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Panama Hat Vs Trilby

Panama hat vs Trilby. Learn the Difference (With Pictures)

Do you love to wear headgear? If yes, then we are sure that the first thing that might have come to your mind with a question is a hat or a cap. Indeed, these are the most prominent and fantastic headgear that offer you a stylish and amazing look for all occasions. There are thousands of options for you, from simple hats to fancy luxurious hats.

This calls for understanding and knowledge of the difference between the varied hats. One such comparison that is important to know is Panama hat vs. Trilby. Though both might look similar to you, there are genuinely some critical differences between them that make them unique.

So, in the article, let us explore the Panama hat vs. trilby question and find out what makes each of them unique. Also, let us know which of these hats is best to give you a comfortable and stylish look.

The Main Difference

Though both Panama hat and Trilby are great accessories, there are a few differences between them that make them stand apart. Knowing the authentic Panama hat vs. Trilby will help you make valid choices based on the occasion you are looking forward to. So, here are the prominent differences you should know between the Panama hat vs. Trilby.

Difference 1: Structure

There are quite a few differences in the overall structure when it comes to the Panama hat and Trilby structure. The Panama hats have a dent across the crown top and a ribbon around the crown. The brim of the Panama hats is wider, and the crown is comparatively shallow. On the other hand, a trilby has a narrower brim, and the crown is slightly taller and pointier.

Difference 2: Material Used

The Toquilla straw or the jipijapa palm are used to make Panama hats. It was formerly fashioned of rabbit hair felt, although it is now more commonly made of tweed, straw, heavyweight cotton, wool, and wool/nylon mixes. Both of these types of headwear are currently available in breathable material, but the uniqueness of the material used is a significant point of differentiation.

Difference 3: Weaving Styles

Weaving and blocking are the two primary techniques to make a Panama hat. The Cuenca and Brisa weaves are the two most popular forms of weaves. The Cuenca weave looks like a herringbone pattern and uses more straw than the Brisa weave. The Brisa weave resembles little diamonds or squares. While for the Tribly, there is no main weaving style. Trilby hats are usually adorned with a ribbon. Trilby hats are traditionally made of felt, but many are now made of straw, tweed, cotton, or wool.

Which One Is With More Artistic Linkage, Panama Hat Or Trilby?

As we have seen earlier, the difference between the Panama hat vs. Tribly is not quite varied, yet knowing the fundamental differences might have significantly helped. Though the history of both hats is quite enchanted when it comes to a hat with artistic links, Trilby is the clear winner.

Trilby hat gets its name from George du Maurier’s 1894 novel Trilby. The original London staging of the play featured a hat of this style quite prominently, giving it a link to the field of art. Trilby hats became synonymous with Frank Sinatra, and a signature design trilby bearing his name is available. Linton Kwesi Johnson, a reggae poet, often wears a trilby during his performances. Inspector Gadget wears a trilby hat in his cartoon character.

So, if you are looking for a hat that offers you an artistic linkage and makes you look perfectly awesome, then Trilby is the right choice to make. But if you are looking for a formal to a casual look, definitely Panama hat is the choice to make.

What Is A Panama Hat?

The Panama Hat is essentially a straw Fedora made from Toquilla. It’s also known as the Ecuadorian hat, and its material, more than its shape, distinguishes it. The Toquilla Palm tree produces toquilla straw. The weaving pattern for the Panama hat originated in Ecuador. It has been known as the Ecuadorian hat since it was first fashioned by Ecuadorian artisans. This pattern is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Ecuador.

panama hat

It is correct to note that not all straw Fedoras are Panama hats, but Toquilla straw Fedoras are. A Panama hat’s shape includes a divot across the crown top and a ribbon around the crown, as well as a reasonably broad brim.

Features Of Panama Hats

  • During the Gold Rush era in the mid-1800s, it became popular.
  • Traders on the Gulf of Panama mostly wore it, and it quickly gained popularity in Asia.
  • It has a light color tone and is lightweight.
  • It’s light and airy, and it’s quite comfortable.
  • It is the most appropriate summer accessory because you may wear it to the beach, parties, and informal occasions.
  • It is highly robust and can be folded and stacked in a bag for easy transportation.
  • It is made up of two different forms of weaving. Although the Cuenca pattern is similar to Herringbone Tweed, the Brisa pattern is diamond-shaped.
  • The weaving on Panama hats is usually fairly elaborate, adding to their overall elegance.

What Is a Trilby?

Trilbies feature a smaller brim, usually up to 5 cm wide but generally smaller. Trilbies are unisex and can be worn formally and casually; however, they are most commonly worn casually. The Trilby was previously thought to be the hat of the wealthy; in Britain, it is known as the “brown trilby,” and it was frequently seen at horse races.


Trilbies are worn with a more casual look by pressing them up from the back. It’s an excellent look for musicians who like to sit around a fire or for country artists. In the early 1980s, when it was marketed to both men and women to capitalize on a nostalgic fashion trend, the hat had a rebirth in popularity.

Features Of Trilby

  • The hat’s name comes from George du Maurier’s 1894 novel Trilby, adapted for the theatre.
  • In the 1960s, the hat achieved its pinnacle of popularity.
  • The crown of the Trilby is likewise slightly shorter than that of a typical fedora.
  • Trilby hats were associated with Frank Sinatra, and a signature design trilby bearing his name exists.
  • Inspector Gadget, the cartoon character, wears a trilby hat.
  • Its shape is similar to that of a Tyrolean hat.
  • Wool, tweed, heavyweight cotton, and even straw make trilby hats.

Panama Hat vs Trilby

Comparison PropertiesPanama HatTrilby
Uses (for)It’s a hat that you can wear for semi-formal, casual, or beachwear. It’s also worn during formal gatherings.It is most commonly worn during casual occasions. But it can be worn during formal events when the color of the hat is light, and the material is stiff.
Ideal ForIt is unisex and suitable for all seasons.It is a perfect unisex hat suited for all seasons based on material.
Distinct FeatureIt features a ribbon around the crown and a dent across the top.It is a hat with a shorter brim angled down at the front and slightly turned up at the back.
Gained PopularityDuring the Gold Rush era in the mid-1800s, it became popular.It gained popularity in the 1960s but saw a prompt resurgence in popularity in the early 1980s.
DurabilityBecause it is constructed of straw, it is comparably less durable.It is very durable when made from wool and wool alternatives.
Material UsedToquilla straw or jipijapa palm are used to make these hats.Trilby hats are made of wool, tweed, heavyweight cotton, and even straw.
Waterproof MaterialThese hats are not waterproof in the least.These hats are waterproof when made from wool.
Belongs ToThese hats are also known as Ecuadorian hats because they originated in Ecuador.The hat’s name comes from George du Maurier’s 1894 novel Trilby, which was adapted for the theatre, and it was quickly dubbed “a Trilby hat.”
Care and MaintenanceThese hats are extraordinarily delicate and demand special attention.These hats are very easy to care for, but the wool ones tend to shrink when washed.
Types and StylesThe Cuenca design and the Brisa pattern are the two most common styles.There are no specific styles and types that fall under the trilby category.  
WeatherIt is suitable for all-weather situations but is particularly well adapted to warmer ones.It is best suited for all the seasons but is more adapted for colder climates based on material.
FoldabilityPanama hats are lightweight and foldable, making them ideal for travel.Trilby is lightweight and easily foldable.
FitThe fit is usually comfortable and highly fitted with no chinstrap to make you look neat and amazing.Trilby is straightforward to fit and comfortable. These are usually worn without the chinstrap.

What Are Panama Hats for?

Panama hats are traditional summer hats woven from the toquilla palm, still widely used in Ecuador. Panama hats are fantastic in every way. These are made to give you the most stunning look, whether you’re going to the beach or a casual lunch gathering.

This is as popular as beachwear caps, and it’s quite comfy and light. While the merchant originally wore the hat, it now has significant professional value. Furthermore, these hats can be worn on any day, including in the rain.

Panama hats are versatile, unisex, and all-season hats to try styling. These are also the caps that are accessible for all seasons.

What Are Trilby for?

Trilby hats are a perfect piece when looking for an artistic look. These hats have a history of being used on stage and worn by artists of various fields. While initially, these hats were known as the Rich man’s hats, later on, these hats started to be used as casual hats.

You can also wear them informally by pushing them down from the rear so that they rise from the front, revealing a lot of the wearer’s forehead and even some hair. The way it’s worn suggests a hat that’s easygoing, laid back, and informal.

Trilby is versatile and perfect for all -seasons. But based on the material, Trilby is mainly linked to the winter season, making them a unique and fantastic piece.

The Best Panama Hats

Panama Roll-up Hat With Belt Buckle

This is a classic Panama hat for men and women that is unique, ageless, and classic. It fits neatly into the bag and is perfectly foldable. This hat is cute, lightweight, breathable, and comfy for hot summer days. Additionally, it is ideal for wearing while gardening, at the beach, pool, park, camping, trekking, race day events, or any other outdoor activity. Available in multiple colors, the main features are as follows:

  • Material – 90% paper straw and 10 % polyester
  • Closure – Pull On closure
  • Fitting – Comfortable fit
  • Care – Hand Wash Only
  • Measurement – One Size fit All
  • Nature – Unisex

Stetson Men’s Panama Hat

This hat is made from Genuine Panama Straw with a perfect Pinchfront crown. Decorated with the Grosgrain ribbon band, this hat is one perfect piece that offers a comfortable fit and lightweight. Designed in the USA, this is an imported quality hat that makes it classic formal, and elegant. The features are as follows:

  • Material – Genuine Panama Straw
  • Closure – Pull On closure
  • Fitting – Comfortable fit
  • Care – Dry Clean Only
  • Measurement – Multiple Sizes
  • Nature – Men

The Best Trilby

Unisex Classic Manhattan Structured Trilby Hat

With a teardrop-shaped pinched front crown design and an elegant structured narrow brim, this Trilby hat is one of a kind. It’s soft, breathable, lightweight, sturdy, and comfortable enough to wear all day. This is a must-have hat for your collection since it is designed to be suitable for both everyday casual use and formal occasions. The features are as follows:

  • Material – 80% Polyester, 20% Cotton
  • Closure – None
  • Fitting – Comfortable fit
  • Care – Hand Wash Only
  • Measurement – Multiple Sizes
  • Nature – Unisex

Classic Trilby Short Brim Hat

One of the simplest ways to add flair to your outfit is to wear a carefully placed hat. It’s a fantastic casual and formal hat that you can wear with casual and formal outfits, such as jeans and shorts. It would be the ideal accessory for enhancing your appearance. It was completed with a non-removable band. The features are as follows:

  • Material – 100% Cotton
  • Closure – None
  • Fitting – Comfortable fit
  • Care – Hand Wash Only
  • Measurement – Multiple Sizes
  • Nature – Unisex

Final Thoughts

Panama hat vs. Trilby is a never-ending debate, but with the proper understanding of the features of both, it is undoubtedly an easy task to make a choice. While some might prefer a formal Panama hat, others would love to go with the artistic Trilby. Either way, both these hats are ready to add a fantastic charm to your look and make you stand out from the crowd. Just make sure to know about the size and material before you purchase. Rest depends on your style and the occasion for which you are getting ready.

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