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A boater (also straw boater, basher, skimmer, 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.
Being made of straw, the boater was and is generally regarded as a warm-weather hat.
In the days when all men wore hats when out of doors, "Straw Hat Day", the day when men switched from wearing their winter hats to their summer hats, was seen as a sign of the beginning of summer.
The exact date of Straw Hat Day might vary slightly from place to place.
For example, in Philadelphia, it was May 15; at the University of Pennsylvania, it was the second Saturday in May.
Nowadays they 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.
All levels of sailing and boating skills are encouraged, and if you have no experience at all, we’ll help teach you. You’ll get instruction and hands on training on every outing as well as more formal educational opportunities.
Inexpensive foam or plastic boaters are sometimes seen at political rallies in the United States.
In the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa the boater is still a common part of the school uniform in many boys' schools, such as at Harrow School, Shore School, Brisbane Boys' College, Knox Grammar School, Maritzburg College, South African College School, St John's College (Johannesburg, South Africa), Wynberg Boys' High School, Parktown Boys' High School and numerous Christian Brothers schools (CCB).
It is normally made of stiff sennit straw and has a stiff flat crown and brim, typically with a solid or striped grosgrain ribbon around the crown.
Boaters were popular as summer headgear, especially for boating or sailing, hence the name.