Cowboy Hat FAQs to Get You Up to Speed on Western Fashion

The cowboy hat is an American icon like no other. The wide-brimmed and high-crowned hat is, without doubt, the attire that defines the North American cowboy. The cowboy hat is still worn in large numbers by ranch workers and cattlemen in the western and southern United States, parts of Canada, and Northern Mexico. However, it is also being increasingly adopted as fashion wear symbolic of Old Western apparel by people living in town and cities. Some frequently asked questions about cowboy hats answered:

What is the Origin of the Cowboy Hat?

The first known use of hats for sun protection dates back to the 13th century, with Mongolian horsemen using them. Hats with tall crowns and wide brims are also a feature of the Mexican sombrero used by the natives for shade. The bowler hat emerged as a popular headgear in the post-civil War period among the European-Americans in the Western United States, but the cowboy hat, as designed by John B. Stetson, went on to displace it in popularity, especially by the cattlemen. According to History of Hats, the first cowboy hat manufactured by Stetson in 1865, was called the “Boss of the Plains” featuring a crown with straight sides, rounded corners, and a flat brim. The hat was lightweight and waterproof and had a hatband for altering the fit to the wearer’s head.

Who Wears Cowboy Hats?

In the initial days, ranchers, cowboys, and cattle hands spending long hours outdoor wore cowboy hats to protect themselves from the blazing sun. In due course of time, the hart became ubiquitous and its fame spread far and wide with actors wearing them in Western movies. Nowadays, more city folk than cattlemen possibly wear cowboy hats as a fashion accessory and come in a wide range of styles, colors, and materials to suit men, women, and even children dressing up in a Western flavor.

What Are the Different Cowboy Hat Styles?

It will perhaps surprise many people to know there is more than one cowboy hat style. When most people think of a cowboy hat, they possibly refer to “The Cattleman” with a traditional appearance with a crease in the center and two on both the sides of the crown and a brim curling up slightly. The “Gus” is similar in appearance, but the crown is higher and slopes forward. The “Brick” cowboy hat is essentially a squared-off “Cattleman” and has a distinctive flat rectangular top and square-edged brim. The “Pinch Front” can have a crown that is either diamond-shaped or teardrop-shaped, with both sides having two dimples. The brim is the same as that of a Cattleman. The “Tom Mix” hat, also called the “10-Gallon Hat” or the “Montana: has a crown akin to that of a Gus but taller and a slightly-curled brim. The “Gambler” features a low flat crown with a round indent on its top and a flat wide brim. The “Open Crown” has a loose-fit crown without dimples and a flat round brim, while the “Fedora” has a teardrop-shaped crown with dents on the top and the sides and a brim curling up slightly.

What is the difference between work or outdoor cowboy hats and fashion cowboy hats? 

You have easy access to many cowboy hats for fashion and work. Outdoor hats have rugged features like waterproofing and a crushable design. Fashion hats are best known for their aesthetic appeal and do not have the characteristics of work hats.

What are these cowboy hats made of?

Conventional cowboy hats were made from felt. However, the contemporary versions are made from materials such as beaver, fur, leather, wax cloth, straw, and wool. You can flaunt a custom cowboy hat made from multiple materials. Cowboy hats help you to make a bold fashion statement. Be sure to steal the show with a custom cowboy hat.

What are the different parts of a quintessential cowboy hat? 

The cowboy hat has three parts-the brims, crease, and crown. The crown is the top of a cowboy hat where you are supposed to fit in your head. The brim is the material that protrudes from the base of the crown. The crease is a pinch or indent in the hat’s shape.

What is the best way of storing your cowboy hat?

Always place your cowboy hat on a flat surface with the brim up. It is a good way of protecting the brim from warping. We understand that warping happens when you lay your hat on its brim for an extended time. Alternatively, you may consider hanging your favorite cowboy hat on the knob of your coat tree or your hat tree. You may pick up your precious cowboy hat by grasping its brim. It is best to avoid grabbing the crown while picking up the hat, as it will make its crease more indented. 

How to Choose the Most Suitable Cowboy Hat According to Facial Shape?

You may choose a cowboy hat according to the shape of your face. Your hat style should help accentuate your best facial features. 

  • You may opt for a medium crown height if you have an oblong-shaped face. Moreover, make sure it has a curved, wide brim. It is a good idea to place your cowboy hat low on the forehead to strike the right balance and cut down the length of your face. 
  • If you have a round face, choose a hat for highlighting your cheekbones. Choose a cowboy hat with a slanted brim, sharp angles, and an attractive high crown for providing the much-needed asymmetry to make your cheekbones pop. Place your hat slightly tilted forward or backward.
  • If you have a diamond-shaped face, wear a hat that helps elongate your facial features for making your angular face, short forehead, and narrow jaw seem more balanced. Choose a shallow crowned cowboy hat and do not forget to tip it back on your head for elongating your facial structure and balancing your features. 
  • If you have a square face, wear a cowboy hat for softening the hard lines and angles of your face, including the square jawline. You may opt for a floppy hat for softening a wide forehead and prominent cheekbones. It is best to opt for a rounded hat with a curved brim to tone down a prominent jaw.


Now that you know the answers to all the questions you wanted to ask about the various aspects of cowboy hats, you now need to experience one first-hand. Go ahead and visit a brick-and-mortar or online hat store to find and buy one you look good in.