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Beach & Garden Panama Hats

The Ultrawide

The Ultrawide

For women, mostly

You’ve probably never worn a hat with a brim as wide as these. I really enjoyed testing this style by showing it to women friends. The usual reaction was to shriek, grab the hat, and run for the mirror. Now I’ll be the first to admit that I know nothing about women. (Okay, okay, maybe less than that.) But I figured the shriek-and-mirror reaction meant it was a winner.

Apparently, there is something very comforting about a hat with a 7-inch brim. Several said they felt like they just wanted to get under there and wrap themselves in it like a security blanket.

I have no idea what your reaction will be when it emerges from the shipping box. You may let out a cry of joy and run for the mirror. You may head for the beach. You may head off to some elegant affair, knowing you will be noticed.

I have these custom woven for me. As usual, I requested a much higher than average weave quality, natural straw. I finish them with black grosgrain ribbon outside. Taller crowns get wider ribbon, shorter crowns get less wide ribbon. Bow is centered in back

You can turn the brim up all around. Turn it down in front. Turn it down in back. Turn one side down, one side up. You may decide to pin up one side. Or the other. One hat, many styles. One woman, many moods.

The young ladies in the photographs are not at all overwhelmed by that much brim. The woman wearing the necklace is no more than 4’10” and as thin as my patience at the end of a long day.

It’s a wide brim. Really wide. Ultrawide. It will be the widest brim on the beach. Or at the garden party.


  • Hand woven genuine Panama hat
  • Hand woven brim edge
  • Natural straw color (not bleached white)
  • Hand blocked and custom sized
  • Crown about 3 3/4 to 4 ½ inches
  • Ultrawide Brim is about 7 inches, Some a little more, some a little less
  • Cotton twill sweatband standard
  • Classic Black 1 7/16 inch ribbon is standard (many other choices)



or 2 for $700


7 inches


3 ¾ to 4 1/2 inches

SIZES details

21 1⁄8 to 23 inches

54 to 58.4 cm

SWEATBAND see choices

Cotton Twill is the standard sweatband.

RIBBON see choices

Black 1 7/16 inches is the standard ribbon.

Single Hat - $400

Two or More
- $350 each


Marcie Polo SE

For Women, mostly

Marcie Polo has been “suggesting” this style for several months – a tough travel hat that looks good enough to wear to a royal garden party.

“Did I ever tell you about my safari with the Maharajah of Eyesore?” Marcie likes to travel.

It’s in her genes. Marcie is the great, great, great, great, great, great — well, she’s really great — granddaughter of Marco Polo.

Sometimes, like her illustrious ancestor, her travel is more off road than luxury resort. Naturally, she wanted a hat that looks great – as great as the Montecristi Marcie Polo style she designed. But maybe a little tougher, and definitely in the dirt-defying Cocoa color. Good idea.

“The Maharajah of Eyesore invited me to come stay at his palace while we safari around in his private jungles for a few days. As you probably know, his palace is the ugliest in all of India.”

Marcie favors brims wider than 3 inches, for the extra shade. She likes both the wobbly and the upturned brim. Which do you favor – under or over 3 inches? Wobbly or upturned? Most of the brims are close to 3 inches or wider.

Best ribbon colors? Dove Gray and Whiskey Brown are good choices. Maybe Chocolate Brown. Can’t go wrong with Classic Black. Parchment? White Sand?

Marcie continued, “Just as I was getting out of the taxi in front of the palace, the Maharajah’s favorite elephant, Daisy, came trotting up. The maharajah was perched atop Daisy in his elegant howdah.”

“Hey, Maharajah, howdah you do?”

The maharajah did not comment.

“Hey, maybe we can do a TV show about a maharajah puppet. The Howdah Doody Show. With a live audience of kids . . . we’ll call them the betelnut gallery.”

“Marcie, has anyone ever told you that you are not funny?”


A few years ago, Marcie asked me to create the original Montecristi version of the Marcie Polo style, because she wanted a travel hat but didn’t fancy the Optimo. She loved the Montecristi Marcie Polo and has worn it to, from, and in more than 40 countries.

A few days ago, she asked me to make the same style – “the look is perfect” – in the Cocoa color. So, I did.

Marcie loves hers. She hopes you will love yours.

“I hope millions of people will wear these. They don’t even have to travel. They’ll look just as great getting out of an SUV while running errands in the neighborhood as they will getting off a camel while arriving at a wedding deep in the Gobi Desert.”

Millions? Marcie! Did you forget that I make these entirely by hand? One at a time. Millions? Maybe dozens. For a fortunate few.


  • Hand woven genuine Panama hat
  • Hand woven brim edge
  • Straw dyed “Cocoa” color
  • Hand blocked and custom sized
  • Crown about 4 to 4 ¼ inches
  • Wide Brim is more than 3 inches
  • Regular Brim is less than 3 inches
  • Cotton Twill sweatband standard
  • White Sand 1 ¼ inch ribbon standard (many other choices)
  • Weave count comparable to some of my Montecristi hats


Why One Panama Hat Costs More than Another

Regular Brim “Upturned” - $350

Regular Brim “Wobbly” - $350

Wide Brim “Upturned” - $350

Wide Brim “Wobbly” - $350



Regular Brim - under 3 inches
Wide Brim – more than 3 inches


4 to 4 1/4”

Measured on the side.

SIZES details

21” to 23 3/4”
(53.5 cm to 60.5 cm)

I will send you size test bands
and will custom size your hat,
included in the price.
Extra shipping cost outside of U.S.

SWEATBAND see choices

Standard sweatband for this style is Black Cotton Twill

RIBBON see choices

Standard ribbon for this style is 1 7/16” Whiskey Brown

Marcie Polo SE

Regular Brim “Upturned” - $350

Regular Brim “Wobbly” - $350

Wide Brim “Upturned” - $350

Wide Brim “Wobbly” - $350

Mombasa Café

Mombasa Café



Of course you’ve heard of it. The ancient, the legendary, the dilapidated, the damn near roofless—Mombasa Café. Have you been there? The great ones all stopped by when they were in town. Stanley, Livingston, Burton, Speke, Rhodes, Quatermain, and the others. Current kindred spirits still do.

They are drawn by a fireplace roaring as needed in the rainy season, the most comfortable hand-carved wood chairs in the world, the best cup of coffee in a thousand miles, cold Tusker on tap, and a cellar full of big oak barrels of extraordinarily-well-aged Jamaican rum which may or may not have disappeared from the hold of a British merchant ship in port for a few days in the summer of 1921.

As an extra bonus, the food won’t kill you. Mostly. There have been exceptions.

No one comes in without a hat. You just don’t muck about in the noonday sun of equatorial Africa without a hat. Even mad dogs and Englishmen wear hats. As a general rule, the Englishmen look better in theirs. They are also less likely to chew them up in an absent moment. Though some do.

The prevailing style of choice is the Mombasa of course. Classic center dent crown, generous dimples, safari brim, wide ribbon. Some favor a hand-blocked Montecristi Mombasa. The one shown here is called the Mombasa Café, because this is the kind they sell at— you guessed it, the Mombasa Café.

These are hand woven, genuine Panama hats, dyed a dirt-defying, café-con-leche color. Brims are folded and sewn with a plastic thing inside the outer edge to hold the brim shape. Hats are woven, shaped, and finished in Cuenca, Ecuador. Black grosgrain ribbon 13⁄8 inches wide, cloth sweatband inside, brim 3 inches wide. The hat I chose at random has a count of 15×23.

You know what? This is a good hat. I have worn this hat myself and have received compliments. I like the feel of it. Some of my friends pronounced this more their kind of hat than the higher priced Montecristi hats. Fair enough. It’s a good hat. It’s a good price.

Stanley wears these. He buys 8 or 10 each time he passes through the Mombasa Cafe between expeditions. Like any sensible person with an addiction, he doesn’t want to run out.

He knows at least two will be stolen, a hazard of wearing a great hat into areas where there are no hats. He will have to give three or four as presents to tribal chiefs who won’t take no for an answer, and through whose territory he must pass. He may have to leave one or two behind on a tree branch to fool hostile warriors while he runs like hell.

It’s good to have more than one of a great thing. Especially true if it is reasonably priced. Imperative if one doesn’t want to run out.


These are almost gone. Especially the big sizes. Great hat. Great price. Measure your head to the nearest 1/8 inch and use that to place your order. These are labeled S, M, L but no two are the same size. So it’s best to tell me your head measurement, and I will see if I have one to fit you. While they last.


  • Hand woven genuine Panama hat
  • Caramel straw color
  • Factory shaped and finished in Cuenca, Ecuador
  • Brim edge folded and sewn
  • Brim width is about 3 1/4 inches.
  • Crown height about 4 ¾ inches
  • Cotton twill sweatband
  • Black 1 3/8 inch ribbon


Mombasa Cafe



3 inches


4 ¾

SIZES details


Measure your head and I will find the best fit

These are almost gone. The big sizes are already sold out. 22 3/8 inches might be the biggest. Great hat. Great price. Measure your head to the nearest 1/8 inch and use that to place your order. These are labeled XS, S, M, but no two are the same size. So, it’s best to tell me your head measurement, and I will see if I have one to fit you. While they last. Great deal for those with sensibly sized heads.




Mombasa Cafe

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The Panama Hat Company of the Pacific dba Brent Black Panama Hats 1314 Center Dr., Suite B-448 Medford, OR 97501 There is no retail store at this address. (more) Toll Free: (888) 658-6500 Phone: (541) 201-3113

Text and photos © 1988-2022, B. Brent Black. All rights reserved.

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