Tell me about your hats :) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 10-15-2011, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Tell me about your hats :)

I never really wear hats and don't know anything about them. The one I have for showing reining is just a black no-name hand-me-down from my father. How do you size a hat, what kind of material do you like, and what brands are your favorite and why?

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post #2 of 16 Old 10-15-2011, 02:18 PM
Green Broke
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you have to look at hat sizes. Go somewhere that has a selection, you are looking for numbers between 6 and 8 with usually 1/8th inch increments. I wear a 7 1/4. Some mass produced ones come in small medium large, usually medium is for 7- 7 1/4th.
Ok some hat basics. Never where white straw after labor day or before memorial day, it is just a fashion no no. You can where lighter color felt year round, and I like aussi canvas, The well rounded western hat collection should consist of a white hard straw, good for ducking under briars and spiderwebs, a felt hat kinda medium hardness, and best for all around is an Aussi oilskin canvas type.
Your head and face shape will determine brim and crown. Crowns are usually 3.5 to 5 inches, and brims the same. The fronts and tops have different shapes. And the hard straw hats are made for round or oblong heads.
I prefer pinch front, 3.5" brim hats. You dotn have to spend a fortune to get a decent hat that fits, Stetson and Resistol bailys and others make decent hats in the $30 price range.
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post #3 of 16 Old 10-15-2011, 04:34 PM
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Same here, I never wear hats but wear caps. They keep my pony tail up but hats would shade my face from the sun better. Women around here don't wear hats on a daily basis, but do more on trail rides. I own a nice straw hat and a black felt one. If I am going on a major trail ride, I wear a helmet. I do wear a hat as a fashion accessory when going as a spectator to western events such as the Ft. Worth stock show & rodeo in February.
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post #4 of 16 Old 10-15-2011, 09:21 PM
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I wear black felt year around. I wore a palm leaf hat for several years until I got sick of choking myself with the stampede string to keep it on on windy days. Mine is a Larry Mahan (sp?) of no particular style. On cowboy hats, I really like a 4" brim. Anything much smaller than that doesn't offer the shade protection or the correct look. Anything much bigger than that just looks ridiculous like those "taco-hats" you see a lot of ranch-hands wearing.

As for the size, I had to just go to the store and try on hats until I found something comfortable. I've found that they are similar to jeans, one size, even if it the same manufacturer, will fit differently if the style is different.

Other than that, there is so much that depends solely on the shape of your head. There are high crown hats, low crown hats, long oval hats, round hats, etc, etc, etc. LOL.
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post #5 of 16 Old 10-16-2011, 09:02 AM
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I'm a big fan of ballcaps. Gonna have to get a new hat since ballcaps are a no go in the arena, lol. Back in the day I did wear a black felt everywhere but thats been fifteen years ago. I also do not like the ”taco” look.....seems it kinda defeats the purpose of a wide brim on the cowboy hat when you have it steamed and shaped so its just wadded on your head, lol. Oh well, to each their own I guess.
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post #6 of 16 Old 10-16-2011, 09:44 AM
Green Broke
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no no no, no black felt between Memorial day and labor day, gosh thats like your belt not matching your shoes, I gotta teach you guys everything.
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post #7 of 16 Old 10-16-2011, 01:51 PM
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Location: North Dakota
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I usually had a cheapo white straw hat or a black felt hat for the local shows that we went to.

But I am now fortunate enough to have two 20x beaver fur hats (one black and one bone) that were custom made for my head. And I will never go back! They do run about $450 apiece .... but I got them free of charge since I was a rodeo queen for them.

I just did a random google search and I found this custom hat maker. Their design page was nice to explain the different types of styles, materials, and options for a nice custom western hat.

Beaver Cowboy Hats - Custom Hats by K bar F Hatters

As for your original questions:

How do you size a hat? You measure your head in inches where the band of the hat will sit. This then can be converted to the traditional sizes found on most hats. Me personally, I'm a 6 and 7/8
Here is a size conversion chart:
Hat Size Conversion Chart

What kind of material do you like? I'm biased because I have beaver fur hats. But they are great quality so that's probably what I will always stick with.

What brands are your favorite and why? It's a lot of money, but when the day comes that I need a new hat I will be doing a custom order. That way I know it will fit my head perfectly, it's the exact design I want, it will be shaped perfectly for my face, and the hat maker always stands by their work. But I don't expect to be needing a new hat for another 10 to 20 years at the least. You take good care of these expensive hats, and they will last.

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post #8 of 16 Old 10-31-2011, 09:59 PM
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I have several hats. In the summer I wear a resistol straw hat but pretty much end up replacing it every year so I don't spend much on those " work hats". I have a palm leaf straw that I wear for dress. I know this isn't really proper but I 've even been known to wear a straw after labor day. I don't really care much about fashion. It does stay warm here well until november and even later some times. In the winter I wear a cheape felt hat that I bought about 8 years ago pretty much all the time. Looks rough but it fits my head just right. I absolutely HATE new hats so I wear the felts till they pretty much fall down around my ears. I also have a black felt for dress. I don't show so I do't have much call for a "show hat".

Heres a pic of my felt I wear .

That is my daughter with me. I'm getting her started early and that is my shameless plug to show her off. Sorry.

back to the hats. I think next year I'm gonna get a custom hat. something alittle more buckaroo styled. Maybe like this only a dark grey with a black band and brim ribbon.

Just something different. I gaurentee noboy in NC has a hat like that.
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post #9 of 16 Old 11-01-2011, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe4d View Post
Never where white straw after labor day or before memorial day, it is just a fashion no no.
I, for one, don't go by that "rule". It just seems a bit silly. I also don't care about fashion. Why are there "rules" regarding the fashion of cowboy hats? Do you really think REAL cowboys/cowgirls care? I don't. If the hat fits and offers protection, wear it regardless. Why should the time of year even matter? If its warm (above 50 or so), I will wear my white straw hat over one of my felts any day. In fact, I wore my white straw yesterday.

I must just have an oddly large head. I wear a 7 1/2. I like the look of the more expensive felts, but have yet to buy one. Truth be told, if I had one, it wouldn't be worn much because I don't have a reason to wear a nice expensive felt hat. I trail ride and rodeo. Expensive is not easy to replace. My felts are both 4x, which is on the lower end for that reason. As far as straw hats go, if it fits, offers protection, and will last a while, I will wear it. I currently have 4 hats and might be getting a new one soon. I would love to get a custom hat, but they must cost just short of a small fortune.

I have a Resistol white straw that is my work/rodeo hat. I wear it year round if its not too unbearably cold, which is the majority of the year. It just has the stock braided "leather" band. I had a leather band with a horsehair inlay on it until I got a felt that it looked better on. Getting stampede strings for this hat soon.

The second hat is also a Resistol. It is a mexican palm leaf with a horsehair hat band that I purchased at End of the Trail in New Mexico. It is a pretty nice hat for the price. I bought it for $30 at Sheplers in Oklahoma. I wear it mainly in the summer because its not too windy then. This hat seems to blow off of my head easier. It fits, but I still end up chasing it on a windy day. Getting stampede strings for it and my white straw.

The third is a Bailey brown felt. It was bought for about $50 at a local store that has now gone out of business. It was on sale for 75% off, I believe. This hat has a stock band on it, which it braided leather. Don't wear this hat much because it is a pain to clean. It also doesn't fit like a 7 1/2 should. Their sizes seem to run a bit smaller. Might end up giving it to my dad, who wears a 7 3/8, because he likes it and it fits him much better.

Finally, I own a no-name (that I could find- says Amarillo on the inside) black felt hat. I ended up putting the leather hat band with horsehair on this hat. The band is black leather with a white and black horsehair inlay and silver conchos. This hat is so hard to keep clean with all the cats and I dogs we have. However, I do wear this hat more than my other felt. It fits perfectly and is pretty nice for a no-name hat.

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post #10 of 16 Old 11-01-2011, 09:01 AM
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I don't go by the color rules either. I wear what matches what I am showing in. At home I live in ball caps.

I have a few that I show in. My favorite is my 30x El Patron Black Stetson. I also have a 20x Resistol Silverbelly and 3 straws (Bailey, Stetson & Resistol) My favorite straw is the Resistol George Strait sig line, the Dallas style.

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