Are you wearing the right cowboy hat for the season? If you know the unspoken rule about when and what type of hat to wear then stop reading. But if you don’t, we are here to help.
Switching cowboy hats follow the same rules as wearing white. From Memorial Day through Labor Day wear a straw hat, and from Labor Day through Memorial Day sport a felt. Wonder how this arbitrary fashion rule came to be? Time for a quick history lesson!
Quick Cowboy Hat History Lesson
Traditionally, straw hats were meant to be worn during the warmer months when you were out getting sweaty and dirty working on the ranch. Being cooler than a felt, the straw hat was much more comfortable and breathable during the heat of the day.
Whereas the felt, or the “go-to-meeting” hat, was one you would wear to professional or formal get-togethers like meetings, weddings, and parties. This is why you may see more professional cowboys and horsemen sporting these during major livestock events. Aside from being formal, the felt was also much warmer to wear during the cooler months, because of what it was made of. Most hats, and depending on the level of quality, are made from either rabbit or beaver pelt. This material is very durable and maintains heat better than a straw.
Depending on where you live, such as the South West, many people wear straw hats all year long due to the weather. But for the rest of the country, now that Labor Day has passed, it is officially acceptable to wear that felt hat of yours that has been tucked away for months. Whether you placed it in a hat can, or just threw it in a closet (we sure hope not!) chances are your felt hat might need a little TLC.
Here are some great hat care tips to remember!
#1 Each hat should have its own hat can and hat brush or sponge.
We may have alluded to this earlier, but if your beloved felt does not have a home, you might invest in a hat can. Whether you have one or several, each hat should have its own hat can and hat brush. Depending on which color your hat is, you don’t want to use a brush you use on your white hat on your black hat as well, this might transfer dye to another felt.
When you clean your hat with a brush or sponge, always brush the top of the hat counterclockwise and the bottom of the hat clockwise. This will help get any dust or debris off the hat more effectively.
When you do buy a hat can, there are a few things to remember…
#2 Make sure your hat can prongs are adjusted properly!
Check your prongs so your hat is sitting in them rather than on them. To do this, gently push the prongs to the appropriate band size of your hat.
#3 Use hat blocks when you go long periods of time without wearing your hat.
What is a hat block? A hat block is a piece of wood that has been carved or molded into the shape of your band to ensure it keeps its shape. The block is then placed within the hat, mimicking the shape of your head.
#4 Handle your hat by the bottom of the crown.
This will maintain the shape of the hat and prolongs its lifespan. Always take your hat on and off by the bottom of the crown, as this is the strong part of the hat. Never by the brim!
#5 Flip the hat band if it gets wet or oily.
If you sweat when you wear your hat, whether for showing or during work, it might get wet and sweaty from time to time. No worries! The best way to dry out your band is to flip the band down.
#6 Never leave your hat in a hot place.
Like your garage, your car, in your horse trailer, or any place where your hat may heat up. Excessive heat is a good way to damage your hat.
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