“Panama Panache”

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


2 cups of coffee…maybe I should make a pot…

A lovely lady just wrote a little article about PHW on the jetblue website!

Check it out:

Panama Panache at Paul’s Hat Works

By Jeanne Storck

July 01, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Image courtesy of Paul’s Hatworks.

Thanks to four enterprising young women, a little bit of old-time San Francisco lives on at Paul’s Hat Works in the Outer Richmond (get directions). Opened in 1919, the shop has turned out high quality headgear for the city’s gents for over ninety years. In late 2008, faced with a bleak economy and a dwindling clientele, owner Michael Harris had begun packing up the panamas when in stepped twenty-something costume and apparel designer Olivia Griffin, asking about taking over the business.

Rad Hatters

Griffin, along with good friends and roommates Abbie Dwelle, Wendy Hawkins, and Kirsten Hove, apprenticed with Harris and now busily turn out one chic chapeau after another. The city’s fashionistas have taken note.

Visit this little time-machine of a boutique and peruse the shelves stacked high with vintage hatboxes, feathers, grosgrain ribbon, wooden blocking tools, even a conformateur — a steampunk-looking metal contraption in the shape of a hat used to measure a client’s head. The new quartet of owners handcraft the shops signature toppers — creamy colored feather-light straw Panamas and felt fedoras. The Panamas, perfect for summery days, come in two varieties: the Cuenca which has a looser weave and lower price (around $300) and the Montecristi which looks and costs dear (up to $1000) because of its superfine weave that can take up to six months to complete.

Come out for a visit and these dapper dames will crease, steam and mold your panama or fedora into snappy peaks and brims that will make you feel as suave as Gary Cooper — or for the ladies, as glam as Greta Garbo.

Have a Hatty Day,

~ Paul