Panama Hats, El Galpon - San Juan, Puerto Rico Fashion & Shopping -
El Galpon is the place to shop for the best in one-of-a-kind hats in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Test out the latest styles as shop owner Gustavo Lerner talks about the history of these trendy Panama Hats. Designed for centuries, the hats are handmade in Ecuador from the toquilla straw plant. This organic material makes for a light, airy hat no matter what the design, perfect for all sorts of activity during a Puerto Rico vacation. Check out the Fedora version that pop stars made so popular, as well as the Classic Downturn which dates to the 20s and 30s. With a shorter brim, the downturn doubles as a nice driving hat because it does not obstruct vision. The oldest womens style, the Pamela, was named after the woman who first wore it and boasts a wide rim that protects the skin from damage caused by sun exposure. Feel like Audrey Hepburn in the Campana, meaning "bell" in Spanish, an appropriate name for its shape. Take an up close look at one of the most modern hats in the store, the Checkers-style. Its intricate design requires a certain skill-level from its makers as it must be patterned well before its made.