Why Are Cowboy Hats Shaped The Way They Are? (Explained!)

Have you ever wondered why cowboy hats are shaped the way they are and not any other way? There are many reasons for this shape, and the shape of the cowboy hat that we know today has changed a lot over time.

The shape of a cowboy hat is so perfect that it seems to be made just for wearing on your head! It’s almost like an extension of your body. The reason for its design is simple: cowboys wanted to make sure that their hats were comfortable but also stylish at the same time. They wanted to look good while being able to wear them all day long.

Cowboy hats have been around for many decades, and over time the shape of the cowboy hat has changed quite a bit. Today, there are so many different types of cowboy hats available in the market. This article will discuss the different shapes and styles of cowboy hats and why they are shaped the way they are. So, let’s start.

Why are cowboy hats shaped the way they are?

The cowboy hats are shaped the way it is now to make them more comfortable for the wearer. A cowboy hat should fit snugly on your head without slipping off quickly. The brim curved up to prevent getting caught in the rope and pinched the crown to allow better handling.

These changes to the shape of a cowboy hat came about to protect the wearer from the elements. A cowboy had to be able to ride his horse or work with cattle in harsh weather conditions, and he needed to keep warm, dry, and protected from the sun.

A cowboy hat was designed to help him do these things. The shape of a cowboy hat allows it to stay on the cowboy’s head even when he is riding during windy days or working outside in extreme heat, and this shape also makes it easier to handle.

Also read: What does a feather in a cowboy hat mean?

What are the different shapes and styles of cowboy hat?

There are different shapes of cowboy hats available today, and each of these has its own identity. Some are more formal than others, some are more casual, and some are more suited for specific occasions. Let us take a closer look at cowboy hats’ different shapes and styles.

1. The Cattleman Crease

These cowboy hats, with their shapes, tend to have the most ancient cultures among all the hats. This hat will be perfect if you’re more into the culture.

These cowboy hats go way back to when many farmers wore a different kind of hat for the rodeo cowboy look. The crown of these cowboy hats is between four and five inches tall. At the same time, these cowboy hats have a medium curve brim that ranges between 4 and 4.5 inches.

These hats have a specific placement of the crease, which makes them different from most others. One line runs from the top of the head to the center of the crown, and two other wrinkles go down to either side of the hat.

2. Bowler Western

This bowler hat comes from the English culture. A man called Bowler made this cowboy hat shape back in 1849. After that, it became more prevalent among people who lived in the Victoria Times. It’s a simple, free round crown cowboy hat with a curved brim but shorter than most hats.

It was brought to the United States by immigrants. It was popular among many people and became a trend in the old west.

3. The Gambler Crease

It’s often referred to as the “Telescope Crease Shape.” Charros inspired the shape of this hat. These were cowboys who worked in Mexico but came from Nevada. This cowboy hat has a crown height of 3 to 4.5 inches and a flat brim of about 4 to 4.5 inches.

The hat is shorter in length than other cowboy hats. It’s shaped so that hot air doesn’t stay inside your head, which protects you from the sun and keeps you cool.

4. Pinch Front Cease

These cowboy hats aren’t different from the traditional cattleman crease hats. The feature that makes this hat special is its typical style of crown.

These pinch-front cowboy hats have a diamond crown and tear-drop shape. However, these two crowns are often seen in fedoras, outback, and Trilby hats. Moreover, the pinch crease’s difference is the brim’s width, and it’s bigger than both fedoras and outbacks.

5. The Brick Crease Cowboy Hat

These hats look more similar to the cattleman crease cowboy hats. The difference between the two cowboy hats is the shape of the top, which creates a squarer appearance in brick crease than the cattleman crease with a flat top.

It has a drop shape on its right side, whereas on the left, it’s rolled up, making the cowboy hats look more like a brick. These hats’ functions are similar to the other shapes of a cowboy hat. It has a brick-like body design, so you won’t have to be worried about strong winds and rain.

6. The Montana Mix Crease or Tom Crease hat

You can also call this the Tom Crease hat. It has a height between 4 and 6.5 inches, whereas the brim sizes range from 4 to 4 and 1/2 inches.

It has a creased look that resembles a cattleman crease cowboy hat. However, they have some minor differences. Tom Crease hats have more minor indentations at the sides of the hat crown, and these indentations are less on the back. The center indent is most noticeable on the front and least noticeable on the back.

During the 1920s and 1930, these hats were very common. These cowboy hats are among the first ones that Stetson designed.

Also read: What does cowboy hat color mean?


There are many types of cowboy hats. Some are made from wool, leather, felt, and straw. They come in various styles, colors, and shapes. In this article, we have discussed why cowboy hats are shaped the way they are. The body of each cowboy hat has its own identity. However, the primary objective is to provide more comfort to the wearer.

I hope this article was helpful, and you found the answer that you were looking for. If you have any questions regarding this article, feel free to comment below.


Why do cowboys tilt their hats?

As mentioned earlier, at the time of the Old West, in the code of law, men would only tilt hats to women, not to other men. Tilting your hat can be considered a sign of respect, and it makes sense to do it because it’s a way of acknowledging someone special.

Why are some cowboy hats folded up on one side?

The Victorian hat was a plain bush-felt hat turned up at the right side. The primary purpose of turning up the right side of the cowboy hat was to ensure that it wouldn’t get caught during the drill movement from “shoulder arms” to “order arms.”

Why do cowboys wear wide brim hats?

The wide brim cowboy hats are worn to protect against the sun. They’re usually made out of straw but felt and leather wide brim cowboy hats are also available.

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.