A boater hat (also straw boater, basher, skimmer, The English Panama, cady, katie, canotier, somer, sennit hat, or in Japan, can-can hat, suruken) is a semi-formal summer hat for men, which was popularised in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
It is normally made of stiff sennit straw and has a stiff flat crown and brim, typically with a solid or striped grosgrainribbon around the crown. Boaters were popular as summer headgear, especially for boating or sailing, hence the name. They were supposedly[weasel words] worn by FBI agents as a sort of unofficial uniform in the pre-World War II years.
It was also worn by women, often with hatpins to keep it in place. Nowadays scottish hat are rarely seen except at sailing or rowing events, period-related theatrical and musical performances (e.g. barbershop music) or as part of old-fashioned school uniforms. Since 1952, the straw boater hat has been part of the uniform of the Princeton University Band, notably featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated Magazine in October 1955. Recently, soft, thin straw hats with the approximate shape of a boater have been in fashion among women.
The boater may also be seen worn by the “carreiros” of Madeira, the drivers of the traditional wicker toboggans carrying visitors from the parish church at Monte (Funchal) down towards Funchal centre.
Coco Chanel was fond of wearing boaters and made them fashionable among women during the early 20th century.
Boater hats of the late 19th century fin de siècle until World War I usually had wider brims than those afterwards.