Canotier: the traditional straw hat

The boater is a straw hat that gives you a country look while protecting you from the sun. Decorated with a ribbon or grosgrain, this headgear will give a chic touch to your casual outfits! This headgear is available at all prices, from the cheap 15 € boater to the top of the range.

This galurin is oval shaped with a flat cap and flat edges. Often adorned with a black ribbon with a hatter's knot, the galurin was invented at the beginning of the 19th century by boating enthusiasts from which it takes its name. In the beginning, this headgear was very popular among sportsmen and worn by men. Read our article to learn more about the canoeist and its history.

Later on, this hat was adopted by women, especially thanks to "Coco" Chanel who put it forward in her collections. It is a hat that is light, airy and above all cheap. This makes it a hat that cleverly protects from the sun without keeping warm. It will easily go with your outfits, whether chic or more relaxed.

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Traditional Boater's Hat - Buy cheap canoes

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The Boater is a classic and distinguished hat for men but also for women and children

Read on to learn how to wear it in style.

What makes a Boater?

Boaters are usually made from a flat, stiff type of straw called sennit. This can be any type of flat, naturally coloured straw, and this head covering is usually braided at an angle to build a canoeist. It is part of a straw hat.

The finished canoe is slightly elliptical in shape, with a flat brim and a flat crown (also called a crown). A canoeist usually has a black or striped grosgrain ribbon around the cap. The straw canoe was long the norm and was then made of wool and hair felt, but also panama

Speaking of terminology, the canoeist is also known by a wide variety of other names, including basher, skimmer and sennit hat, among others.

What country does the boater's hat come from?

The canoeist first came from Europe and then it was developed all over the world.

History of Boat Hats

It is interesting to note that the natural straw canoe was worn by women and children as early as the 1860s, but it was not until about 20 years later, in the 1880s, that it was adopted as a basic item for men. Just as the fedora was originally a woman's hat, so was the canoeist. But once adopted into a man's wardrobe, this headgear quickly became popular as an official summer hat, the alternative to the Homburg in hot weather. The child and woman canoeist are often worn as a wedding hat with a finely woven straw, often made in France but also all over the world. But it is also worn as a beach hat with a simple black ribbon.

This headgear had its greatest period of popularity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and was most often used not only as a daily summer hat and therefore worn every day on the way to work, but also for boating and sailing activities, hence its most common name. However, canoeists were also used for other purposes. For example, since FBI agents like Melvin Purvis were often photographed wearing boater hats, this type of head covering gained a reputation as a kind of unofficial uniform for the FBI before the Second World War. This reputation was immortalized in films like "The Sting" for example. The boater hat was also worn at a baseball game - Walter Johnson & Calvin Coolidge. In France, especially in Paris, this hat is worn in the "guinguettes", so the name "canotier guinguette" can be suggested.

Since 1952, the boater has also worn the uniform of the Princeton University band. You can see it on the cover of the October 1955 issue of Sports Illustrated magazine. Other celebrities who wear the canoe include artists such as Maurice Chevalier and Harold Lloyd, as well as businessman John Jacob Astor IV, who was killed in the sinking of the Titanic. Fashion designer Coco Chanel also liked to wear canoes and she did much to keep them popular with women in the early 20th century

Back in the days when etiquette dictated that all men should wear a hat when they were outdoors, Straw Hat Day was the day men switched from their felt hats to their straw hats, considered the beginning of summer. Of course, the exact date of Straw Hat Day could vary from place to place. As you may have guessed, this is the time of year when the weather changes, this usually occurs in September or October in most places. In some towns, groups of rowdy young men would take all the straw hats worn after straw hat day in the fall and destroy them

Where can you still see straw boaters being carried?

Unfortunately, canoeists are a bit rare nowadays, although they can still be seen in some places. Examples include sailing and rowing events, as mentioned earlier, as well as theatrical and musical performances. You may recall that canoeists are a standard feature of many barbershop quartets, for example. The canoeist is also frequently seen on school uniforms in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

A notable example is in schools in England, where boys wear canoes with shallow caps and wide brim, often called "Harrow hats". Because of a historical association between boaters and political rallies in the warmer months, you will sometimes see cheap foam or plastic boaters at political rallies in America, even today

Where to buy a canoeist

Despite the fact that boats are less and less man-made, their persistence has meant that a number of retailers still offer them. For example, we offer the Italian-made canoe, which is very good value for money, but also the French canoe, which is the most classic and best-selling. There are many brands that offer canoes such as Olney, Traclet, Flechet, Stetson.

How do I wear a canoeist hat?

Nowadays, many men are reluctant to wear traditional hats for one simple reason: they're afraid they don't fit. In fact, this fear is not completely unfounded. After all, if the hat doesn't match the wearer's outfit in terms of formality or doesn't fit the shape of his face, things will look a little abnormal. However, self-confidence is the key to success, especially when it comes to wearing a hat

As mentioned earlier, the canoeist is a fairly formal summer hat, roughly equivalent in terms of formality to a fedora or Homburg hat. As such, this headgear will look best in its traditional setting with a blazer or with a summer costume consisting of a matching jacket and trousers.

In addition, since the fedora or Homburg hat is the traditional choice of headdress in tie suit; most of the year, the boater can also be worn with a black tie in the summer. A black grosgrain headband will look better with a full tuxedo, but black tie suits in warm weather can be enhanced with a colourful headband.

For women, the canoeist can be worn for a ceremony but also on the beach with a swimsuit

In recent years, the canoeist is often worn by associations for an event and the hat is personalized on the ribbon with a logo or text.

How to choose your boater's hat?

Since the canoeist will often have a fairly large brim, remember to consider how it relates to the shape of your face. In general, however, wider edges complement long oval faces, while narrower edges complement rounder faces. In the meantime, as you may have guessed, men with strong, chiseled features will look good in almost any style of hat, including a canoeist's hat.

How do you wash your boater's hat?

The straw boater hat cannot be cleaned with water, so use a baby wipe to clean the straw or special straw cleaning sprays instead.


Although the canoeist needs a little more self-confidence to be worn these days than the Panama hat or straw hat, it is certainly possible. And now that you have our advice on how to wear it well, you should feel free this summer.

What do you think of the canoeist?

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