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National Straw Hat Day – A Celebration of Summer

Now I know what you must be thinking, “there’s a national straw hat day?” Well, yes there most certainly is and it’s for all the right reasons.

Straw hats come in many different styles and are made from various materials. For instance some of the more popular materials are Toyo straw, Raffia straw, and Toquilla straw which is the main material used for production of “Panama” straw hats. Some of the less common materials used to create these hats would be Shantung straw, Paper braid, Hemp and Seagrass. These hats come in a plethora of materials giving them a range of textures and tones making it completely customizable towards your outfit!

National straw hat day is May 15th, and today is the day to put your felt and wool winter hats away and break out the summer straw hats. Walk with me as we take a tour through straw hats and the significant role they play in today’s modern fashion industry.

Summer Straw Hat by the Pool
Summer Straw Hat by the Pool

History of the Straw Hat

Straw hats have been known to make an appearance throughout every region of the world, with a vast range of styles and techniques used to create them for that region’s specific needs. The reasons for their use may be incredibly surprising to you, as well as the tenacity with which they’ve proven to acquire to stand the test of time and stay relevant in this day and age.

Asian Field Workers with Conical Straw Hats
’Rice Paddy’, Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City,” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by WanderingtheWorld (Chris Ford)

Straw hats have become so ubiquitous due to their incredible versatility. For instance, you will find styles of this hat in various parts of Asia, predominantly the southeast, where the natives wear a conical-shaped style of straw hats to combat the blaring sun and heavy rains when farming the fields. It has even made appearances in India where it is used in the population’s daily working lives, but more decoratively-colored ones are known to be adorned during local festivities.

If you are interested in buying one, shop for mens straw hats, or womens straw hats today.

Panama Straw Hat

Probably the most prevalent style of this hat would be the “Panama” straw hat. Which ironically enough was originated in Ecuador because the original material used to create this hat was the notorious “Toquilla” straw, which grows more aggressively in Ecuador than in any other country in the world.

Panama hats are typically weaved by hand. Some hats take only a day to complete, where hats of higher quality may take two weeks to complete.

Panama Hats” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by Zac Turner

Boater Hat

Last but certainly not least we have the “Boater”. The Boater hat is considered to be a fairly formal hat most commonly used to substitute a “Homburg” and vice versa. But what’s truly special about Boater hats is the role they play in National Straw Hat Day.

In the 1920’s the Boater was and still is regarded as a warm-weather hat. In the days when all men wore hats when out of doors, “Straw Hat Day”, the day when men switched from wearing their winter hats to their summer hats, was seen as a sign of winter losing its grasp, and the sunnier and warmer days of summer finally shining through.

A Sea of Boater Hats
A Sea of Boater Hats – Times Square New York 1921 – Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons


It even occupies parts of Australia, the United Kingdom, and South Africa, the Boater remains to be a common part of the region’s school uniforms in many boys schools.

School Boys with Boaters Hats
School Boys with Boaters Hats


Straw Fedoras

For many years the classic Fedora has been made with wools, felts, and other cloth materials that don’t keep us as cool as the straw alternative. Well thankfully this notorious piece of headgear also comes in a “straw” option for you to sport throughout these heat-filled summer days. We’ll even throw a few together so that you might have an idea of what a true Straw Fedora is supposed to look like.

Thinking about Buying a New Straw Hat? Click Here

A Summertime Necessity

Spring is nearly over, and now that summer is almost here, a straw hat is a necessity to protect you from the blazing hot sun and keep you cool.  Our hats are meticulously crafted so that they always deliver all around comfort and ventilation to your head which is essential when trying to beat the heat and stay cool and breezy throughout the day. Regardless of whether you’ll be spending your hot summer days indoors or outside, working or relaxing, we’ve got something for you! Here you will find a few different styles that we’ve selected, and are some of our favorites, hopefully these will point you in the right direction to selecting the perfect straw hat for you.

Boater Hats

Panama Straw Hats

Straw Fedora Hats

Tweet me @HatAndy with pictures of you sporting your favorite straw hats, and I’ll spread the love!


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