Despite the name, anyone can wear a cowboy hat, including cowgirls! But with the hat comes certain rules and responsibilities. If you’re new to the world of ten-gallon hats or need a refresher course, this article will be your guide to proper cowboy hat etiquette.
When To Remove Your Cowboy Hat
A quality cowboy hat can tie together plenty of outfits, but knowing when not to wear it and when to remove it is key. If you’re in northern cities, most aren’t aware of the traditions and customs of wearing a cowboy hat, so you can probably get away with forgoing these rules. But if you’re anywhere else, manners will make the outfit.
Generally, you take your hat off during the national anthem and Pledge of Allegiance or if you’re in church, at a wedding, or at a funeral. If you’re in someone’s private home and don’t have their blessing to wear the hat, it’s best to take it off. Additionally, if you’re in a nice restaurant—not necessarily a fast-food joint—that hat should come off. If you’re around friends, they probably won’t mind if you break these rules occasionally, but older adults who don’t know you well may correct you.
Wear the Right Hat for the Right Season
Owning a quality cowboy hat is one of the main wardrobe essentials for cowgirls, but that also includes having the right hat for the right season. Ultimately, you need two types of cowboy hats: a felt hat and a straw hat. Felt hats are best during the winter, as the material retains heat. Straw hats suit the warmer months, as they allow for better airflow. You might raise eyebrows by wearing a felt hat in sweltering weather!
Make Sure Your Hat Fits
Because cowboy hats are outdoor attire, they need to fit right and remain in place despite the wind and outdoor activities. Plus, the wrong size will either be uncomfortable or make you look silly. Because of these factors, proper cowboy hat etiquette dictates that your hat should fit snugly on top of your head.
Luckily, measuring your head for the right cowboy hat is easy—all you need is a pen and sewing tape. Place one end of the measuring tape on the middle of your forehead and wrap it around your head, ensuring that the tape is at least a half-inch above your ear. Place your finger where the endpoint meets the starting point, then write down that number. The corresponding hat sizes will vary depending on where you shop, but when you go to buy your hat, you can feel confident about finding the accurate size.