Compiled by Kari deCastro
It’s unlikely that when John B. Stetson invented the cowboy hat in the mid 1800’s (largely out of necessity and, by some accounts, initially as a joke) he envisioned it would become a signature trademark of the iconic American Cowboy. But since its conception, that’s exactly what has happened.
Just like your favorite pair of jeans or most flashy piece of tack, your cowboy hat says something about you. It’s a way to express yourself!
From the crease to the crown and the brim to the embellishments, stylistic options in modern cowboy hats are infinite. So, how do you choose a hat that fits you? Kaci Riggs, Assistant Product Developer for Hatco Inc., offers the following tips for finding your perfect cowboy hat:
1. You want your cowboy hat to fit your personality. For example, Charlie 1 Horse hats can draw a lot of attention, so when I’m roping I don’t like to wear them, but lots of girls love them because of that flashiness. You want something that fits you inside and out. It needs to reflect who you are.
2. Basic rule of thumb—blondes look sharp in black hats. Olive skin tones and brunettes look fantastic in a Silver Belly. You don’t want to look washed out.
3. Functionality is the most important part of a cowboy hat. We can never be worried about it blowing off during ranch work or competition. When it’s time to pop the crown out, pull your hat down and just grit your teeth to make your run, you can. Also, people are looking out for their personal health now more than ever and we need to protect our skin.
4. The basic hat brim width is 4 inches. Some ladies can wear 4¼ up to 5 inches. And a lady doesn’t want the crown any taller than about 4 inches in the front; it can rise up some in the back as long as it tapers with your face. Anything less than that and you can’t pull it down on your head. Anything more than that and it just looks too tall.
5. Of course, there are trends. We’ve seen trends change from tall crowns in the ’80’s and ’90’s to much lower crowns, to tall, open crowns again with flat brims. Remember, however, that trends will come and go, but there will always be the timeless classics like the Resistol 20X Black Gold and the Stetson Open Road.