Choosing a Cowboy Hat

The cowboy hat is one of the most iconic accessories in the American West. With a spectrum that ranges from traditional to trendy styles, you’re sure to find just the right hat to express your personality. We’ve gathered a selection of hats from respected makers to help you top off your wardrobe.

Photo by Kaycie Will

Your Perfect Cowboy Hat

Katie Lynn Armstrong at American Hat Company says whether you’re choosing a fashion hat or a traditional cowboy hat, the first two things to consider are quality and color.

“What quality do you need to fit your needs?” she asks. “What color goes with most of what you usually wear?”

For a fashion hat, Armstrong recommends first thinking about the clothes you already have in your closet.

“A hat is an investment, so you want it to be something that you’ll get to wear often,” she says. “What color hat do you want, and what color trim do you think will complement it the best? It’s all personal preference!”

Be a Trendsetter

Charlie1Horse hat designer Kaci Myers says western style is definitely having a moment.

“I just love how cool western is right now,” she says. “You see it all over the fashion world. Cowboy hats are cool! Specifically silverbelly cattleman cowboy hats. It’s just awesome to see fashion folks embracing an iconic piece that represents our western lifestyle.”

Cowboy Hat Care

Armstrong recommends storing your hat in a climate-controlled environment whenever possible.

“You never want to store your hat in a very hot place or leave it in your vehicle,” she says. “The heat will make it shrink.”

20X Burgundy Custom Grizzly Hat

Photo courtesy Shorty’s Caboy Hattery

Making a comeback from the 70s, this eye-catching burgundy “grizzly” shag felt hat will keep you on-trend. Add-ons shown include custom whiplace and custom hat band. Shop at

50x Sand Custom Felt Hat

cowboy hat
Photo courtesy Shorty’s Caboy Hattery

One-of-kind Native American beadwork adds an artistic twist to a traditional hat. Pair with a button-down and jeans for ranch riding, or wear with a fringed jacket and skirt to go two-stepping. To store your investment, try a custom leather-tooled hat box like this one. Shop at

Guardian Blue Straw

straw hat
Photo courtesy Charlie 1 Horse

A black ribbon and butterfly pin on this blue straw fashion hat looks perfect dressed up with fringe and your favorite pair of boots. Shop at

American Style #1011

American hat
Photo courtesy American Hat Company

American Hat Company is known for its distinctive straw hats. A contrasting weave pattern shaped with a Rancher Crease is ideal to wear while competing at a summertime rodeo. Find a retailer at

The Navajo Hat

straw hat
Photo courtesy Charlie 1 Horse

An authentic white straw hat encircled with an Aztec ribbon band is finished with conchos and a tooled leather feather. Wear it with the brim flat or shaped to fit your personal look. Shop at


cowboy hat
Photo courtesy Stetson

This felt flat-brim hat with 4-inch curled brim comes in light blue with a gray center pinch to coordinate with a variety of outfits. A hand-dyed silk ribbon, cord, feather pin detail and leather band add a distinctive edge. Shop at

Stingray Style

Stingray Style
Photo courtesy Shorty’s Caboy Hattery

Make a statement with this 50X navy felt hat with a custom navy stingray hide overlay and stiching. Step out at the NFR with this instantly iconic hat and your favorite shimmery top and velvet bells to turn heads wherever you go. Shop at

This article about cowboy hat style appeared in the 2021 special edition of Western Life. Click here to subscribe to Western Life Today!

Abigail Boatwright

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