Cowboy Hat Etiquette – Tips for Properly Donning One

Donning a Cowboy Hat: The Dos and Don'ts of Stetson Etiquette - Authentic  Texan

The cowboy hat is one of the most recognizable symbols of the -Western-style. It’s a cherished possession with a unique backstory. Find out how to put on a cowboy hat, what kinds of cowboy hats there are, and which one is best for you.

What Exactly Is a Cowboy Hat?

Cattle ranchers wear wide-brimmed Western hats, also known as cowgirl or cattleman’s hats, to keep themselves protected from the weather when working on their cattle. Before John B. Stetson designed the classic American cowboy hat in 1865, people had been using wide-brimmed hats for a number of years before that. Some believe that the hat worn by Mexican cattlemen, known as vaqueros, was the source of the inspiration for this iconic hat. 

It was a fur-felt hat with a wide brim and a tall, straight crown, with a straight brim. It was created to be waterproof and resilient in order to be both long lasting and stylish, and it meets both criteria. The cowboy hat, along with cowboy boots and belt buckles, has subsequently developed into a range of forms, but it has still remained a recognized emblem of Western fashion.

What to Look For In a Cowboy Hat?

For the ideal cowboy hat, you need to know your head shape.

When deciding on a cowboy hat style, keep in mind the contour of your head. Before purchasing a cowboy hat, have a look at your face. Those with oval-shaped features may wear cowboy hats. A hat with a sloping brim and a high crown is best suited for persons with round facial characteristics. On those with long, narrow faces, hats with a medium-high crown look best. People with square face should wear hats with rounded crowns and sloping brims. 

Make sure you measure your head to get a perfect fit. In spite of the fact that most hat manufacturers have published measurement charts, the best tool for determining the proper fit is still a measuring tape. 

Wearing a Cowboy Hat?

Cowboy boots and a cowboy hat are two of the most traditional items of Western clothing. If you’re looking for a suitable cowboy hat for any event, you’ll find it here. As far as formal attire is concerned, you may wear your black cowboy hat to work and your palm-leaf- or straw-hat to the beach. Choose a pair of black Chelsea boots for a more up-to-date appearance. If you’re not into the conventional western look, you may also wear it with shorts and a T-shirt or a blouse and skirt.

How to Wear a Cowboy Hat Properly

A lengthy history of Western culture and customs means that cowboy hats come with a variety of etiquette rules. When it comes to wearing cowboy hats, adhere to these guidelines:

When you wear your hat, the bow on the inside of the band should be towards the back of your head. As a first-time cowboy hat wearer, you may not know whether side of your hat is the front or the rear. Search for a little bow on the sweatband on the inside of the cap if you want to be successful. Keep an eye out for the rear of the bow.

Allow some time for the hat to break in. Cowboy hats, like new boots, need to be broken in before they can be worn for the first time. After a few wears, a well-fitting hat is likely to feel a little snug.

It is usual to take off hats while entering a building as a rule. When entering a public institution or a private residence, the most fundamental rule of cowboy hat use is to remove your hat. While inside a building for a formal event, you should remove your hat. Put it back on if it’s a casual gathering.

When not in use, store your hat with the crown facing down. It’s customary to remove your cowboy hat before a meal. Prior to taking a seat at the table, lay it on your crown with the hat opening facing up. This prevents the brim of the hat from flattening down over time. A hat rack is an alternative option if you don’t have one.

Attend weddings and funerals with a sense of respect. Don’t wear your cowboy hat if you’re attending a church service or a funeral inside. Remove your hat as soon as the coffin passes by during funeral procession.

Choosing the proper hat for the right time of year is essential to staying warm and stylish. Straw cowboy hats are often worn from May until Labor Day. The remainder of the year, cowboy hats made of felt is popular. This is just a matter of opinion, largely influenced by the local climate and weather.


As a result of its versatility, cowboy hats are ideal for round-faced individuals. With a cowboy hat on your head, your face will seem more attractive. When it comes to selecting a cowboy hat, it’s important to think about the many forms and designs available and the appropriate materials for certain settings.