Top 6 Cowboy Hat Styles

Quick: How many different types of cowboy hats can you name? If the only one you can think of is the Ten-Gallon Hat, then you may need a quick brush up on cowboy hat styles. To start with a bit of a history lesson, the first cowboy hat that achieved mass popularity in America was the “Boss of the Plains”, created by the legendary John B. Stetson in 1865. This soft felt material hat had a high crown with no creases, and a version of this hat can still be seen from time to time.   Of the countless hat styles that have been created over the years, here are a few classics that are still being worn today by cowboys and cowgirls alike:  
  • The Nevada: This popular style has a flat brim and a flat crown, giving it a smooth, sophisticated look. It’s very similar in style to the Gambler and often features an attractive woven band.
  • The Gambler: If you’ve ever seen an old Western movie, then you’ll recognize this style right away because it’s the one that the gambling man always wore when he came to the saloon to clean everyone out. Originating in Mexico, it has a large, flat brim to protect the wearer from the sun. Its low, flat crown was designed to protect the head from hot air accumulating. It’s extremely popular in black, although white Gamblers have a following as well.
  • The Gus: This classic style has a high crown with three deep indentations. The crown slopes toward the front, and legend has it that this is the exact spot that cowboys used to grab hold of when they took their hats off to ladies entering the room.
  • The Cattleman: Considered by some to be the most popular style of cowboy hat today, the Cattleman looks like everyone’s idea of the traditional cowboy hat, as seen in thousands of Hollywood movies. It has three creases in the top of the crown and a brim that slightly curves. With its low crown, it’s especially designed to stay on tight in windy, rainy weather.
  • The Dakota: The Dakota is distinguished by a broad rectangular indentation in the top of the crown and has a slightly curving brim. It’s a favorite with bull riders at rodeos.
  • The Pinch Front: This style has a deep indentation on each side of the front of the crown. It’s especially popular with cowgirls, because its sloping “pinched” front elongates the face and makes it look thinner.
Do you have a favorite style of cowboy hat?   Stop by McKinney’s Western Wear in Marion, Illinois and check out our huge selection of hats by brands such as Resistol, Stetson, Charlie 1 Horse and Atwood. We have something for classic or modern cowboys and cowgirls!