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Summer can be the season where when we get outdoors, the sun’s rays are the harshest. And in fashion, there are many ways to beat the heat and hot weather, like wearing an appropriate hat for the season. 

Straw boater hats have been famous during summer weather not only because it’s easier to match with summer activities, but it also provides heaps benefits in using one. 

So what are boater hats, and how do they differ from other hats? 

What Is A Straw Boater Hat?

Typically, boaters or sennit hats are the type of hats that uses a stiff straw as their primary material. The hat has an elliptical shape, typically with a flat brim and crown. It also has a unique taste of a grosgrain ribbon that comes in different colors and styles, wrapped around its body. 

What Are The Materials Used In Making A Boater Hat? 

You may see that it has a close resemblance to a fedora hat, but the two headdresses are different from each other. 

Boaters have a more rigid shell than fedoras. They have stiff crowns and grim that are close to having a sailor hat. 

Additionally, boaters have a woven straw structure. But sometimes, the materials used in the hats can be lace, raffia, or canvas, depending on the manufacturer. Fedoras, on the other hand, have a felt composition that is more suitable for formal styles. 

A Brief History of The Boater Hats

It was more than a fashion statement to have a hat to go with your clothing back then. Society is making constant improvement, thus, resulting in many types of boater hats. 

But when society introduced the straw boater hat in public in the 1860s, it became necessary to wear them as a sign of social etiquette and appropriate clothing twenty years later. 

The masses widely accepted the hat to use on social events like sailing and boating activities. Did you know that it was also a sign of the anticipation of the summer season? 

Gentlemen used the hats to indicate the season. They switch from the felt hats they usually wear during the winter season to straw boater hats in summer.

 The Summer Boater Hats

From 1880 to the 1900s, men have a distinguished hat to wear, which indicates the season of the clothing. From September to October, they wear felt hats. These hats can be either top hats or berets that go with their winter coats. 

But as soon as summer approaches, “Straw Hat Day” is knocking on everyone’s doors, waiting for everyone to put on their straw boater hats and experience the fun in summer outdoor activities. 

Boat hats gained popularity, and everyone seems to like wearing them. However, there is still opposition to the hat wearers who still use it even after summer. This event led to the “straw hat mania” in the roaring 20s. 

The Straw Hat Riot in 1922

As stated before, people mainly used straw hats in summer. But as September approaches, some people ridicule the ones still wearing boater hats, which resulted in a big fight. Many people steal hats from other people and purposely destroy them to prevent widespread fashion faux pas. 

Even though there is already a law protecting straw hat wearers, more than 1,000 teens terrorize the civilians wearing hats. The police tried to alleviate the situation, but the bandits outnumbered them. 

Thankfully, no gentlemen died in those eight day-long incidents. But there are several people arrested for the commotion as well as people injured.

Straw Boater Hats in Public 

History aside, the straw boater hat is still regarded as one of the famous headwears to be worn in some semi-formal events. 

Back then, cyclists sported a good straw boater hat and in events such as horse riding ceremonies and hunting. You can also see the hats sitting on top of the heads of men watching theatricals or watching musicals. 

Another activity is sailing. It can be either on a yacht or a row with your date on the lakes. 

And if you have to go to church on Sundays, it’s not entirely wrong to wear it on your way to church and take it off as soon as you enter. You will have a comfortable body temperature because of it, and it can also give you complete protection from the sun.  

You could also pair it with good sunglasses at a music festival like Coachella or any social gathering. As long as you’re confident in wearing it, you’re rocking the straw boater hat

The Guide In Wearing Boater Hats

Of course, there still exist customs that align with wearing a hat

Some people would prefer to wear it proportionately on her head, but it is best if you let the hat be tilted on the side of your head or lay it on top. 

But to get the maximum benefits, such as getting it paired with your outfit amazingly and protection from the sun, you have to know the right size of hat for you. 

In terms of matching it with your clothes, here are some suitable pairings: 

  • Blazer or summer suits 
  • Jacket and trousers 
  • Black tie and formal wear in the summer

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): 

What is the excellent quality of a straw boater hat? 

You can find an excellent quality straw boater hat if the weaving is tight and provides the ultimate sun protection. The crown shall not fold easily, and the brim offers you a good shade away from the harsh sunlight. 

How To Maintain Boater Hats? 

It needs proper care to last longer than it should. Straw hats are fast-drying, so you can dry them and store them in a dry place if they are wet from sweat or water. 

Do straw hats last for a very long time? 

Placing straw hats in proper storage with the appropriate care could last longer than a year. But most wearers suggest that you change your hat annually to still reap the benefits out of your boater hat.

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