“ My father, who lived in France, wore a Panama for sun protection—I guess that’s where it started. We all know that California sunshine is powerful, and from my first visit to San Francisco those many years ago, a Panama has been de rigueur, so far as I am concerned. And I’m pleased that my son Paul has taken to wearing a Panama, his choice being the model with a dent in the crown, so as not to emulate his father.

I prefer the design that I can fold and roll into a tube for travel; however, the best place to store a hat is on one’s head, and that is where mine can usually be found. One should not dismiss the lowly Panama hat as a foible; you would be surprised at the useful information stored behind the black band: blood group, pin codes, and other latter-day life’s necessities— they all reside there readily accessed as fast as a smartphone. I commend Le Chapeau Blanc to you always.”

— Peter Michael