The summer months bring both heat and sun. The proper cap can protect you from both and add a hint of style to all summer attire. Many of the hats seen on the street today originated from historical utilitarian pieces.
The “Boater” also known as a skimmer was popular during the years surrounding WWI. It was one of the first informal hats and a variety of social classes embraced it because it was light, cool and durable. It was also a staple piece in many school uniforms during the late nineteenth century. Though it was not very practical on the schoolyard due to sizing discrepancies, schoolboys enjoyed its flat and compact shape because they could throw the hat like a Frisbee. The “Boater” was also popular as a prop for performers and protected river chauffeurs in Cambridge from the sun.
The “Panama Straw” hat is similar to the "Boater." Despite the ambiguity the name creates this hat originated in Ecuador in the nineteenth century. The makers brought their hats to what today is Panama because many people traveling from east to west had to cross through this region. The hats grew in popularity because they deflected the hot Panamanian sun and could also continue to prove useful during the sunny days out west and the summer months back east. During the construction of the Panama Canal the hat grew in popularity and even President Theodore Roosevelt championed the hat on his travels during the construction of the canal.
The “Bucket” or fishing hat originated during the early twentieth century in Ireland. It offered protection from the elements to farmers and fishermen. This particular cap is also very similar to the “Dixie Cup” cap used by the Navy. The wearer could use the cap as a flotation device, a sun shield and could reshape it to fit his personal style. The hats utility and customizability has transcended time and is still associated with the “Bucket” hat today.
Stay cool. Stay dry. Stay in the shade.
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