Show your Panama hat

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Lock and Co do have very good customer service. I agree that it is a significant purchase for irregular wear. We all know that the top panamas go for thousands and even a half decent one you need to spend around the £250 mark. I have never owned what I would call a real one. Can one really feel the difference when wearing a Bates / Lock & Co panama and do they really keep your head cool? Most seem to have the leather internal head band, does this cause one to sweat? What are peoples' views on bespoking the external headband or is this considered rather naff? I understand that the black external colour band was a nod to Prince Albert's death, has anyone any other views on this?
 

Boab

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Lock and Co do have very good customer service. I agree that it is a significant purchase for irregular wear. We all know that the top panamas go for thousands and even a half decent one you need to spend around the £250 mark. I have never owned what I would call a real one. Can one really feel the difference when wearing a Bates / Lock & Co panama and do they really keep your head cool? Most seem to have the leather internal head band, does this cause one to sweat? What are peoples' views on bespoking the external headband or is this considered rather naff? I understand that the black external colour band was a nod to Prince Albert's death, has anyone any other views on this?
You can feel the difference when you physically have the hats in hand, there is a difference in the weave, it's tighter and the surface feels smoother. Whether that translates into a difference by keeping your head cool, I don't know. I assume the tighter weave lets less sunlight through though so it may help. The internal band in mine is fabric, not leather. The best thing you can do is head to Jermyn street and go into the shops. It will be much easier to decide what suits you best.
 
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I did like the look of your one, I assume that both have folded brims and not sewn. The tighter the weave the more the cost. Don't get up to London much these days but agree it is the only way; really need to look, touch, and try on. Anyone with any thoughts on the external black band? And can a leather internal band be changed for a fabric; I expect that can be arranged with the supplier?
 
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I did like the look of your one, I assume that both have folded brims and not sewn. The tighter the weave the more the cost. Don't get up to London much these days but agree it is the only way; really need to look, touch, and try on. Anyone with any thoughts on the external black band? And can a leather internal band be changed for a fabric; I expect that can be arranged with the supplier?
The black grosgrain band can easily be changed at a hat shop. I suppose black goes with everything, but I've also seen brown/moccha which looks really good with a linen shirt and/or suit. Navy works well with some outfits too.

I don't think a leather inner band makes you sweat more than other materials, it's just a different feel. The issue with bands made of cotton, terrycloth or other such materialss is that sweat absorbs into the fabric more than with leather and can eventually stain the exterior of the hat. Of course the inner band can also be changed. I believe panamas sold by Lock & Co, etc. come ready made from South America, so any change to the bands would be an additional cost...
 
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Good point with the leather band Frankie. I'm very tempted. Thinking of doing a long railway trip, covering various states in Asia, at the price they are I will probably need to sleep with on, when sleeping on the overnighters. But, as with the trip, it is a once in a lifetime investment, so it needs to be right.
 

Boab

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Here are a few closeups. They offered me a ribbon colour change when I bought it but it was extra.
 
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Thank you Boab and Frankie, really good stuff and the close ups very much appreciated; agree Frankie that is a very good site. Who would think that panama hats are such an in depth subject matter. Probably one of the most complex hat one can buy and where you really do get what you pay for.
 
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Thanks Sabre, I will take a look. It is however becoming increasingly apparent that the Monticristi panama hats are in all probability a step too far for me; but I must say this post and my research into panamas has definitely been an education into one of the more finer point of sartorial style. I was totally unaware of the extreme prices for the upper end of this particular garment. I hope I stumble across one in a charity shop - some hope! I just may have to stick with my Kangol snap brim, for the time being.
 
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