Several types of cowboy hats are part of the history of the Far West, but the one that has become a myth that endures today is the cowboy hat. More than a hat, it is a true emblem, as lovers of the country universe know so well.
But beyond the symbol they represent, cowboy hats in general, are a complement to our clothing that can be used more than it seems. In fact, western hats are excellent companions in some of our best days, such as days in the countryside or on the beach, during horseback riding, cowboy riding competitions, and of course, in our special line dance evenings.
But what was the original design of the cowboy hat? Its creation is attributed to hat maker John Batterson Stetson when in the mid-1860s he designed and marketed the first model that founded the dynasty of typical cowboy hats. That hat was the “Boss of the plains”, inaugurating a new milestone in the western style that persists more than a century and a half later.
Today, cowboy hats are a classic in the clothing of ranch and factory workers in the Southwest of the United States, as well as the entire eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. But beyond its functional characteristics, such as the ability to protect from the elements such as the scorching sun and rain, its unique style and the culture it represents mean that its use has no borders.
At Devilson’s, we know this first-hand, which is why we are specialists in authentic cowboy hats for men, women, and children, from the United States, Colombia, Mexico, and Europe.
But we are going to continue knowing the history that precedes this emblematic complement of western culture
The “Boss of the plains” making his way
Legend has it that it has been one of the most mythical hats in history, that when its creator John Batterson Stetson had the wisdom to design it, he was sick. It seems that John, the son of another hatter who passed on the trade to him, was sent to Colorado seeking to recover from the change in the climate. And it was precise during that period that he came up with the idea of designing a hat with a high top and a wide brim that would protect from the sun and the rain.
Instinct told him that his creation could succeed and was worth the risk, so he returned to Philadelphia to open a small workshop to produce his creation. He had no money and no health to spare, but he had made a serious point of selling his “Boss of the plains” to businessmen and bankers in the Northeast.
Although the beginning of his business was slow and there were difficulties, his instinct did not deceive him, and all his efforts culminated in a great success that developed between 1885 and 1895. It was during this period that cowboy hats swept Texas, which He adopted as a clothing symbol to this day.
After his success in Texas, near the end of the century, John B Stetson unveiled his successful creation in the West among businessmen, ranchers, and cowboys.
The great acceptance was immediate, and thanks to this the business of John B Stetson lasted since on his death the company was left in the hands of his son, although unfortunately, he lacked the talent of his father. His misguided management almost cost the business to close, and he stopped producing hats for a time until he changed owners. Even so, the company also ended up devastated, restarting the production of hats in successive subsidiaries until 1998.
It was then that new entrepreneurs joined the company, moving the factory to Garland, Texas. Currently, this state stands out for its production of cowboy hats, which are its national headdress.
Today’s cowboy hat
If at first, their use was purely functional, with time cowboy hats also became a sign of identity adopted by American country musicians and from all over the world, by rodeo participants, and by anyone who he wanted to highlight his identification with the cowboy lifestyle.
If we go back in history beyond the creation of this mythical hat, we will see that there are several predecessors or “ancestors”. It could be said that the cowboy hat descends from a cross between the Mexican cowboy hat, the American cavalry hat, and to a lesser extent but also present in the cocktail party, the everyday hat.
The symbolic and charismatic power of the cowboy hat today remains intact, and one of the things that prove it is that its shape has remained the same, despite the passage of time and successive fashions. True to its essence, the only innovations in design that the cowboy hat has been able to experience are a greater variety of colors and materials, as you can see if you visit Devilson’s catalog of our online store.
Our cowboy hats are divided into winter or summer models depending on the material they are made of. They can be made of wool felt, straw, canvas, or even laminated, adapting to all seasons of the year. Most of the models have a moldable wing, allowing the shape of the wings to be easily changed to adapt them to the styles that are preferred.
As a specialized store that we are, at Devilson’s we can advise you like no one else to choose the best cowboy hat for you, whether you are looking for a cheap cowboy hat for occasional use or one made with the highest quality materials and precious decorative details: have no doubt that It already exists, and it’s waiting for you to discover it. Shall we help you?