A Brief History Of Cowboy Hats

Men from the United States wearing cowboy hats at the turn of the 20th century.
Men from the United States wearing cowboy hats at the turn of the 20th century.

Where Do Cowboy Hats Come From?

A cowboy hat is defined as an extensive overflowed hat with a huge lenient crown. It is sometimes referred to as ten-gallon hat. It is well designed to have a protruding crown and a wide brim, a shape that can be modified by the one wearing it to suit specific conditions such as fashion or protection against weather. It is a typical hat in the Western countries with Mexicans being the most famous people recognized for wearing it. The cowboy hat was common among the people working in ranches in the western and southern United States, country music singers and ranchero musicians in Mexico as well as the participants of the rodeo circuit from North America.

History Of The Cowboy Hat

One cannot really define a cowboy without mentioning their hats. The hat is probably the utmost defining feature of the cowboy’s iconic appearance. The cowboy hat is the most recognized attire in the western countries, but it did not initially have the round, curved brim as those of today. The first cowboy hat was designed by John B. Stetson back in 1865, during the time of American civil war. John Stetson was a famous hat manufacturer and he had roots from Philadelphia. He designed the first cowboy hat, and it was referred to as the “Boss of the Plains” by that time. The hat was made using fine fur from beaver, rabbit and other small animals with fine hair. The hat was perfect for the demands of the western countries making it gain popularity among the people.

The “Boss of the Plains” has undergone different modifications over the years to become the cowboy hat we have now. The Mexicans changed the current cowboy hat in the 19th century. The Mexicans redesigned the hat and made it have a tall crown to provide insulation and made the brim wider so as provide shade from the hot and sunny climates of Mexico. They curved the edges upwards so as not to interfere with the rope. The western people did not have a standard headwear, and with the advancement of the cowboy hat, the western nations adapted to wearing it to favor their different needs. Consequently, the hat gained so much popularity prompting Lucius Beebe to name it as the hat that won the west.

The cowboy hat has since then spread to different parts of the planet and is worn for different reasons. Some wear it for fashion, others for weather conditions while some wear it due to its popularity. It has gained so much popularity and they are popular among presidents, musicians, and other notable figures.

Modern Design

Nowadays, cowboy hats are made using fur-based felt, straw and sometimes leather. They are enhanced on the inside using a simple band to make it more stable on the head while some cowboy hats may have strings at the base of the crown. The hats come in different colors with brown, black and beige being the most common colors.


More in World Facts