March 17, 2017




The British actress, model, dancer and humanitarian is probably recognised as one of the greatest style icons of the 20th century. She was ranked by the American Film Institute as the third greatest female screen legend in Golden Age Hollywood and was inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame.

Hepburn was first spotted when she starred in the 1951 Broadway play Gigi and shot to stardom taking the female lead in the 1953 film Roman Holiday for which she was the first actress to win an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA for a single performance.

She went on to star in a host of highly successful films, including the enduring classics Breakfast at Tiffany’s and My Fair Lady. During her acting career Hepburn won a record three BAFTA awards for Best British Actress in a Leading Role and was awarded the BAFTA Lifetime Achievement Award. She remains to be one of the few stars to have won Academy, BAFTA, Emmy, Grammy and Tony awards for their work.

As her life went on, Hepburn appeared in fewer films and devoted more of her time to supporting the work on UNICEF, having supported the organisation since 1954. She worked in some of the poorest communities of Africa, South America and Asia between 1988 and 1992 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in December 1992. She passed away just 1 month later at her home in Switzerland at the age of 63.

Today, women all over the world continue to be inspired by Audrey Hepburn’s timeless style and elegance.


Style: timeless elegance, simple lines, beautifully cut and constructed tailoring, minimal statement accessories

She Says: “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!”

We love this snapshot of Audrey, she was always one for picking simple accessories that perfectly finished off an outfit - no fuss and frills. If you’re looking to finish off your spring/summer wardrobe like Audrey here, then our Ladies Sun Panama Hat (Natural) is perfect for you.



“Handmade with the finest threads you can imagine, it takes almost a year to make each hat - being on the Island I think it would be very useful protection against the sun and would be a rather splendid item to have.”

One of the greatest musicians of our time, the British concert pianist Stephen Hough began his musical career at the Royal Northern College of Music, followed by a master’s degree at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York. Since launching his professional performing career in 1983 he has performed in all the great concert halls around the world (including 20 BBC proms concerto appearances), and has over 50 recordings to his name garnering numerous international awards, including several Grammy nominations, 8 Gramophone Magazine awards and the Gramophone ‘Gold Disc’ award.

But Mr Hough’s talents don’t just end when he exits stage left - he is regarded as a true polymath, also know as a distinguished writer, composer and painter. His intellectual abilities were recognised in 2001 when he became the first classical music performer ever to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, joining prominent writers and scientists who have made significant contributions in their fields. In 2009 he was also named by The Economist and Intelligent Life magazines as one of 20 living polymaths.

Aside from Hough’s regular performance, recording and teaching commitments, as a writer, he regularly contributes articles for the Guardian, The Times, Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine, and for seven years wrote a blog for the Telegraph which became one of the most popular and influential forums for cultural discussion. Having joined the Roman Catholic Church aged 19, and considered joining the priesthood on several occasions his book, The Bible as Prayer, was published by Continuum and Paulist Press in 2007.

In October 2016 Stephen Hough appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, speaking honestly and openly about his many passions, childhood and personal life, while his ‘castaway’ selections revealed an eclectic taste in music, and a love of the ultimate in sophisticated headwear - the Panama Hat, selecting the finest Montecristi Panama hat, supplied by Optimo Fine Hats in Chicago, as his one luxury item (a snip at $20,000!).

Style: The English Gentleman with a touch of New York sophistication

He Says: “Ironically, it’s important for musicians to step aside even from music, and from listening to music. I think it’s terribly important for musicians to have silence in their lives because we’re dealing constantly with something that breaks the silence.”

If you’re looking for a beautifully made Panama hat that will stand the test of time in terms of quality and style, we recommend our Signature Teardrop Fedora.

January 20, 2017


Spring Travel Essentials

Keep your hat on - here’s a quick checklist to make packing stress free!

With a new year comes resolutions and plans for fresh adventures. When January arrives many of us start googling travel websites and browsing holiday brochures, planning a sun-soaked getaway to take our minds off the gloomy January weather (and February - apart from us romantic types who look forward to Valentine’s day let’s face it, no one really likes February either- we’re all holding out for March when the Daffodils come out and the clocks go forward!)

Once you’ve settled on the perfect destination, booked your flights, hotel and hire car (and checked that your passport hasn’t expired!) the departure date finally arrives and then the scramble to pack everything you need whilst juggling work commitments and washing and ironing all your summer clothes sets in. Like most people I always leave for the airport with that burning feeling that I’ve forgotten something I’m going to need (my honeymoon being a prime example - both of us exhausted, we left all the euros and the camera charger at home! Oh, and hubby forgot his wedding ring!). Sort yourself out with a simple checklist and packing needn’t be stressful…

When it comes to clothing, that’s more personal - a few mix and match tops and bottoms are essential, active wear if you’re planning a few walking/ exploring days, swimwear, and a favourite smart outfit if you plan to treat yourself to at least one posh night out. A pair of everyday sandals, a pair of smart pumps or heals, and wear your walking shoes on the plane - done. For all other essentials this list has you covered:

Accessories: glasses/ contacts (if needed) + spares, sunglasses, a versatile sun hat (we recommend our classic Ladies Fedora Panama Hat)

Equipment: Re-chargable batteries for small electronics, camera, laptop/ tablet, chargers for phone/camera/batteries and laptop, tripod

Health and Beauty: Contact lens solution, prescriptions (if needed), wetwipes, moisturiser with SPF, sun cream (SPF15 at least), makeup (just take the essentials!), shampoo & conditioner, shower gel, deodorant, razor, first aid kit (Rennies, Imodium, Paracetamol, Plasters), toothbrush & toothpaste

Miscellaneous: Passport, cash and cards, printouts of reservations, guidebook, sat-nav (if you’re planning on exploring by car), a good book/ Kindle, sealable plastic bags for liquid containers

And sit back and relax!



Now here's a woman with a Panama Hat for any occasion – she certainly seems to be a big fan of this classic accessory!

The American actress, model and business woman is perhaps best known for her starring roles in 'Honey' and the 'Fantastic Four' films. Aside from her successful acting career, Alba is also the co-founder of The Honest Company, a consumer goods company that sells non-toxic household products, and plays an active role supporting the work of a number of charities, particularly children's charities, oh, and she's a mum to her two young daughters.

A natural beauty, Alba never fails to look gorgeous, even when dressed down and wearing little makeup – Here she is looking every bit the girl about town, topping her simple monochrome outfit with a white fedora-style Panama Hat, and again chilling out at the beach shaded from the sun by the generous brim of her natural Panama Hat.


Style: simple elegance, flowing fabrics, the natural look

She says: “My theory is that if you look confident you can pull off anything - even if you have no clue what you're doing. ”

To emulate Jessica's look, we recommend our Signature Ladies Fedora in classic white for smart days out, and our Signature Ladies Fedora in 'Natural' for days at the beach – both are foldable and rollable making them perfect for travelling to more exotic climbs!

November 14, 2016


The Panama Hat – An Ageless Accessory

When trying to select a wardrobe that will stand the test of time, a hat may be at the bottom of your list, believed to be only for special occasions and then back in it's box until the next one. But... what about a Panama hat? This simple, classic accessory has been traditionally hand-woven in Ecuador since the 1600s and it's still going strong – a classic that will go with anything, survive it's time in storage and even being rolled up to take away on your travels.

It's the perfect headgear for casual sunny days, holidays and dressy occasions (a suited gent looks dapper with a Panama Hat atop his head!).

But if it's from Ecuador, why the name? Well, the name came about in the mid-1800s when weavers attempted to increase sales by shipping their hats over to Panama which, at the time, was the main route for anyone wishing to travel from the east coast of Canada or the US, to the West.

The lightweight, 'breathable' hat proved incredibly popular in the tropical heat and sales rose further with the advent of the 1849 Gold Rush which brought a sea of fortune hunters through Panama. Another surge in popularity came at the start of the 20th century when it became the hat of choice for the workers digging the Panama Canal and a visit to the site from President Roosevelt, famously donning his own Panama Hat, saw sales sky rocket and cemented the (slightly misleading) name for good.

Workers on the Panama Canal Roosevelt on canal Construction Site

Since then, this classic hat has never been out of fashion thanks to it's simplicity and functionality – whether a wide-brimmed design or a classic Fedora shape, the Panama Hat is popular with both men and women and is the only hat you need on sunny days!

It's even popular with the British monarchy...We're guessing this is Prince Charles' favourite hat, you can tell it's well travelled and has been well rolled in it's time!


Sir Anthony Hopkins

Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins (CBE) was spotted in the late 1950s by Sir Lawrence Olivier, who invited him to join the Royal National Theatre. It wasn't until 1968 though that he caught his first big break in film, being cast as Richard the Lionheart in The Lion in Winter, alongside Peter O'Toole and Catherine Hepburn.

Regarded as one of our greatest living actors, he is probably best known for his spine-chilling portrayal of Hannibal Lecter in Thomas Harris' The Silence of the Lambs, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. Who can forget that hushed, controlled greeting “why, hello Clarice”?! Brrr, chills!

And he's back in the limelight again, now staring in HBO's hit sci-fi series Westworld.

A little known fact about Anthony Hopkins - Not resting on the laurels of his brilliant acting career, he is also a composer and has been writing music for most of his life. In 2011, Andre Rieu released an album including a waltz written by Hopkins at the age of 27, giving the album the same name 'And the Waltz Goes on.'

Hopkins in 2009

As Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal, 2001 (Stylish yet terrifying!)

Style: Unapologetic, smart-casual, loves a blazer (and a Panama Hat of course!)

He says: “My philosophy is it's none of my business what people say of me and think of me. I am what I am, and I do what I do. I expect nothing and accept everything. And it makes life so much easier.”

Hannibal says: "As your mother tells you, and my mother certainly told me, it is important, she always used to say, always to try new things."

Whichever of our Panama Icons you most identify with (and we hope it's Hopkins, not his infamous character..!), remember: wearing a Panama hat is a great way to get ahead when you’re aiming for standout style.



Spotted – another Oscar-winning actor who just loves a Panama Hat to accessorise her summer wardrobe...

Julianne Moore, known for The Hours, Still Alice and, most recently, The Hunger Games, paired her Panama hat with a printed tunic, white Birkenstock sandals, and a sleek tote when out and about in New York City this summer. The 55 year old actress never fails to look chic and elegant, even when going for that practical smart-casual look, achieving it with a playful, youthful edge.


Style: effortlessly chic, classy and elegant

She says: “I think imperfections are important, just as mistakes are important. You only get to be good by making mistakes, and you only get to be real by being imperfect."

Whichever of our Panama Icons you most identify with, remember: wearing a Panama hat is a great way to get ahead when you’re aiming for standout style.


We now offer bespoke hat bands, in a range of gorgeous colours, on all our Borges and Scott Panama Hats!

If you fancy something a little more colourful than our standard black or brown bands, or perhaps a particular shade to match a favourite outfit, look out for a new page coming to our website soon with further details and the full range of colour swatches to choose from.

Our bespoke bands are £8.95 (in addition to the cost of the hat) – when ordering your Panama hat, just email us (quoting your order number) to request a bespoke band in your chosen colour, and we will send your new hat out to you as soon as possible. Price includes our in house milliner fitting your choice of coloured band to your hat.

  An example of a bespoke band using a military ribbon sent in to us by a customer.


Is your hat well traveled? Lost a bit of its shape from all that rolling?

Well, if you feel your Panama Hat needs a bit of TLC we now offer basic repairs and re-shaping – from replacing tired bands to coaxing it back into that signature fedora shape. If you feel your hat would benefit from a little 'service', please email us at, attaching a photo of the hat, and we will get back to you as soon as we have assessed the damage.

Cultural Icons and their Panama Hats (Part IIII)


One of the most popular movie stars of the 1940s - 60s, Peck is perhaps best known for his Oscar winning portrayal of single father and crusader for justice, Atticus Finch, in the 1962 movie adaptation of Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning novel To Kill A Mocking Bird. Atticus Finch has since been voted in at No. 7 in the 100 greatest fictional characters of all time.

Peck, like Atticus Finch, was a long-term activist against war, and racism, honoured in 1969 with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his lifetime humanitarian efforts. So, not just a brilliant actor, but a genuinely nice guy too! They were both also iconic hat wearers, Atticus preferring a light weight Fedora (keeping a cool head in the Alabama heat), and Peck, a classic Panama hat in the colonial style.

Style: The epitome of tall, dark and handsome. Tough, understated and unassuming.


He says: “Tough times don’t last, tough people do, remember?”


We say: Look cool as a cucumber this summer in our Borges & Scott Colonial Panama Hat.

Whichever of our Panama Icons you most identify with, remember: wearing a Panama hat is a great way to get ahead when you’re aiming for standout style.

Andy Demonstrates Barbecue Chic...

Andy here teaches us all how to look cool, calm and effortlessly sophisticated whilst performing one of the most demanding tasks any of us may face over the summer months - being given full responsibility for the party barbecue!

Alfresco dining may be idyllic for your guests, but for the elected grill master, flipping those burgers and grilling those halloumi skewers to perfection can be a tall order. Andy however seems completely unfazed by the task in hand, he makes it look easy - top tip for any of you aspiring barbecuers out there, don a timeless Panama hat and you will not only look chic and cocktail-ready, but no one will notice your twitching temple as you calculate the optimum time to flip those burgers!

Andy is wearing our Borges and Scott Signature Fedora (Natural Classic), proving that the versatile Panama is perfect for any occasion. Bravo Andy!

If you're thinking of lighting up the Barbecue this weekend, here are a couple of tasty Brazilian inspired recipes to get you in the Olympic spirit: Frango Churrasco (grilled lemon and garlic Chicken), and how about trying this smoky tomato pepper salsa as an accompaniment. Enjoy!

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