Straw Hat Day – May 15, 2023

Straw Hat Day is observed on May 15 every year to celebrate this timeless wardrobe staple. Both men and women wear it in a variety of styles. From conical to Panama, the straw hat has stood the test of time, serving not only as a protection from the sun but a fashion statement. Today’s the day people celebrate this functional yet stylish hat. So, do you own one? If the answer is no, the day’s for you to finally own one and go about your day in style.

History of Straw Hat Day

The origin of Straw Hat Day is unclear. It started in New Orleans in the late 1910s. The day marks the beginning of summer, with people switching their winter headgears to the spring/summer ones. On the other hand, at the University of Pennsylvania, Straw Hat Day was observed on the second Saturday of May, the day being the principal spring celebration for undergraduates and a ballgame. The day was said to be widely accepted in Philadelphia that no one in the city dared wear a straw hat before the ballgame.

A straw hat, a brimmed hat woven out of straw or straw-like materials, is not only for protection but for style, and even it becomes a symbol. And it has been around since the Middle Ages. In Lesotho, ‘mokorotlo’ — a local name for the straw hat — is worn as part of the traditional Sotho clothing. It’s a national symbol. The ‘mokorotlo’ also appears on their flag and license plates. In the U.S., the Panama hat became popular due to President Theodore Roosevelt wearing it during his visit to the Panama Canal construction site.

Popular straw hats include boaters, lifeguards, fedora, and Panama. A boater or straw boater is a semi-formal warm-weather hat. It’s the type of straw hat worn by people around the time Straw Hat Day began. The boater is made from stiff sennit straw, with a stiff flat brim and striped grosgrain ribbon around its crown. It’s still a part of the school uniform in numerous boys’ schools in the U.K., Australia, and South Africa. Although men are seen wearing the boater, the hat is unisex. So, you can style it with your outfit, ladies.

Straw Hat Day timeline

5th — 15th Century
The Middle Age

Traders sell straw hats and fashion fad trends.

20th Century
The Mokorotlo

Basotho introduces wearing mokorotlo as part of the traditional attire at village meetings.

1906
Panama Hat Becomes Popular

President Theodore Roosevelt visits the Panama Canal, wearing a Panama hat.

1911
Straw Hat Day

People switch their winter hats to their spring/summer straw hats.

Straw Hat Day FAQs

Can you wear a straw hat at night?

You can wear it day or night as long as it’s not a formal get-together.

How long will a straw hat last?

If worn daily, a straw hat can last more than a year.

Who made the first straw hat in the U.S.?

The first documented Straw Hat was made by 12-year-old Betsy Metcalf in 1798.

Straw Hat Day Activities

  1. Wear a straw hat

    You must wear a straw hat to celebrate its day. The boater, fedora, or Panama, pick your preference. Celebrate the day and head off of the sun.

  2. Tell people about the day

    Shoot some photos of you wearing your favorite style of straw hat. Share them on your social media to let others know what day it is.

  3. Purchase one

    Straw Hat Day is also for those who haven’t got a straw hat. Choose your favorite styles of straw hats and buy one so that you can join the celebration.

5 Facts About Straw Hats You Need To Know

  1. The Panama hat isn’t from Panama

    The hats were hand-woven in Ecuador and then exported to Panama in the 19th century.

  2. Atalia Bis & Partners Company

    They made a big straw hat with a diameter of 21 feet nine inches and was eight feet six inches high.

  3. It caused Straw Hat Riot in 1922

    In New York, a fight broke out because some didn’t stop wearing straw hats after summer.

  4. Coco Chanel loved it

    In the early 20th century, she made the boater hat fashionable for women.

  5. Boater was originally a women’s hat

    Before being adopted as menswear, the boater was worn by women and children in the 1860s.

Why We Love Straw Hat Day

  1. It keeps you cool

    Wearing a straw hat protects you from the harsh rays of the Sun and keeps you cool. Not only temperature-wise but style-wise too.

  2. To try a new style

    Whether you already own one or not, Straw Hat Day can be the day for you to buy a new straw hat. The options styles to choose from are numerous.

  3. It doesn’t go out of style

    No matter the year, you can always wear a straw hat as part of your summer style. From boater to Panama or fedora to lifeguard, it never goes out of style.

Straw Hat Day dates

YearDateDay
2023May 15Monday
2024May 15Wednesday
2025May 15Thursday
2026May 15Friday
2027May 15Saturday

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