Cultural Icons and their Panama Hats (Part III)

Daniel Craig

With the release of Spectre, attention is drawn once again to Agent 007 and Daniel Craig’s muscular, taught portrayal of a Bond tortured by his tragic past, a pain which can only be extinguished through rampant womanising and cavalier deployment of his license to kill...

Daniel Craig knows a good hatHere we see Mr Craig in his Panama, neatly referencing the brown trilby worn by Sean Connery in Dr No in 1962, proving that style is timeless.

Style: A fan of the classic jeans, shirt, snuggly knitwear combo, his best accessory (other than his trilby panama, naturally) is his craggy jaw-line and brooding air of menace...

He says: “If you don’t get bruised playing Bond, you’re not doing it properly”.

We say: The blue trunks are a difficult look to master, so smoulder from beneath a Borges and Scott Trilby Panama and imagine the family car is an Aston Martin DB5.

Cultural Icons and their Panama Hats (Part II)

We continue our exploration of how 20th century cultural icons take a timeless classic, the Panama Hat, and evolve it into an individual expression of their personality, attitude and style.  

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp looking sharp in a Panama fedoraNever afraid to experiment with quirky projects and distinctive attire, Johnny Depp blends movie star magnetism, rock-n-roll loucheness, strident individuality and the assurance to pull it all together. Despite his obvious bohemian spirit Johnny cannot resist the classic lines of a Panama hat, which naturally looks as though it has been through a few good times with him...

Style: Idiosyncratic, memorable, unapologetic.

He says: “I think everybody's weird. We should all celebrate our individuality and not be embarrassed or ashamed of it.” 

We say
: Celebrate your stylish eccentricity with a Borges and Scott Classic Fedora in natural with brown band - hat rolling (and rocking) encouraged.

 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.

Cultural Icons and their Panama Hats

The Panama Hat; Classic. Iconic. And surprisingly versatile! Not confined to one 'look' or aesthetic, wearers imbue their Panama Hat with their personality, attitude and individual expression of style.

We will be bringing you a series of notable Panama Hat fans, and how you can appropriate their panache and approach to life.

Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway looking sharp in a classic Panama HatArguably America’s most celebrated writer, Hemingway was complex, passionate, uncompromising; the “huntin’ shootin’ and fishin’” epitome of spectacular brain power entwined with pugnacious brawn.

Style: Fisherman's jumper, strong facial hair, machismo

He says: “Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” 

We say: Grab a Borges & Scott Classic Fedora, a dry martini and a 6-toed cat for your lap.


Greta Garbo

Garbo smoldering from underneath a slouch fedoraThe enigmatic Swedish star’s fashion style was imitated globally in the 1930s; androgynous tailoring, slinky couture gowns, and impeccable accessories. She often completed her look with a slouch Fedora hat, which became to be known as the Garbo Hat. 

Style: Effortless chic draped over a deep melancholy, creating an alluring aura of glamour, strength, femininity and mystery.

She says: “I like the sea: we understand one another. It is always yearning, sighing for something it cannot have; and so am I.” 

We say: Pull the Borges & Scott Heart Panama Hat down low and watch Camille. Alone.


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

September 15, 2015


Comments about our hats from our customers...

So, being English, we don't like to blow our own trumpet, but we've had a great summer and thought that we'd share some of the great comments our hats and staff have received from our customers.  All of the following are genuine comments from our customers.  We've changed a few names to preserve privacy.


I am extremely pleased with the hat ,and the fit, and would like to thank you for your attention and excellent service. Regards, John


The hat arrived safely today and I am very pleased with it  -  a superb product and the size is just right.  What is almost as impressive is the high-quality carton it travelled in, not to mention the beautifully produced leaflet providing some unexpected but useful information about care.

Bravo!  My wife summed up the whole operation by volunteering how fortunate I have been in discovering and dealing with “a first-class company”.

Kind regards,



I am absolutely delighted with my hat which I ordered via Amazon last Monday,29th June. I would have ordered directly from you but needed my hat for a predicted hot day at Wimbledon the next day. I was pleased with your leaflets on the history of the hat and how to roll it and will be in touch with you for all things panama- related in future.

Best wishes, Peter.



The hats have arrived and they look fabulous…

Thanks again,



If you've got any questions about Panamas, please feel free to drop us an email or give us a call.  


Can I roll my Panama hat?

We get asked about this a lot.  

The simple answer is yes, pretty much all genuine Panama hats can be rolled, with the exception of some of the more course Cuenca waeves (see our blog about the differences between Cuenca and Monitcristi Panama hats for more info).  

The tricky bit (and the big caveat to the simple answer) is really the expectations that the owner of the hat has.  Even with a high end Monticristi, once a hat has been rolled it cannot be expected to return exactly to it's original shape without being steamed and carefully re-shaped.  Instead, one must expect a hat that is rolled to develop character.  In our eyes the imperfections that result from a hat being rolled are all evidence of a life well lived - each crease and wave the memory of some far flung adventure.

The legend we get asked about the most, is whether you can really pass a very high quality Panama hat through a ring or to carry water.  We're yet to see any evidence of this (possibly because we don't know anyone who wants to subject their hat to such abuse!).  If you have a video (or want to fund the research!) please get in touch!

What is a Panama Hat?

So, we get lots of questions about Panama hats.  We'll always do our best to answer these and will start posting some of them to this blog soon.  However, before we do that, it's probably best if we spend a little time thinking about the basic question - what is a Panama hat?

If you know the answer to this, then that's great - please explore the rest of our blog and website.  But we do find that, particularly among non-hat wearers, there is confusion.  Some think that a Panama is defined by the fact it's a straw hat with a black band around it.  Others think that it's a reference to a particular shape of hat.  Yet others have no idea - when you tell them that you work for a Panama hat company they look blank and ask "what's that?"".  

So let's start by addressing a couple of these mistakes.  The shape of a hat does not make it a Panama.  There are numerous different styles and shapes of hats out there - such as the Trilby, Fedora, Pork Pie, Homberg and Folder.  But these can all be made by a variety of techniques in many different materials.  For example, you can have a heavy weight felt Fedora that's perfect for British winters.  Neither does the combination of white material with a black band make a hat a Panama.  There are lots of cheap imitations that look like this and call themselves Panamas, but are made out of paper pulp or synthetic fabrics that make them hot and sweaty to wear.  Equally the genuine article can come in all sorts of colours and have all sorts of decorative finishes.

In our eyes, a genuine Panama is defined by one thing only.  The material it is made from.  It has to be Toquilla Palm fibres.  

The Carludovica Palmata (to give it its scientific name) is not actually a palm - technically it's a "Monocotyledon" rather than a plam, because it does not develop a woody trunk.  But we'll ignore that technicality.  This plant produces a beautiful flower and has been cultivated from Central America down to Boliva.  However, its main home is in the humid coastal regions of Ecuador.  Fibres can be stripped from the central stem of young plants and carefully washed, softened and dried to produce a wonderfully soft, flexible and strong fibre.  These fibres can be woven into a variety of shapes - one of these is a cone like shape that forms the basis of a Panama Hat.  Once you have this cone (or "hood") you can bleach, dye and/or shape it as you wish.  

Please explore our store to see the variety of shape and colours we have chosen to make up our range - all of which are true Panama Hats!  

Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide!

We all enjoy a bit of sunshine.  Now that the test matches are beginning, Queens is finished (congratulations to Andy Murray!) and Wimbledon is just around the corner, summer has truly arrived in the UK!

It's time to get outside, enjoy a glass of Pimms, a bowl of strawberries and cream and dust off those BBQ tools!  

It's also time to take care - some of you will remember the slip, slop and slap campaign from Australia in the 1980's.  It was all about slipping on a shirt, slopping on some sunscreen and slapping on a hat.  We'll those things are still true - but the advice has now being extended to include seek (out some shade) and slide (on some sunglasses). 

We know many of you will be interested in our hats to help you enjoy the summer sun or in anticipation of a great holiday.  We just wanted to remind you to stay safe in the sun - please take a few minutes to read the guide here that has some great tips!  Sun safe guide.

Enjoy and remember to take your hat with you!

Father's Day Gift Idea

We all know that finding a present for a man can often be much more difficult than for a lady.  This frequently seems to be particularly true when you're looking for something special for your father.  A man can only use so many socks, ties, comedy DVDs and novelty golf club cases.  

This year, why not try something different.  We offer a wide range of Panama hats that - there is sure to be one that will suit the style of your father.  Be it a trendy striped trilby or a classic colonial style folder, we have hats to suit all tastes.  

Not only are they something a little different, but our hats are useful, long lasting and will never go out of fashion.  They look equally stylish on the commute, at the beach or a summer wedding.

If you're not sure what size to go for, then try looking inside an existing hat.  If you can't do this, then a size 58 or 60 is about average for men and remember that we will happily exchange any unworn hat if you do happen to get the size a little wring.

So, if you're having a hard time working out what to get this Father's Day, why not try visiting our online shop now.  

Final Part in our series on how a Panama is made

The final section of our page explaining how a Panama hat is made is complete!  This section deals with how the shape is given to the hat - a process known as blocking.  It also touches on the finishing of the hat with an internal sweatband and the external ribbon.  You can read it by clicking here.

Here at Borges & Scott we generally stick to traditional colours of black or brown for the external ribbon.  

The black band is often said to have initially found favour as a mark of respect following the death of Queen Victoria in 1901.  Whilst there is certainly a large element of truth in that statement, black bands were already a popular option - for example pictures around the time of Eloy Alfaro, an Ecuadorean liberal who was involved with the Ecuadorean revolution and ultimately led the rebels to success in 1895, often show black bands being worn.  The brown band, is a more modern twist and really complements the natural shade of some of our hats.

We can also add bespoke ribbons as required by customers.  In the past we have done this for sports teams, colleges, military colors and special events.

May 12, 2015


how made › Panama Hat ›

Ironing the Panama

We've updated our page all about how a Panama Hat is made - please click here to read about the next step - the ironing stage, where the hat starts to develop its shape.