It takes a certain amount of confidence, style, and panache to carry off a hat. Hats can be a fun and fashionable addition to any outfit, but only when worn correctly. Cowboy hats are one style of hat that can be especially tricky to pull off.
They make a big statement, but when they’re worn well, they elevate an outfit to the next level. But there was a time they weren’t worn only for fun. They used to be a utilitarian wardrobe item worn for function rather than fashion.
If you’d like to learn more about the cowboy hat, the different types that exist, and where and how you should be wearing them, this guide is for you. Read on for everything you need to know.
The Humble History of the Cowboy Hat
While it’s the ranchers and cowboys of the American Wild West that we first think of when we think of the classic cowboy hat, the style actually dates back further than that. In fact, the concept dates back to the 13th century, when wide-brimmed hats were worn by Mongolian horsemen.
It’s thought that cowboys in the West of the US first adopted this style of hat from Mexican Vaqueros, their counterparts from south of the border. Since then, US cowboys have home to be the biggest and best proponents of the humble cowboy hat.
Cowboy hats as we know them today were usually made from felt or leather. Straw cowboy hats were also popular. Some of the most common colors include the tan, brown, and black cowboy hat. One of the most prominent producers of cowboy hats was, of course, the iconic J.B. Stetson, who created his first hat in 1865.
Cowboy Hats in the Fashion World
Today, it’s not only ranchers and cowboys that wear these types of hats. In the late 80s and early 90s, cowboy hats in different colors and styles began to hit the runways and be worn by fashion-forward dressers everywhere. These hats came in different styles, sometimes adorned in leopard print or glitter.
Some designers who have included cowboy hats in their runway shows include Dion Lee, Coach, Chanel, not forgetting the iconic Gucci cowboy hat. In the 90s and early 2000s, celebrities like Madonna, SJP as Carrie Bradshaw, and Destiny’s Child donned these western-inspired accessories. Today, artists like Orville Peck, Lil Nas X, and Diplo have furthered the trend.
How To Wear a Cowboy Hat
As a fashion accessory cowboy hats are playful and should be worn as such. They can be dressed up with suits or dressed down with cocktail dresses.
Although it’s not necessary, you may want to pair your hat with a pair of cowboy boots or a bolo tie for added western flair. The most important thing is to not take yourself too seriously. Have fun with your fashion and you’ll find your cowboy hat fits right in.
Cowboy Hats: You Can Wear Them Too
If you want to wear cowboy hats, all you need is the courage in your conviction to do so. Don’t be afraid to take chances with your fashion choices—fortune favors the bold. If you’re looking for more fashion tips, check out the rest of our content now.