No other garment or accessory is quite like the cowboy hat. Cowboy hats have been an integral part of the Western culture for decades. Its unequivocally unique and alluring design is what has made it so popular alongside its practical uses for those working outdoors, especially on farms, at rodeos, and with livestock.
Cowboy hats remain a large part of the Western fashion industry today, but for those who are purchasing their first one, they may need a little guidance in finding the right fit for them. Before you type into the Google search bar “mens cowboy hats near me” and hit the shops that come up, you need to have a little understanding of what it is you’re looking for in a cowboy hat.
Cue our brief yet all-encompassing guide to buying your very first cowboy hat!
Styles of Hats
One of the first steps of choosing your cowboy hat is deciding on which style you would like it to be. The style of a cowboy hat is mostly dependent on the crown, or the “top” of the hat, and its overall shape.
There are several styles of cowboy hats but the most popular options are:
● The Cattleman Crease
● Pinched Front
● Tom Mix
● Open Crown
There is no “best” style in terms of cowboy hats. Your selection of style should be dependent on both your personal preferences and the shape of your face.
Popular Types of Materials
Next up is choosing the type of material you’d like your chosen style to boast. There are five typical types of materials that cowboy hats have: felt, straw, soft straw, wool, and leather.
Fur Felt: A sturdy cowboy hat that looks highly elegant. Felt cowboy hats are usually composed of beaver and rabbit fur and are worn quite often by those in rodeos.
Straw: Straw cowboy hats are great lightweight options, making them popular accessories for dancing and summer weather.
Soft Straw: These even more lightweight options than regular straw hats are ideal for even lighter hats to help keep the sun out of your face without being too heavy on your head. Beachgoers especially enjoy sporting these hats.
Wool Felt: Wool felt is similar to fur felt, but is not as durable nor does it have the same water resistance as fur. Wool is however a much less expensive option to fur.
Leather: Leather is easily the most popular material for cowboy hats as it is the longest-lasting material, is versatile when it can be worn, and matches nearly any outfit exceptionally well.
The last of a cowboy hat is the mold with which it is both made and shaped. Choosing a last is important too but is solely based off of personal preferences and how each one appears on your head.
The most common lasts include:
● 8 seconds
● Valentin Elizalde
● Sergio Vega
● Lalo Mora
● Ramon Ayala
● Joan Sebastian
The “X” Factor
Cowboy hats typically get an “X” rating, which is indicative of the quality and number of hairs. The higher the X number, the higher the number of hairs and, in turn, the higher the quality and overall price of the hat.
Sizing can be tricky as different manufacturers’ hats can fit differently from one another. You absolutely need to try on different sized hats to ensure it’s a good fit, but your best bet is to get professionally fitted by a professional. One Of the best places to do that to do that is at Jackson’s Western Store in Wayland, Where to Buy the Best Cowboy Hats
When you are looking for mens cowboy hats near me, and are more specifically in the Grand Rapids area, trust no one other than Jackson’s Western Store. They have a wide selection of high-quality cowboy hats and other Western-styled garments and accessories. Visit them today or browse their online catalog!