One way you can tell we're in the Cowboy State, is seeing all the 'Cowboy Apparel'. Boots, belt buckles, Wranglers and the ultimate definer the Cowboy Hat. There have been many songs written about them and even a whole set of Cowboy Hat Etiquette rules on how to wear them.

The Cowboy hats that we all know and love have been around since J.B. Stetson set the pace with the original "Boss Of The Plains" felt hat around 1865. The hat was (and still is) designed with fur of beaver, rabbit and other types of animals to help make them stand up to all types of weather conditions.

The first hats weren't shaped like the ones we have today, when the cowboys would get the hats they were simply shaped. Each cowboy would mold, bend and shape their hat for what best suited them.

Stetson cowboy hat
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum via YouTube
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A cowboy hat says a lot about the person that's wearing it and the way it's shaped is one of the top giveaways. Just like the shape you put on a baseball cap it's mostly about your comfort, style and function. The cowboy hat shape is the same. It could depend on your job, activities, weather, environment or a number of other factors.

There are many different shapes for typical cowboy hats.

  • Cattleman Crease - single crease down the middle with dents on both sides
  • Pinch Front - Diamond-shaped pinch at the front
  • Gambler - Flat brim all the way around with a circle dent on top
  • Open Crown - No crease or dents in the top
  • Gus - Tall Brim with three creases at the front

The functions of the hat are also a huge deciding factor in making the purchase

  • High Crown - Traps warm air in and keeps your head warmer
  • Low Crown - Don't hold in the warm air
  • Wide Brim - Keeps the weather elements off your face better
  • Larger Crown - Let's you pull the hat down making the fit tighter and less likely to blow away

Of course as the cowboy look has become more popular over the years, the cowboy hat options are as broad as the brim of a 10 gallon hat. The look has become so popular that the fashion industry has embraced the cowboy look and taken it much further that J. B. Stetson ever could've imagined.

If you're thinking about a new hat, check out these videos and learn more about them.

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