If you are an outdoor type of person and care about how you look, you will have noticed the resurgence of the cowboy hat in contemporary fashion. All of a sudden, cowboy hats are popping up in all places, including the wardrobes of fashionable men and women all over the country.
Earlier, western movies were responsible for the popularity of cowboy hats, but nowadays, country music performances contribute more to its resurgence as a fashion accessory.
Men and women looking to up their fashion quotient love that cowboy hats come in a wide assortment of styles, sizes, and materials.
It means that you no longer have a problem finding something you look great in while getting all the sun protection you want.
1. A Peek into the History of the “Boss of the Plains”
According to National Cowboy Museum, the creator of the first cowboy hat was John B. Stetson, a hat maker’s son.
He was recuperating in Colorado when the idea of designing a wide brim hat with a high crown to deal with the blazing sun and rain struck him.
After returning to Philadelphia, he opened a small shop, and even though his health remained indifferent, he was determined to target businessmen and bankers with his “Boss of the Plains”. After a slow start, he achieved great success during 1885-95.
2. The Contemporary Cowboy Hat
Several materials, including felt, straw, and leather, are commonly used to make cowboy hats. These hats have a distinctive tall and rounded crown and a wide brim.
Usually, they have a sweatband on the inside to absorb the sweat and make the hat fit better. You can use the crease in the crown and the shape of the brim, in addition to a decorative band around the crown, to customize the hat’s appearance.
Sometimes, the cowboys would even attach wind strings and a highly decorative hand band to make it stand out. Brown and black are the most common colors, but you can buy them in other colors too if you want.
3. Cowboy Hat Basics
There are three distinct parts of American cowboy hats; the crown, the brim, and the hatband. The crown covers the top of the head, and its shape and styling can help define the wearer’s personality.
Typical crown shapes include oval, pinched, square, and round. The brim refers to the overhanging material, which, in the case of the cowboy hat, goes all around the crown. The brim helps to keep the sun and rain out of the eyes.
Depending on the hat style, they come in various shapes and sizes. Hatbands are essentially a method for personalization of the cowboy hat. They are usually decorative pieces of ribbon, fabric, or leather going around the hat at the base of the crown.
While some cowboy hats do not have a crease, it is common for many to have a dent on the front, back, and sides for a distinctive look. The shapes of the crease are also referred to as the pinch.
4. A Few Popular Cowboy Hat Styles
Cattleman: It is this shape that defines the classic Western cowboy hat one sees movie stars and country Western music performers wearing.
These hats have a characteristic full-length crease on the crown that runs right from the back to the front and features wide dents on both sides. The sides of the brim turn up in the shape of a teardrop.
The crown sits low on the head and stays in place when sized correctly.
- Biggs: The crown is a modified version of the Cattleman, with the crease being smaller, narrower, and higher on the crown. The brim is commonly square, with the sides pulled up a little.
- The Boss: It is the hat that its inventor, Stetson, created with a characteristic tall crown and a wide and stiff brim to protect the wearer from the sun and the rain. When you buy it, it does not have a dent, which allows you to leave it as it is or create one to your liking.
- Pinched front: Another classic cowboy hat, it features a slightly curled brim and a teardrop shape, made possible by the crown and the crease. You will find both the sides of the front and the top of the crown partially dented. Sometimes, the front and the back of the brim are turned down and the edges on the sides curled a little.
When choosing a cowboy hat, you will find many more styles like the Brick, Derby, The Gambler, Gus, and more. You can also choose a brim style to go with a crown shape of your preference to yield a cowboy hat that is distinctly you.
Some of the top brim styles you can consider include the flat, low, full taco, buckaroo, rolled, pencil, and come-and-go. These variations can represent a bewildering choice that you can perhaps only solve by paying a visit to a top hat store.