When To Wear Straw And Felt Cowboy Hats? (Explained!)

Having a cowboy hat but not knowing when to wear it disrespects it. But most people these days face this situation: they don’t know when it’s appropriate to wear it.

However, one of the best things about these hats is that you can wear them throughout the year. In winter, they keep your head warm, while in summer, they protect you from harmful sun rays.

This article will guide you on when to wear straw and felt cowboy hats. Wearing a cowboy hat is not about making a fashion statement but following tradition. So, if you are new to this, then there are some things that you should know before wearing one.

Let’s look at felt cowboy hats first to see when you can wear them and when it’s not suitable.

When to wear a felt cowboy hat?

The general rule of wearing this cowboy hat is in winter, after the end of Labor Day. If we talk about composition, these cowboy hats are made of warm and heavy materials like animal fur, making them ideal for wearing in cold weather.

They are also supposed to be worn on special occasions such as business dinners or weddings. However, the ideal cowboys don’t wear these while eating or when they are indoors. But this tradition doesn’t apply to events like concerts.

Purpose of Felt Cowboy Hats

A felt cowboy hat is not for decoration; there are specific reasons why cowboys wear them. Take a look at some of those:

· Good Option for Winters

As mentioned above, felt is made of fur, wool, acrylic, and other natural or synthetic materials. All of these are used in winter for warmth and comfort. Some of these hats are water-repellent also, keeping the moisture out. So, they are an ideal option for winter.

· UV Protection

Hats with wide brims protect your head, neck, and face from the sun. This not only saves you from harmful sun rays but also maintains your skin health.

· You can dress them up or down!

Felt cowboy hats can be worn on different occasions. For example, you can wear them while riding or hiking and wear jeans, shorts or anything. So, it’s a versatile option.

Also read: What does cowboy hat color mean?

What time of the year is suitable to wear Cowboy Hats?

People used to manufacture cowboy hats from animal skins back in the 17th century. But in the late 20th century, these became more popular. And as mentioned above, you can wear these throughout the year. However, the official season begins with the start of summer.

“Felt Hat Day” was celebrated when people switched from summer hats to these warm hats. So, it’s up to you to wear these hats whenever you want.

When should you not wear cowboy hats?

Wearing cowboy hats is a good way of showing your western style, but you shouldn’t be wearing them at times. Here are some of those situations:

· Indoors

Removing your cowboy hat when you’re inside is a good way of showing etiquette. However, it would help if you did it during formal events such as weddings or meetings. However, if going to a rodeo, it is better to wear a hat as a sign of fashion and style.

· During Seated Meals

You can keep wearing it if you are alone at a table during dinner or having an informal meal. But if it is a seated meal, you shouldn’t wear it as it looks awkward.

· When you’re introducing yourself!

It is ideal for removing your hat with your left hand and shaking your right one with the person you’re introducing yourself to. This should mainly be done in the case of women. But if you are talking to priests or elders, you should remove it as a sign of respect.

Now that you’ve got an idea about felt cowboy hats, let’s move toward straw cowboy hats and see when to wear them.

Also read: What is a Silver Belly cowboy hat?

When to wear a Straw Cowboy Hat?

A straw cowboy hat is a type of wide-brimmed hat typically worn in summer. The straw material helps to keep the head cool and protected from the sun. Straw cowboy hats are often worn by ranchers and farmers when working outdoors.

They are also commonly seen at country-western events, such as rodeos and line dancing competitions. In recent years, straw cowboy hats have become a fashion statement and can be seen in celebrities and everyday people alike.

Whether you’re headed to a country music concert or just looking to stay cool in the summer heat, a straw cowboy hat is a stylish and functional choice.

These cowboy hats are usually worn from may to Labor day. There are some misconceptions about whether to wear these hats after “Labor Day” or not. This tradition was made to get rid of summer clothing and announce the start of winter. The ranchers working outside had to start the most challenging part of the year, so this was a good tool for them to survive.

Apart from that, there are many similarities also between felt and straw cowboy hats. For example, you can wear them on certain occasions depending on their style and composition. And you can also use them to get warmth which is needed a lot in the winter. So, both are multi-purpose hats for several reasons.

When to take off your straw cowboy hat?

The answer to this question depends on where you are and what you are doing. For example, if you are at a church, it is better to take it off until you are done with prayer, and this is a sign of respect you are showing for the atmosphere there. And about eating, you should remove your hat from the table.

Also, you shouldn’t wear your cowboy hat when talking to someone. But still, it isn’t about time or place; it’s about how you feel about that specific person or place and whether you should remove it or not.


It is normal these days to wear cowboy hats; it doesn’t matter which continent you are from and what purpose you wear it for. However, you only need to see when to wear and remove these.

There are protocols, terms, and conditions to enter various places, perform at certain events and introduce yourself to someone, and you should strictly follow those protocols.

Not like these hats are worn by gentlemen or cowboys only; you may wear them even if you’re not a cowboy. But it’s better to learn cowboy hat etiquette to wear them.

This article helped you learn about cowboy hats, when to wear them and when to take them off. Wearing a cowboy hat is not only about following the trends; it’s also about respecting tradition. So, remember these tips next time you want to put on your cowboy hat!


Can I wear a cowboy hat indoors?

It is best to take your cowboy hat off when you are indoors. However, if you are at a country-western event or concert, keeping your cowboy hat on is acceptable.

Can I wear a cowboy hat to a formal event?

Wearing a cowboy hat at a formal event is generally not considered appropriate. However, if the event is country-western-themed, it is acceptable to wear a cowboy hat.

When can I start wearing my straw cowboy hat?

You can typically start wearing your straw cowboy hat in the summertime. However, if you live in a warm climate, you may be able to wear it year-round.

Can I wear a straw cowboy hat in winter?

While you can technically wear a straw cowboy hat in winter, it is not recommended, and the straw will not provide enough warmth and protection from the cold weather.

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My name is Brandon J. Nava, and I consider myself an expert on the cowboy lifestyle. I regularly attend events at the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) am I am a member of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA). I've participated in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo or the Pendleton Round-Up and I aspire to be awarded by the American Horse Council or the United States Equestrian Federation in the near future. In addition I've visited lectures and educational programs at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.