Presenting the Wild West with New Flavors – the Evolution of the Iconic Cowboy Hats

It is easy to relate America with the Wild West popularized through Hollywood movies that contributed to spreading the culture that finally broke into the fashion scene. From the outfit to the hat to the boots and the holster on both sides of the hip topped with the cowboy hat, you can emulate the fashion to create your style. But among all these western wear, the cowboy hat is the ultimate symbol of the American Cowboy that bears the marks of toughness and the rugged spirit of the American west that the fearless rangers used to rampage.  

The Cowboy hats were more functional than fashion, and buyers considered the former more important when choosing the style.  The hat performed its basic functions like protection from the elements, providing shade and warmth from the wearer but was also useful as a vessel for drinking water, fans a fire, or waved from horseback to attract the fellow rider at a distance. Numerous Cowboy hats were available as each person could create his style, which meant that there were as many styles as the number of wearers.

Regional hat styles

The cowboy hat had typical styles that stressed its functional requirements over fashion because, in the early days, the hat’s utility was more important. Since the weather differed across the regions, the hat styles resembled a particular region. For example, high crowned 10 gallons hats were more popular in the Southwest because of the ample shade, whereas in the Great Basin, the preference was for a flat hat mostly made of straw and designed to keep away from the reach of long lassos. The wide range of hat styles included everything from the derby pots to silk stovepipes to cavalry style and sombreros. 

The first cowboy hats were made from rabbit fur, beaver, or other fur but soon felt replaced as the most staple material for making cowboy hats, although it was costlier. As it became clear that certain styles were meant for specific places, the designs emphasized the functionality to suit the place where the cowboys worked.

Boss of the Plains – the new era of cowboy hats

An initiative by John B. Stetson, who introduced the ‘Boss of the Plains, a path-breaking model of cowboy hat in 1863 were among the earliest initiatives for producing cowboy hats on a mass scale.   While Stetson was on an expedition to the Pike’s Peak, he struck upon the hat’s design, which soon became a rage in the West. However, in a strange turn of events, the design initially envisaged by Stetson started undergoing changes that resulted in the curl at the brim and removing the silk ribbons that acted as the bands. Surprisingly, the distressed look caught the fancy of people who chose to shelve off the overly refined Stetson design and instead go for the modified design that lacked the fresh off-the-line design’s finesse. 

A hat for all seasons

 Cowboy hats have become popular across the regions primarily because of their versatility and style quotient that helped them evolve into a fashion accessory for men. The cowboy hat is the most iconic symbol of the western lifestyle that created a culture of its own and loved by people for its courage, vitality, and off-beat appeal.  The hat can protect you in the toughest weather, like the harsh winters and the extreme summers and the heaviest rain. Moreover, the love for the hat goes much more beyond its functionality because it can accompany you on your best days, too, when you pick one from the range available at

A distinctive style

As cowboy hats’ popularity broke down the geographical barriers and acquired a universal appeal, people preferred to call it the Western Hat, which suits both men and women today. The design is typical with its high crown and wide brim, and the material is waterproof that ensures all-round protection. As time progressed, cowboy hats’ style underwent various changes to incorporate the current trends of fashion. This became evident when the traditional silk band had to make way for other types of leather bands, popularly known as cowboy hat bands. There is no doubt that the cowboy trend has raised a storm in the fashion world and the focus on hatbands is more for increasing the fashion quotient rather than the functionality of the hat. 

In the beginning, the hatbands were more helpful in adjusting the hat size, an aspect that remains even today. Still, the focus is now more on creating new fashion trends that add new dimensions to the historical cowboy hats’ appeal. The band placed around the crown’s base makes the hat design more attractive by altering the looks of your beloved hat that looks more ornate and unique.

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