The high-crowned, wide-brimmed cowboy hat is most famous for serving as the emblematic item of clothing for the cowboy in North America. Many people wear it today, but it is especially popular among ranch workers in the western and southern United States, western Canada, and northern Mexico. It is also popular among many international, regional Mexican, and sertanejo music performers, as well as rodeo competitors in North America. It is acknowledged as a component of Old West clothing on a global scale.
The sombrero, various wide-brimmed hats worn by farmers and stockmen in the eastern United States, as well as the designs worn by the United States Cavalry, are just a few examples of the hats that have influenced the modern cowboy hat. The open-crowned “Boss of the Plains” was the original western headwear design. Next came the front-creased Carlsbad, which would later be dubbed “the” cowboy look. The wide-brimmed, soft-felt, high-crowned western hats that came after are closely linked to the cowboy image.
The Earliest Cowboy Hats
Although the very first cowboy hat didn’t appear until the 1860s, its history can be traced back to the 13th century. According to historical accounts, Mongolian horseback riders wore hats with a high crown and wide brim to keep their heads warm and shield their faces and necks from the sun. Similar wide-brimmed hats were adopted by many cultures living in hot, sunny climates, including Mexican culture with their sombrero. The American cowboy hat is believed to have been invented by early Texan cowboys who took inspiration from the sombrero or poblano worn by Mexican vaqueros.
The Birth of American Cowboy Hat
Stephen Stetson, a hatmaker, gave birth to John B. Stetson in New Jersey in 1830. Before receiving a tuberculosis diagnosis and being told he didn’t have long to live, he worked for his father. He then left for the American West in search of an adventure out of fear that he wouldn’t get another chance. After beating tuberculosis, he returned to his native East and embarked on a new mission: creating a hat that would be useful to Westerners. He had seen worn-out, flea-infested coonskin caps and bowlers that failed to protect wearers from the sun on his journey. Stetson created the “Boss of the Plains” hat in 1865 using the hat-making techniques he had learned from his father.
More About the American Cowboy Hat
It was created by John B. Stetson to be strong, water-resistant, portable, and stylish. The original hats were made of fur-felt and featured lining, a chin strap, and a sweatband to distinguish the front from the back. They mainly had neutral shades of grey, black, brown, or white. In order to waterproof his hats, Stetson used beaver felt far too heavily. As a result of their reputation as waterproof, the hats were frequently used to carry water when necessary. The “Boss of the Plains” hat gained acceptance and was seen as a status symbol in the West very quickly. These hats eventually gained the name “Stetsons,” after their inventor, but you probably just call them cowboy hats.
The Evolution Of The Cowboy Hat
The Stetson was not the typical cowboy hat that most people envision. It had a flat, round top and a brim. Stetson evolved into the typical cowboy hat we envision today as it became more and more popular. A cowboy hat is commonly imagined to have an indentation along the top and rolled brims on the sides. This fashion probably developed accidentally with time and use. Maybe the hats’ top indent and curved brim made them easier to pick up, or maybe it was just a change in fashion, similar to how skinny jeans and bootcut jeans come and go in popularity. In either case, the design and accessories of one’s cowboy hat started to reveal his or her origins or even personal style.
Cowboy Hat As Ten-Gallon Hats
It’s possible that you’ve heard the term “ten-gallon hats” used to describe cowboy hats, but it has nothing to do with the hat’s capacity. The word likely derives from the Spanish words tan galán, which means “fine,” or galón, which describes the braided trim accessory on some hats. With the emergence of the Western genre in Hollywood in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the cowboy hat cemented its place in the American psyche. Buffalo Bill, a well-known soldier, hunter, and showman, probably started it all because he wore personalized Stetsons on his Wild West program, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West. The hat then spread to represent the “Wild West” among rodeo competitors, Hollywood actors, entertainers, and even politicians. You can wear cowboy hats pairing your oil-slick hair that you love.
The Modern Cowboy Hat
Cowboy hats are now worn by a variety of people, despite the fact that historically they were only worn by, well, cowboys and other men in the South and the West. They have been changed in size, shape, and design for both fashion and functionality to fit both men and women. Check out our extensive selection of women’s hats if you don’t believe us. A practical invention, the cowboy hat can be used as a fan on a hot day, a bowl for water, to block the sun from your eyes, to keep the rain off your head, and more. Also, there are many strange and unusual fashion styles that you might try. On the other hand, the modern cowboy hat became a symbol of grit and adventure in American culture due to its versatility and status as a staple.
The Calgary White Hat
The annual Calgary Stampede rodeo and the city of Calgary are both represented by the white felt cowboy hat known as the “Calgary White Hat.” It was made by Smithbilt Hat Company owner Morris Shumiatcher and debuted at the 1946 Stampede. Donald Hugh Mackay, the first mayor of Calgary, started the tradition of giving the white hat to distinguished guests in the early 1950s, and the mayor’s office has continued it ever since. At “white hatting ceremonies” held by Tourism Calgary and volunteer greeters at the Calgary International Airport, thousands of tourists and groups also take part. The Calgary White Hat was incorporated into the flag’s design in 1983.