Cowboy Hats: The Code

Cowboy Hats: The Code

How much does a 10-gallon hat hold?

3 quarts!


  1. Never mess with another cowboy’s hat unless you are picking a fight.  (This rules does not apply to good-looking ladies.)
  2. Choose a tight fit – hats expand in the heat and get looser.
  3. Felt hats stay on better than straw hats when riding.
  4. Hats with stiffer crowns than brims tend to last longer.
  5. The bow on the inside sweatband indicates the back of the hat.
  6. Rest your hat upside-down on the crown.  Storing it with the brim down can change the shape.
  7. Larger brims offer more shade from the sun – but they also attract more wind when in the saddle.  This is why cowboys have several hats so they can select the one best for a particular job.
  8. The amount of animal fur used in the felt is shown by the number of XXXs marked inside on the sweatband.  The more XXXs – the better quality.
  9. Hats should be cleaned by brushing them from the left side, counter-clockwise toward the back, and then around again.
  10. Each cowboy chooses his own hat style.  The original Stetson came in 5 crown creases: The Montana, Cattleman, Pinch Front, Telescope, and Tom Mix.
  11.  Other popular styles soon followed and included: The Brick, Gambler, Derby, Gus, Amish, and Open Crown.  A man’s profession could often be identified by his choice of hat.
  12. Brims can also be adjusted to fit individual tastes and requirements.  Western hats have a mix of straight edges, curls, turn-ups, and trims.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

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