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Latino Hats To Keep You Cool This Summer


It’s summertime, and the sun is getting to be a bit of a bitch. The best way to avoid getting heat stroke or skin cancer is to try and keep to the shade. But what if no shade is available? Thankfully, thousands of years ago paleolithic man used his technological skills to invent the hat. It’s shade you take with you. Science! For some reason, over the last 40 years hats have fallen out of fashion. We blame the hippies. Hats are making a comeback, mostly in annoying hipster circles where they wear hats to be ironic. Latinos have a long and proud history of hats, mainly due to all the hours spent working out in the fields. We here at Tu Vez thinks it’s time for us to reclaim our hat heritage. Here are five of the all time iconic hats from Latino history.

The Mexican Sombrero

What could be more iconic? There is even a Mexican Hat Dance we all had to learn in grade school. The Mexican sombrero evolved from a wide brimmed peasant hat made of straw. It cast a large shadow, or sombra, hence its name. Later, Mexican cowboys adopted a felt version which often had intricate designs. You see these glittery crowns sported a lot by ranchero or mariachi groups. This is also a must have item for drunken American tourists in Can Cun. This allows them an opportunity to both culturally misappropriate a national symbol and have something to throw up into after 15 Mezcal Slings at Tequila Sam’s or whatever.

The Panama Hat

First of all, it isn’t from Panama. Get that idea out of your head. It is from Ecuador, and is only mistakenly attributed to Panama. Why? Because when the Panama canal was being built, many of the workers were from Ecuador and they brought their iconic straw hat with them. The American workers took to the hat and made it popular in the United States as the Panama hat, because that’s where they bought it. Americans are wonderfully literal. The Panama hat is in the shape of a fedora and is traditionally made from woven straw. The hat is popular all over Latin America as it both keeps your head cool and looks fly as hell. When you put one on you feel like a plantation owner or a tropical pimp.

The Bombin

When you visit Peru, one of the first things that comes to mind is, “What’s with the little bowler hats?” The second thing is, “No I don’t want any llama jerky”. The bombin is the iconic hat of the Andes, worn by men and women alike. The Quechua Indians in particular like to rock the Bombin. The hat developed from the English bowler, which was introduced by English settlers in the 19th century. The Andean version, has a smaller brim but a taller dome. The Quechua often keep coca leaves and charcoal in their bombins, which they chew to prevent altitude sickness. It’s basically a place to keep your stash.

The Bolero

What would Zorro be without his classic bolero hat? Just a freak in a mask and tight satin pants. The bolero hat comes from Spain originally, where Spanish cowboys did their cowboying in them. It is also used by flamenco dancers, who like Zorro, also wear tight satin pants. They were later appropriated by the Argentinian gauchos. Gauchos do not wear tight satin pants, as it is hard to ride horses with a shiny satin wedgie. The bolero has a flat brim and a flat dome, unlike similar styles that incorporate a curved brim. Wearing this hat is not for everyone, and we caution its use. Chances are you will like less like Zorro or a gaucho and more like a douche in a flat hat.

Pachuco or Cholo Hat

In the 1930’s, Chicanos in California invented the pachuco look, which consisted of a zoot suit and a wide brimmed fedora. This big hat became known as the pachuco or cholo hat. Essentially, it was a large fedora made of either straw or felt which has a brightly colored feather in the band. In the 30’s these feathers could sometimes be one or two feet long. Overtime, the feather got smaller, presumably because whatever monstrous bird they were getting two foot long feathers from became extinct. The cholo hat is still popular among the lowriding subculture of the Southwest. The logo for Lowrider Magazine is a cholo hat and a mustache. Oralé.

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