Straw Italian Boater

Straw Italian Boater

Baron Hats

Contact our Baron Hats Team if you have questions, suggestions or feedback!

Hand Woven Straw Boater in the Custom Crafted traditional "Boater Italiano" Style CUSTOM MADE TO ORDER AT BARON HATS

2", 2 1/4" or the Classic 3" !

For years now, we have been inundated baron hatswith requests for an authentic well made Classic Italian Boater. Whether it be from men of style, members of Barbershop Quartets, Entertainers and "Music Men", or just hat connoisseurs who appreciate the sleek look and styling of this International favorite.

In the past we have offered a version of the classic Boater made for us at one of the last remaining Hatters in Italy. Sadly, this legendary workshop closed its doors at the beginning of the year, leaving a huge vacuum in the production of real classic Italian Boaters. Sure, there are many retailers who sell cheap knockoff's in straw, Styrofoam, plastic and even cardboard, but for those who desire the "real thing", their only recourse was to hope to find authentic antique Boaters for sale on E-Bay!

Baron Hats knew that this void had to be filled. So, after almost a year of research and prototypes, Baron's Master Hatter, Mark Mejia, finally came up with a magnificent Classic Boater worthy of the Baron label. The bodies come from our special weavers in Ecuador, which create for us a beautiful "Boater Italiano" style to our exacting specifications. The body's are then shipped to us at our main studio's in Burbank, so that Mark can then hand-block the hat and have all the finishing work done under his careful supervision.

Unlike the Boater that was made in Italy, in the rigid, thick "paglia cotta" technique, Mark very specifically reached back to the first Classic Boaters, which were made of a more breathable and pliable straw-weave. And unlike the inflexible version, Baron's Boater sits much more comfortably on the head, and like a favorite pair of jeans or boots, slowly forms perfectly to your head's personal shaping,

Each body is hand-woven with pure Tropic Palm straw in the authentic special overlapping "awning treilage" pattern, creating a tight but breathable strawing. The hat is then hand-shaped using original 100 year-old blocks obtained in Palermo, Italy by Mark himself. They are then finished with a genuine "il doppio ha colorato" black-with-center-red boater hatband in the traditional 3" width a ribbon, then finished with a "signore" bow.

baron hatsIt was the Italian immigrants who baron hatsbrought the “Boater” to America in the mid 1800’s. They were called “Boaters” since the hat was originally worn by the famous Gondoliers, but usually with a long doppio nastro, in black (and sometimes navy) and red.

The “nastro” was modified to a much easier to wear hat-ribbon, also of black and red. It caught on like wild-fire with the general American public, especially with those in the emerging “middle class” as a festive hat for weekend outings (of course with chaperone!), or in many cases, as a “dress” hat. Being “il cappello della gente”, or “the hat of the people”, the Boater quickly became the costume hat of choice for entertainers, especially on the “people’s stage”, as in light musical’s and vaudeville. And even up into the early 1950's, the Boater became a standard hat for everyday wear, sometimes beating out the ever-popular "Fedora" style with men all over the world.

In Motion Pictures, it has taken on the same famous status as the bowler and top hat. A song and dance team, especially if Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire where involved, is virtually naked without working the hat into their routines. And in such movies as “Inherit The Wind”, and the “Music Man”, the Boater became almost a character unto itself. In fact in the classic comedy “The Italian Straw Hat”, it did indeed become the “star” of the film!

Judy Garland herself picked the Boater to be the hat of choice when she convinced MGM to let a little known "hoofer" named Gene Kelly star with her in his debut film "For Me And My Gal". (If you come to our famous "Hollywood Hat Museum" at our flagship store and studio in Burbank, California, you can, in fact, see one of Mr. Kelly's ordinal Boaters from that movie).

The Classic Baron Boater is made with the traditional 4" crown and can now be custom ordered in three popular brim sizes! Check below in the "Brim Size" field in the "order box", and have your Boater crafted in either a 2", 2 1/4" or the Classic (and hard to find) 3" brim!

Please note that because these are hand-woven body's, the sizes of the crown and brim may have slight variations after blocking (but the hat size will remain the same), because of the natural "breathing" of the straw.

Many people believe the Boater carries almost mystical powers. It’s true that when men put them on, they seemed to attract not only joyous adventures, but equally joyous women to accompany them on these newly discovered escapades! Baron Hats has added an unique and ingenious internal “sweatband”, made of leather and special elastic fabrics that gives the hat a feeling of “floating” on your head, for a most incredibly comfortable fit!


Dearest Mark Mejia;
I just received my straw boater from you and have the widest grin on my face in many, many years! The workmanship is impeccable! An American Summer (and any season for that matter) classic! I'll be giving it to my kids and grand-kids someday!

Your Biggest Fan,
B. T.
Salem, MA

*Please Note: The bodies of these Baron Classic Italian Boaters are hand woven for us with harvested Tropic Palm, and left in their natural colors. Therefore each Boater will be slightly different in the shading of the natural "sand-bone" coloring.

Baron Hats is pleased to offer a FlexPay Payment Plan for this custom order at no additional cost or interest.

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Our Classic Reproductions hats are custom hand-made-to-order, so please allow approximately EIGHT WEEKS FOR DELIVERY. If you must have the hat sooner, e-mail us for special Rush Delivery prices and your delivery date needs to:


PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO READ OUR RETURN/REFUND POLICY and all conditions of sale in our Service Policy at

By submitting this order you understand, agree and accept all conditions as set forth in our Service Agreement, including, but not limited to our custom hat refund policy. Unless otherwise noted, shipping dates as they appear on your invoice, are approximations. Conditions beyond our control including, but not limited to availability of special custom materials can effect completion dates.

Interested in having the hat in a different color than the original? E-Mail us with your color choice and we'll let you know if we can custom craft it in that color for you.

* Disclaimer: "For Me And My Gal" is Trademarked (TM) and © (or copyrighted) 1942 by MGM. Any reproduction, duplication or distribution of these materials in any form is prohibited. "The Baron Boater" hat is made in the style of classic boater's as are standard in the costume industry. Baron Hats, Inc. is not affiliated in any way, nor do they by fact or inference imply to hold any rights or authorization, rights of association or sponsorship or endorsement of the use of any copyrights or trademarks as held by any individuals, or companies mentioned or pictured in association with this offer, including, but not limited to Gene Kelly, Judy Garland, MGM, their representatives and assignees, or their Estates and their representatives.

Hat Specs
Brim Sizes2", 2 1/4", 3"
ColorNatural Tropic Palm "Sand-Bone" (see note about coloration)
Crown4" Classic Boater "Flat-Top"
Felt Quality100% Western Weight Fur Felt or 100% 200XXX Beaver
Hat Band2" Traditional Boater Black and center Red Grosgrain, finished with a "signore" bow

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  • Views: 2147
  • Brand: Baron Hats
  • Product Code: Straw Italian Boater
  • Availability: In Stock
  • $500.00
  • Ex Tax: $500.00

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