The design is timeless.
It does more than keep the sun of your head (a job it does quite well).
It serves as the ultimate piece of wardrobe - a guy rowing a boat is just a guy rowing a boat, but put him in a straw hat from Giuliana Longo or the Bampa brothers, and he's a gondolier!
A striped shirt doesn't hurt either, but in just the shirt he could be mistaken
for a mime or some other French guy.
Apart from holding your head in an upright position, the hat also works well
as a receptical for other things if turned upside down.
I've boarded many planes with a Giuliana Longo hat, and I can tell you from experience, that it makes a perfect "basket" for all those small pocket items
when going through security screening.
At the US Gondola Nationals, a bunch of guys from Providence showed up wearing snappy new hats. At some point, Cole Hanson of Coronado noticed these three hats and snapped a photo fo them.
It seems that the guys from Providence recognized the "catch basin potential"
of these great cappelli as well, and deposited all their pocket items in their hats.
The gondolier's hat: It's an iconic piece of headgear,
and I'm sure there are other uses for it.
If you have any other applications,
feel free to mention them in a comment below.