HOLD ON TO YOUR HAT!
Especially when it’s a COWBOY Hat at Cornerstone Ranch!
By Reba Frederics
If you wear a cowboy hat, you already understand how different it is from donning any other type of head covering. Where knits and pom-poms can be colorful and will keep your head warm, baseball caps support your team spirit and shield your eyes from the sun…when you wear a cowboy hat, you are proudly wearing a hat that is reflective of your personality through a long history of American culture–and cowboy hats can also do all those other things, too.
The cowboy hat as we know it today has gone through many stages of evolution. Its origins as a means of protecting folks working outdoors from the sun date back to 13th-century Mongolia, with art from the period depicting horseback riders wearing tall, wide-brimmed hats. In the early 1800s, when European settlers started moving westward across North America, ragtag hat styles ranged from sailor caps to top hats to bowlers. It was likely the influence of Mexican vaqueros (indigenous peoples from the land that later became known as Mexico, trained to ride horses by Spanish explorers in the early 1500s) that led to the design of the popular cowboy hat style today.
The first modern cowboy hat was called the “Boss of the Plains” hat and was designed by John B. Stetson in 1865. “By today’s standards, the hat was rather ordinary in design, with a round flat brim and smooth, rounded crown,” according to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. “Stetson made the hat out of fine fur from beaver, rabbit, and other small animals to withstand the elements. Thanks to its durability, the ‘Boss of the Plains’ was ideal for the demands of the working Westerner and became incredibly popular” by the end of the nineteenth century, when it evolved into what eventually became known as the “10-Gallon Hat,” which may get its name from the amount of water it was said to hold, based on an advertisement showing a cowboy giving his horse “one last drop” of water from his Stetson. The 10-Gallon style didn’t truly become popular until it was coined after being worn by the iconic cowboys of Old Western movies starting in the 1920s.
Today, cowboy hats are still wonderfully functional for those who work outdoors–they keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Straw hats are considered fashionable from May to Labor Day, so we are currently in Felt Season! You may notice if you come to Cornerstone for a trail ride that your Wranglers have switched to felt hats by now, too. We have many beautiful felt hats for sale in every size, and you may wear your cowboy hat purchased from Cornerstone if you go on a trail ride, instead of wearing a helmet. Cowboy hats also serve as a fun way to show off your fashion style and personality…Ranch-style. Yeehaw!