Guide to the Different Types of Cowboy Hats
Get the skinny on the Western hat with this handy cowboy and cowgirl hat guide. From classic men's cowboy hats inspired by famous big-screen ropers like John Wayne to traditional Calamity Jane style cowboy hats for women, this guide covers the gamut of Western hat styles.
You may think a cowboy hat is just a cowboy hat, but that's not so. There are many unique types of cowgirl and cowboy hats for every kind of Western wearer, including:
The most traditional type of cowboy hat, the Cattleman features a trio of top crown creases and a slightly curled brim.
The brick cowboy hat is a modified cattleman with a squarer crown. A single, rectangular dimple gives the brick a distinctive top.
Worn by gamblers in old Western films, the gambler cowboy hat features a large, fat brim and a flat crown.
The derby Western isn't unlike the traditional derby hat in that it features a distinct, dimple-free round crown. Western derbies have long and slightly up-curled brims.
As the name suggests, a pinched front hat features a sharp V-shaped crown with dual pinches at the front.
Gus cowboy hats feature high crowns that slope towards the front and three deep dimples on the crown.
The Tom mix, also called the Ten-Gallon Hat, is the same as the Gus but is larger (hence its 10-gallon moniker) and more dramatic.
Popularized by Stetson in its early days, the open crown cowboy hat features a roomier crown that's typically rounded and free of dimples.
When shopping for cowboy hats, it's important to take note of the maker. Long-time cowboy hat brand Stetson
is largely considered the originator of the first cowboy hat, called the Boss of the Plains hat, and is credited with popularizing the style in the West. Still in operation today, Stetson is a top-notch choice for high-quality, American-made cowboy hats for men and women alike. Resistol Hats
is another fine cowboy hat maker that dates back to the 1920s and offers a huge selection of rugged, long-lasting Western hats. Contemporary brand Peter Grimm Hats
focuses on trusted hat-manufacturing methods but makes more modern, trendy cowboy hats.
High-quality fur or fur-blend cowboy hats are often marked with a set of Xes on the underside of the brim to indicate how much fur was used to make the hat. The general rule is the more Xes, the better the quality. Brands like Stetson, and Resistol all mark their cowboy hats with the official X system, so you can trust that these are safe bets immediately. The rating of cowboy hats depends on the materials and methods used. High-end cowboy hats may have up to a 100X rating. While fur and fur blend hats are always trusted when it comes to quality, don't stray away from straw or wool felt cowboy hats if you prefer a more affordable or humane option. Choose natural straw or X-marked wool blend hats for the best quality.