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The history of the Cowboy Hat



A cowboy hat is firmly linked to the American West. However, its origin may have more links to Mexico with its large brim. These big hats certainly migrated north to reach the wide open spaces worked by the cowboys.

Famously worn by the remarkable characters of the time, Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley with their Wild West achievements these hats were a major part of the story. Popular to wear as a statement and as part of the traditional look: a hat, jodhpurs, boots and spurs were all required.

Later their practical use in all weathers encouraged the Texan Ranges to wear them to carry out their duties. Furthermore, military men wore integrated them in their uniforms. Presidents have been known to wear them too.

It was John B. Stetson who made the cowboy hat real. His name is synonymous to the cowboy hat. His life story matched the ‘American Dream’. He was a rag to riches gentlemen who worked tirelessly to produce the best cowboy hats. He was producing four million hats a year. They were very popular in America and the world could not get enough of them. The shape and size have changed over time but the basic design has remained constant.

A Stetson cowboy hat was and still is the best. It protected the wearer from all the harsh weather conditions that were thrown his way. The large brim kept off the sun, shielded the gales, protected the wearer dry in the rain, warded off the snow and helped again mosquitoes and flies. This was an innovation sometimes called, ‘a 10 gallon hat’ revealing how much water could carry inside his hat. Cowboy hats ebb and flow in fashion and favour.

Their iconic image remains a great part of our history in the here and now.


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