driving cap, usually worn when at the wheel driving the car. The origin of the name coppola is likely to be a Sicilian, Calabrian or Apulian adaptation of the English word cap, itself coming from the Latin word “caput” (head). By extension, coppola is also Sicilian for head. This old style cap has been redesigned and comes now in cool and light fabrics, with soft colors or microdesign.
The most popular hat on the globe, the baseball cap was designed in 1860 by the Brooklyn Excelsiors. Today this hat is typically made of cotton and of course features a rounded top and stiff bill that protrudes from the front. It’s one of the most casual hats and keep that in mind, it is only appropriate for wear outdoors. It should be taken off when in the company of others or when indoors, and it is not intended to be worn in any formal or semi-formal environment. While there are many types of baseball caps we recommend focusing on a simplistic design with one logo at the most.
Credits: Pitti Immagine
Many people love it but many others hate it, we know it. The boater, paglietta in Italian, is love at first sight, or nothing. If you see old photographs from the turn of the century up until the 1920’s, you will see almost all men on the streets wearing a boater hat. Usually made of stiff sennit, the boater has a hard flat crown and brim that surrounds the entire circumference of the hat. Often it can be seen with a solid or striped grosgrain ribbon that surrounds the crown. Despite it initially being marketed for casual use, it ended up being widely adopted as a semi-formal hat with school uniforms. Today, most people associate the boater with barbershop quartet and while it’s not worn regularly any longer, it can still be seen at vintage inspired summer parties or on the head of modern dandies.
You’re right, to the untrained eye, the fedora may look exactly like a Panama hat. They both feature similarly proportioned crowns, bonds, brims and tapers. The main difference between the two hats is the material: the Panama is constructed of jipijapa, or straw, and the fedora is almost always made of felt, usually wool. Taking a closer look at the design, you’ll notice the fedora has pinched sides and a lengthwise crease down the crown, creating that classic fedora look. Its flexible brim differentiates it from other styles of flat caps and has led to its popularity in men’s style worldwide.
This article is also available in: Italian