Summer is the best time of year to fall in love with cowboy hats! Cowgirls will tell ya there’s nothing sexier than a cowboy sporting a straw cattleman hat and perfect-fitting Wrangler jeans. Cowgirls make the guys swoon wearing sweet and romantic straw hats with sun dresses and cowgirl boots!
We love cowboy hats for all the obvious reasons: comfort, sun shade, dashing details. There’s really a lot that goes into cowboy hats that you might not know. So, we are here to give you a quick guide to cowboy hats!
Cattleman crowns, shapeable brims, sweatbands… Odd terminology abounds in discussions about cowboy hats! This should clear it up for you.
Starting at the top, the crown of the hat distinguishes the “type” of hat. A hat with a dipped center crease is a cattleman cowboy hat. This is a classic cowboy hat style for ranching and rodeo. Jason Aldean wears a cattleman cowboy hat.
Pinchfront crease hats appear as though you’ve pinched the front of the hat crown, hence the name. This hat style is very popular for country music stars, wearing to concerts, and lounging on the beach. Toby Keith usually wears a pinchfront cowboy hat.
Sloped hats typically have a cattleman crown, but it slopes down in the front. The look is often a vintage cowboy style, but the hat details can make this a very modern hat choice.
Square crown hats are a funky cattleman that is flat at the front of the crown. These hats are often a bit edgier than your classic cattleman cowboy hat.
Gambler hats always remind folks of cowboys in saloons from the Old West. Movies have made that cliché stick. Gambler cowboy hats have a round crown and quite often a shorter brim.
There is really only one type of brim. It’s the area of the hat that offers sun coverage. However, some hats have shapeable hat brims that allow you to move them around to create your own hat style. Shapeable brims can be bent down for a dramatic look in the front, and the sides can be rolled up or flattened depending on your hat preference. The product description will identify which cowboy hats are shapeable, or you can search “shapeable hats” from the homepage to view them all!
Hats that do not have a shapeable brim have a firm, pre-shaped brim style that complements the shape of the crown. While you cannot manipulate these hats for a new look each day, if your felt hat gets smashed, you can have it steamed back into shape.
The hat band is the decoration that sits at the base of the crown. The hat band is purely for decoration. Many hats feature a leather band, but the material can vary from leather to ribbon to feathers to beads. Most hat bands are not removable unless specifically described as such in the product description.
Seems gross, huh? Well, it sort of is, but if you’re wearing your cowboy hat in warm weather or while working, you will want to know about the cowboy hat sweatband! The sweatband is a ring inside the hat that is designed to wick away moisture and hold your hat comfortably on your forehead. The material varies by hat, and it can be made of an elastic fabric, leather, or cloth. The more expensive western hats tend to have leather bands. One size fits all cowboy and cowgirl hats tend to have elastic sweatbands.
Cowboy hats are most often crafted of fur felt, wool felt, or various types of straw. The most luxurious hat fur is beaver, but most hat companies do not identify the exact blends of fur used in their cowboy hats. Straw hats can be made from a variety of materials, but the most common are shantung, Toyo, Panama, raffia, and palm leaf.
Seasonal Hat Choice
Do you know which cowboy hat material is appropriate for each season? We do, so we’ll let you in on the secret! Traditional cowboys and cowgirls will tell you to switch your hat type at Memorial Day and Labor Day (as observed in the U.S.)
Straw hats are best for warm weather, so you would change into a straw cowboy hat at Memorial Day, right at the start of summer. Wool felt and fur felt hats offer protection during cold weather, so you would change into a felt hat at Labor Day.
If you’re in a part of the world that doesn’t celebrate these two holidays, or if your seasons are different than those in the U.S., just remember to wear straw when it’s hot and felt when it’s cold. It’s that easy!
X-Rated Hat Information
It’s not as naughty as it sounds! Ever wonder what the heck that 10X means in the product description?! It is the quality rating of the hat. While there is no industry standard regulating the “X” designation, you can use the number as a guide for quality.
The higher the rating, the better quality materials go into the hat. 100X, 500X, and 1000X hats are usually fur hats, and the high X rating typically indicates more beaver fur in the blend. 4X, 5X, 6X, 10X, and 20X hats normally use more generic blends of fur or less expensive straw.
Lower X rated hats are typically less expensive. While the X number might be low, it’s not an indication that the hat is low quality!! A 4X or 6X hat will last years if you keep it out of harm’s way (don’t let it be a dog chew toy or seat cushion in the truck!)
Are you unsure of your cowboy hat size? If you already own a fitted hat, that is your cowboy hat size. If you aren’t sure of your fitted hat size, you can easily measure your head to get it.
Place a tape measure about ½” above your ear and wrap around your head, making sure the tape measure crosses over your forehead where you want your hat to sit.
Use the measurement in inches or centimeters to convert to a fitted hat size. You can also contact customer service for help!
Ever heard of Charlie 1 Horse hats? If you’re part of the barrel racing community, you probably have! Charlie 1 Horse cowboy hats are extremely popular with barrel racers and competitive riders. These fashionable cowboy hats offer bold western style with outstanding durability and comfort while riding. If you’re looking for a hat to wear in the arena, be sure to check out all of our Charlie 1 Horse western hats!