Gear

Cowboy Hats: Where They Came From and Why We Look So Darn Good In Them

May 25, 2015
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Whether you’re working on the ranch, riding a horse or just going out for the evening, cowboy hats have done men well over the years. The good news is: they’re not just for cowboys anymore.

A Little Hat History
Mongolian horsemen in the thirteenth century wore wide brimmed hats; Mexican sombreros had wide brims and higher crowns; but it wasn’t until John Batterson Stetson came out with his hats in 1865 that the hat became synonymous with the American cowboy. J.B. Stetson marketed his “Boss of the Plains” hat to cowboys in America with variations in quality costing between 5 dollars for a basic hat to thirty bucks for pure beaver felt hats.

It Serves a Purpose
Cowboy hats are made for the hot, dry West. They keep the sun off your face and neck and when pulled down will keep the sun out of your eyes. The wide brim will wick the rain away from you and you can always fill them with water to allow your horse to drink. Of course that will probably ruin your hat, but they do it in the movies all the time. You can fan the flames of your fire with a cowboy hat and swat away the flies too.

They’re Everywhere
You may not believe it if you live out east, but in the western U.S, cowboy hats are worn and sold everywhere. You don’t have to go to a western-wear store to get a cowboy hat these days. For about twenty bucks you can buy really cheap ones at just about any convenience store in the west. Step it up a bit if you want a Stetson and go to most any western wear shop and there are plenty of styles besides just the “Boss of the Plains” available today for prices from about $80 and up. If you really want to step up to the horse as they may say, for quality you can easily shop online and get a top-notch one like the Voyager Hat by 1816 for $550.

It’s Official
The Texas Rangers were the first law-enforcement agency to adopt Stetson’s hat, and the big-brimmed hat worn by the Canadian Mounted police is a Stetson design. Most highway patrol officers also wear a wide-brimmed variation. Former U.S Presidents Ronald Reagan, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and good ol’ Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) can be seen in many photos wearing their Stetsons.

Our Heroes Had Them
From Tom Mix to Roy Rogers and from John Wayne to Clint Eastwood and Tom Selleck, our heroes of the silver screen have sported cowboy hats on their heads. We’ve grown up with these images and they convey courage, morality, and manliness. It wasn’t just us boys watching—believe me, the girls were watching and admiring them too.

Why Do We Look So Dang Good?
Women love men in cowboy hats—that is a fact. Not every man may be suited for them, but give one a try; you may be surprised at the reaction. It may be because of boost in height, the wide brim, or just because the girls have been conditioned by Clint and Tom, Roy and the Duke as well. You don’t see many photos of Ronald Reagan or John Wayne in baseball caps do you? No, they’re in cowboy hats. It is an American icon along the lines of Jazz, Baseball, and Chevrolet. Just put one on and try it and see if your girl is impressed. Tip your hat and say “Howdy Ma’am”, and she’ll be all yours.

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