The most iconic piece of western ware is the cowboy hat. Hands down. Identified by its round, curved brim, and pinched crown, it’s one of the most recognizable and historical accessories of all time. Like all western attire, cowboy hats were originally designed for function, rather than fashion. A hat provided shade, protection from the elements, and warmth for the wearer, but could also be used to fan a fire or be waved from horseback to catch the attention of a fellow rider in the distance. Cowboy hats are as versatile as the individuals who wear them.
Men have been wearing wide-brimmed hats as far as the Mongoilan horsemen in the 13th century. However, the modern day cowboy hat, that we all know and love, was invented in 1865 by John B. Stetson, who took inspiration from the hats worn by the Mexican Vaqueros. Contrary to what many western movies portray, the Vacqueros were the first cowboys in North America.
As western movies gained popularity, cowboy hats became a fashion statement, as well as maintaining their functionality. Today, they are worn by a variety of individuals, from ranchers to trendsetters, but still maintain the same look that they had long ago. Still made from the same materials and processes, we carry premium wool felt, fur felt, and straw cowboy hats in a variety of different styles. We mark the quality of our hats with an X, which indicates the amount of fur or width of the straw fibre in each body. Our styles range from 2X to 50X and are available in traditional colors, including black, white, and shades of brown.
Material is a key differentiating feature among cowboy hats, but the crown and brim are important as well. We offer the two most popular crown creases at Tenth Street, but there are several more out there. The most sought after, the cattleman crease is identified by a tight crease in the middle of the crown, with two indentations on the side. A bull rider crown has a wide crease with the same two indentations. We also offer two types of brims, including a square front flange, which all of our Justin hats have, and a rancher brim, which is “u-shape” and a characteristic of our Larry Mahan hats.
Western hats are extremely versatile, coming in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and materials. Take a look down the aisles of our Tenth Street West collection, and we’re sure you’ll find what you’re looking for. And don’t forget, if you have any questions, our Hat Expert team is only a click or call away.