Cowboy hats have been a huge part of western lore since the era of early movies, spaghetti westerns and beyond. While the wide-brimmed hat is a big part of the North American history, it’s now mostly worn by ranch workers, rodeo circuit participants and some country musicians as a symbol of the west.
Despite being popularized in the cattle drive era back in the late 19th century, the cowboy hat still remains as an indispensable part of many women’s and men’s wardrobes and fashion statement.
If you are inspired by this unique headwear and want to adopt it as a part of your daily wardrobe, but have no idea about what to look for, you have come to the right place. Because in this guide we’ll not only share all you need to know about buying the right cowboy hat but will also share our list of top picks to buy.
Cowboy Hats Buying Guide
The Different Styles
You’d be surprised to know that there are more than 10 different styles of cowboy hats currently available in the market. However, only a few designs like the Cattleman, the Pinch Front, the Cutter, the original “Boss of the Plains”, and the Gambler remain popular in our modern times. Carefully look at all of the designs to see the differences in their crowns and brims to choose the right one for you.
The Life Span
Cowboy hats are also made of multiple different materials. Some of the more common materials include fur, blended fur, wool felt, and straw. While fur and fur blend can set you back a large sum of money, they can last for decades. Wool felt and straw hats are cheaper but they also only last you a couple of seasons. How long will your cowboy hats last depends upon how much care you give it and how big of an investment you are willing to make?
Fitting and Size
The size of a hat is another aspect that you need to carefully look into before making a purchase. It’s also something that can make or break how the hat looks on you. You can find the size chart on the website of the manufacturer. Keep in mind that how a certain size fits can vary from brand to brand and style of hat you choose. If you don’t know how to measure your head, place the tape around your head a quarter of an inch above the ear.
Depending on the material you choose to buy the hat in, you will be offered different color choices. Some common colors that contrast well with multiple kinds of shirt patterns like checks, stripes, and weaves include brown, black and a couple of shades of silver and white. If you don’t plan on buying more than one hat, go for a color that will best complement your existing wardrobe.
Shape and Brim Size
The last thing that you need to look at before finalizing your purchase is the brim size of the hat and its shape. Different style hats have varying brim sizes and shapes. Some people like the larger brims on their hats, like the one on Sombrero while others prefer the size of brims on Fedora hats. For those who are not used to wearing hats on a daily basis might feel agitated with larger brims until they subconsciously become a part of their regular vision.
Our Top Picks
Available in both, black and brown colors, this great quality Gambler cowboy hat is perfect for first-time hat wearers and seasoned Texans. It’s completely manufactured in the USA using the finest quality faux felt that will easily last for years if maintained properly. The hat is a little heavy but has a spacious crown and a perfectly sized brim. There’s also an adjustable band over the crown to make the hat fit more nicely on your head. It goes great with plaid shirts. So, if you have a large collection of such shirts in your wardrobe, the gambler will be a perfect headwear for you.
Another entrant from the Western Express is this classic Cattleman. It is one of the more popular styles of cowboy hats and can commonly be seen on many people. This specific entry is available in black and white colors and is made of straw. Since it’s straw, the crown feels well ventilated making it perfect for wearing in summers or at sunny destinations. The adjustable headband on the crown is also covered with some silver shell-like ornaments that make this hat look quite elegant. There are several sizes available as well. So, make sure you have the right measurement of your head before ordering.
This one carries a more familiar cowboy hat shape and is available in two different styles, one for guys and one for gals. Both can also be bought in two different colors. They are lightweight, breathable and also carry woven designs. The hat also has a beautiful headband that carries an attractive motif at the front. Inside of the crown is covered with a sweat-absorbent band that keeps the hat from developing any odor and keeps it comfortable. The brim on this one is a little wider than that of regular cowboy hats, making them ideal to be worn at sunny locations. The overall appearance of the Livingston cowboy hats makes them great to be worn casually or as part of your daily wardrobe.
Manufactured from faux leather, this Pinch Front is available in a vast size range for both kids and adults. Since they are made out of faux leather, they can easily withstand rainfalls without doing much damage to the hat itself. The sheer material makes them great for areas with monsoon weather. They also carry a beautifully designed hat band on the crown. Unfortunately, it’s not adjustable. You can buy it in black as well as brown colors.
Last on our list is a crushable cowboy hat called the Rocky. If you’re not familiar with the term, crushable in the hat world simply means that it’s stiffer and can withstand more abuse. The crushable tag makes your investment safer, and long-lasting. While you do get different size options here, the color choice is only limited to black. But considering the popularity of the shade, it shouldn’t pose a problem. The hat is made of 100% wool and is water repellent. There’s also a decent looking headband on the crown that contrasts well with the black wool.
A cowboy hat as part of your daily attire will not only add to your personality but will also make you stand out of the crowd. It will also keep your head and your face protected from the harmful rays of the sun. If you haven’t owned a hat prior to reading this, we hope you enjoy the experience. If you have and are here only to check out our list of recommendations, we hope you find something that you like. And if you already own a cowboy hat, we urge you to complete your wild west look and get yourself a pair of cowboy boots as well.