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Why is this hat from Ecuador actually called a Panama Hat ?

Updated: Nov 20, 2022

Watch this little video and read about Panama Hats, which to this day are a popular fashion statement!

A Classic Panama Hat - Forever in Style

Despite their name, Panama hats do not originate from Panama. They were first produced in Ecuador. The finest quality Panama hats are still produced in Ecuador by talented weavers in the small town of Montecristi using handmade toquilla straw. These unique and stylish hats date back all the way to the 16th century, where they were traded in Panama, which was the gateway to Eastern America and Europe at the time, leading to the origin of its name.

Western coast of Ecuador holds an enormous land filled with Toquilla leaves.

These hats grew in popularity in the 19th century when people began to appreciate the fine craftsmanship and superior quality of its weaves. In 1906, former US President, Theodore Roosevelt was photographed wearing a Panama hat during his visit to the construction site of the Panama Canal.

Former President Theodore Roosevelt with pilot Art Smith and his Curtiss Pusher at the Panama Pacific International Exposition.
Former US President Theodore Roosevelt with pilot Art Smith at the Panama Pacific International Expo

From this point onwards, the Panama hat became a signature style of elegance and sophistication amongst people of elite status. These hats have been spotted in countless adventure films and television commercials since, increasing people’s awareness of their attractiveness. In England, they are positioned as the most fashionable summer hats. The black band with which the majority of Panama hats are trimmed originates from 1901, the year of the death of Queen Victoria.

Panama hats have always been iconic fashion accessories for celebrities like Brad Pitt, Sean Connery, Johnny Depp, Madonna, Jessica Alba and several others.

Ecua-Andino are the most influential producers and exporters of Panama hats from Ecuador as they were the very first brand to combine the expertise of local craftsmen with their team of local designers to produce an intricate and beautiful product. Ecua-Andino prides itself on their goal of changing the image of Panama hats being worn by Ecuadorian farmers to becoming an iconic fashion accessory.

Being so stylish and classic, you can pull off Panama hats in just about any setting – that’s why this hat style has had so many famous fans. We hope these famous wearers of Panama hats give you the fashion inspiration needed to incorporate these beautiful styles into your summer wardrobe.

To learn more, check out this Panama Hat Guide video :

LANOS would like to share the popularity of these hats to help safeguard the craft that is in their production to benefit the skilled hat-makers in Ecuador. We invite you to shop our collection of the most elegant and original Panama hats from Ecua-Andino, imported all the way from Ecuador. Be a proud owner and wear it with style.

Do you know what is your Panama hat size?

Use a soft measuring tape to measure your head size from the forehand, above your ears and the back of your head. Choose from these sizes get the best fit for you :

Small 6 3/4 (55-56 cm)

Medium 7 1/4 (57-58 cm)

Large 7 1/2 (59-60 cm)

X-Large 7 3/4 (61-62 cm)

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