Ecuadorian Panama Gambler Hats

Dear Hat Lovers,
The last time I wrote to you I shared with you my adoration of  the Cloche hat.   This time it's all about my favourite sun hat - the Panama Gambler.   Not only is it sensible and practical for our climate, it embodies all that is right about dressing well for all occasions. 
Panama Gambler hat
Oddly enough, the Panama hat is not from Panama.  It is actually made in Ecuador.  So why are they called Panama hats?  There are various suggestions, however, the incident that really made the name stick was when US President Roosevelt had his photograph taken while visiting the site of the Panama Canal construction in 1906 (see image below).  He was wearing a hat in the same style as the construction workers, a hat of close weave renowned for protection from the sun, and unbeknownst to most, sourced from Ecuador.  The photo referred to the Panama hat....and the rest is history.
A skill that is passed from generation to generation, the Panama hat is handwoven into shape, as opposed to the model millinery whereby we mold the straw into shape by means of hat blocks.  See the image below of a master weaver at work.  Depending on their grade, one panama hat can take months to create.  While there is no formal standard for the grading of a panama weave, as a general rule, the higher number of weaves within a square inch suggests a higher quality finish and a longer amount of time to create.
Panama hats come in a variety of styles.  Today I share with you my complete, absolute and long standing adoration for the Gambler style.  My Mum bought me a Gambler about 20 years ago.  I saw 1940's casual glamour....she saw a very practical hat with a close weave and generous brim that would protect my fair skin from the Australian sun.  It was a win/win!  Needless to say, that hat stole my heart and we enjoyed nearly 20 years together before it met an unfortunate end.  Hot tip: don't leave it right where someone will throw a tent on your hat.

The versatility of a Panama Gambler cannot be understated.
Put it with your favourite denim jeans and white shirt; summer sun dress and sandles.  Take it for a stroll down Hastings St at Noosa or sit pool side with a glass of bubbles. 

Take your Gambler to the next picnic races, spring polo event and summer festival.

Heck, pop it on for your next stroll around the garden or park.

Here are some photos of me modelling a Gambler just for you:
It is with great pleasure and excitement that I can now share my love for the Panama Gambler with you.  For the first time I have a small quantity of these remarkable hats available and offer them exclusively to you before I let the general public know.  

Each hat has been handwoven in Ecuador.  The weave is tight, and very soft and supple to the touch.  I have hand finished each hat in my studio, trimming each with a generous black petersham ribbon and tailored bow to the feminine right side.  As you can see, the colour varies between images.  It is a natural straw colour, suitable for most skin tones. 
Sizes currently range from 62cm to 58cm.  Of course, if you need a smaller fitting, please contact me at admin@johannaguerin.com or on 0428 718 714

 


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