Cowboy Hats: The Code
How much does a 10-gallon hat hold?
- Never mess with another cowboy’s hat unless you are picking a fight. (This rules does not apply to good-looking ladies.)
- Choose a tight fit – hats expand in the heat and get looser.
- Felt hats stay on better than straw hats when riding.
- Hats with stiffer crowns than brims tend to last longer.
- The bow on the inside sweatband indicates the back of the hat.
- Rest your hat upside-down on the crown. Storing it with the brim down can change the shape.
- 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.
- 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.
- Hats should be cleaned by brushing them from the left side, counter-clockwise toward the back, and then around again.
- Each cowboy chooses his own hat style. The original Stetson came in 5 crown creases: The Montana, Cattleman, Pinch Front, Telescope, and Tom Mix.
- 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.
- Brims can also be adjusted to fit individual tastes and requirements. Western hats have a mix of straight edges, curls, turn-ups, and trims.