The cowboy hat is more than simply a piece of clothing; it’s a heritage sign, a symbol of rugged individuality, and, believe it or not, a bearer of unwritten norms. In this in-depth look at “The Cowboy Hat Rule,” we’ll review everything from etiquette to colour codes.

The Cowboy Hat Rule

How to Wear a Cowboy Hat

Wearing a cowboy hat is more than just putting something on your head and going about your business. No, sir! It’s a type of art that necessitates meticulous attention to detail. First and foremost, you must determine the appropriate size. It shouldn’t be so tight that it squeezes your skull, but it shouldn’t be so loose that it blows away in a burst of wind. Balance is essential.

Following that, the position is critical. The brim should be aligned with your brows to provide facial harmony. Meanwhile, the crown should be shaped to fit your head. Do you wear it for fashion or function? Make the necessary changes. Remember that a cowboy hat is more than just a hat; it’s a statement about who you are and where you come from.

cowboy hat rule

When Should You Take Off Your Cowboy Hat?

Removing your hat during the national anthem or in places of worship shows respect. And remember to take it off when talking to a lady, especially inside or at the dinner table.

Holding and Setting Your Hat

Handling your hat is just as important as wearing it. Hold it by the crown to preserve the brim’s shape, and when you set it down, make sure to put it upside down. It’s not just to keep the form; it’s a cowboy tradition.

And never, ever meddle with another cowboy’s hat. It’s not simply frowned upon; it’s strictly forbidden in cowboy etiquette. Respect others’ headwear as you would your own.

Wearing Cowboy Hats in Public

Do you want to show off your hat in public? Go ahead and do it! But remember the occasion. Is it appropriate to wear a nice embroidered hat to a casual event? A straightforward, unobtrusive hat for a black-tie event? Perhaps understated.

Understand the event, the crowd, and the appropriate headgear. It’s about blending in without sacrificing your identity, not just making a stylish statement.

Cowboy Hat Superstitions

If you place a hat on a bed, you may bring bad luck. Doesn’t it sound strange? However, superstitions like these are still prevalent in cowboy culture. Some people take them seriously, while others laugh them off. In any case, they’re part of the rich lore that elevates the cowboy hat beyond a mere piece of apparel. It’s part of history.

Bottom Line About Cowboy Hat Etiquette

Knowing these guidelines isn’t only about honouring tradition, whether you’re wearing your cowboy hat in the heart of Texas or the streets of Tokyo. It’s about respecting culture and adding a genuine touch to your Western style. Partner, wear it with pride!

Related: Are Cowboy Hats Unisex

Cowboy Hat Color Rules

What colour are you, partner? Colour is more than simply an aesthetic attraction in cowboy hats. It sends a message.

What Do Different Cowboy Hat Colors Mean?

Black is for formal clothing, white is for the good guys, brown is for casual wear, and grey is a neutral alternative. Each colour has its personality and meaning. It’s not just about how you look; it’s about what you say without saying anything.

When to Wear What Color

The colour of your hat should fluctuate with the seasons. Winter colours are darker, whereas summer colours are lighter. It combines functionality and aesthetics. Do you want to make a message at a specific event? Choose the appropriate colour.

Seasonal Cowboy Hat Rule

Straw vs. Felt Cowboy Hat Seasons

The war between straw and felt is one for the ages, with each having time to shine. Consider this: It’s a hot summer day, and the sun is shining brightly. That’s where the straw hat comes in. It keeps you cool, safe, and fashionable.

Let’s fast forward to the winter. The winds are howling, and the temperature is dropping. A felt hat is your best friend, providing warmth and comfort to your head. It’s like getting a hug for your head!

When Does Felt Hat Season Start?

Labor Day marks the official start of the felt hat season, which lasts until Easter. But who says you have to adhere to the rules strictly? Feel what is correct for you and accept it. After all, it is your head, hat, and regulations!

Can You Wear Straw Hats in the Winter?

Winter straw hats? Isn’t that unheard of? No one prevents you if you live in a milder area or simply like the look of a straw hat. Fashion is about pushing boundaries, so if you want to wear a straw hat in the snow, go for it!

When to Wear Leather Cowboy Hats?

Leather cowboy hats are the hat equivalent of Swiss army knives. Winter or summer, rain or shine, they go with everything and give a sense of rough elegance.

Materials and Artistry:

A cowboy hat’s genuine beauty relates to its materials and craftsmanship. A cowboy hat is a skillful labor of love that combines tradition, innovation, art, and science.



Felt is a classic material made from wool, rabbit, or even beaver fur that provides warmth, durability, and a beautiful feel. The felt’s quality often defines the hat’s price and status.


Straw hats are lighter and cooler in the summer. The weave and quality of the straw can vary widely, from simple and rustic to intricate and elegant.


Leather cowboy hats are robust and rugged and are generally associated with bikers, rock stars, or those seeking a more daring look.


It takes time to make a cowboy hat. Precision, patience, and a genuine love of the trade are required. Here’s what it takes to create a masterpiece:

Shaping the Crown:

The shape of the crown might reflect personal flair or regional preferences. It might be elevated, lowered, wrinkled, or indented. It’s here that the hat’s personality shines through.

Cutting and Forming the Brim:

The brim isn’t just for show; it’s also functional. The visor is molded to perfection, whether wide or small, curved or flat.

Adding the Sweatband:

The sweatband, frequently made of leather, ensures comfort and fit. It’s a subtle but necessary component.

Decorative Elements:

Bands, feathers, or stitching enhance the hat’s style and character. Depending on the wearer’s preferences, these elements might be essential or ornate.

Finishing Touches:

Sanding, brushing, and fine-tuning ensure the hat’s perfection. The final step in a long process begins with raw materials and ends with a finished product.

A cowboy hat is handcrafted rather than mass-produced. It’s carved, not just stitched. Every cowboy hat has a tale to tell about dedication, artistry, and an unbreakable link between the maker and the wearer.

Related: How to shrink a fitted hat.

Additional Guides For Cowboy Hat Rule


Stetson has been synonymous with quality and style since the cowboy days, producing timeless classics that always stay in style.


Resistol hats have made their mark on everything from rodeos to red carpets, offering an unbeatable combination of durability and style.


Bailey has something for everyone, young and old, traditional and modern, seamlessly merging style and comfort.

These are more than just labels; they represent Western tradition, quality, and authenticity.


Bright colours, unusual patterns, and anything else that strikes the eye will fit right in. It’s a colour celebration, and your hat should be there.

Colour of Hat by Age

Regarding cowboy hats, age is more than just a number; it’s a fashion statement.

The Next Generation:

Trendy colors? Sure thing! The younger generation may like bright colours like blues, reds, or metallics. It’s all about expressing yourself and embracing the unknown.

Senior Citizens:

Tradition has its appeal. Classic colours like black, brown, and tan may appeal to the elder age. It’s not just about the colour; it’s about a connection to cowboy culture’s beginnings.

Whether it’s the brand, the colour by event, or the colour by age, finding the perfect cowboy hat isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. It’s an exploration of style, heritage, and personal expression. Take your time, research your alternatives, and choose the hat that best represents you.


We’ve ended our journey through “The Cowboy Hat Rule,” covering everything from the etiquette that controls wearing these distinctive headpieces to the seasonal criteria that help you choose the correct hat.

The cowboy hat represents a rich cultural past, a tribute to the rugged spirit of the West, and a distinctive way to express individualism. Whether you’re a true cowboy or just a fan of Western fashion, knowing these principles and criteria can help you add authenticity to your outfit and proudly wear your cowboy hat.