The Many Styles of Cowboy Hats

February 21, 2019

Last week, we focused on proper etiquette when it comes to cowboys hats. There are many different styles and types of cowboy hats worn in western culture today. Cowboy hats are generally defined by two features: the crown style and the brim shape. Each hat crown has distinctly different shapes defined by the placement and depth of the side dents and the center creases. You'll also find the height of the crown plays an important part in the cowboy hat style. Let's take a moment to learn all the different cowboy hat styles below to find one that suits your tastes and lifestyle.

 

Cattleman
This is the most popular type of cowboy hat and most often worn in westerns and in western culture. It has three crown creases--two on each side and one directly down the center of the hat. This hat also has a brim with slightly curved edges.

 

Low Cattleman

This is the same as the Cattleman, but the crown height is lower.

 

Wide Cattleman
Once again, this is the same as the Cattleman, but the center dent is wider than traditional Cattleman hats.

 

Cattleman 65
Much like the Cattleman, this crown shape has a center dent and two side dents. These dents start lower on the crown and have a slighter angle forming a longer and slimmer point.

 

Ranch
The Ranch style cowboy hat is very much like the cattlemen, with two side dents and a center dent. However, the front slopes down at a slight angle.

 

Brick Top
The Brick cowboy hat is a modified cattleman with a rectangular center dent in the crown. The single, rectangular dimple gives the brick a distinctive-looking top profile.

 

Bull Rider
A Bull Rider cowboy hat has a triangular brim with a square center dent with rounded corners. It's popular among rodeo riders in the west.

 

Gambler (AKA Telescope)
This hat has a wide, circular and flat brim with a flat-topped crown featuring an oval-shaped center dent. It has a very authentic look.

 

Square Top
Similar to the Brick Top, this cowboy hat crown has a square center dent and two small side dents.

 

Clint
This style features a round open crown with two small side dents in the top coming together in a pinched-front style.

 

Derby
The Derby Western isn't unlike the traditional derby hat in that it features a distinct, dimple-free round crown. Western Derbies have long and slightly up-curled brims.

 

Pinched Front
As the name suggests, a Pinched Front hat features a sharp V-shaped crown with dual pinches at the front.

 

Gus
Gus cowboy hats feature high crowns that slope towards the front and three deep dimples on the crown.

 

Luke Crown
The Luke Crown features a wide, flat brim with an open crown and two small side dents on each side.

 

Puncher
The Puncher cowboy hat has a wide, flat brim and two long side dents.

 

Association
The Association cowboy hat has a sharp, triangular center dent with two larger side dents on each side.

 

Tom Mix 

The Tom Mix, also called the Ten-Gallon Hat, is the same as the Gus, but is larger (hence its 10-gallon moniker) and more dramatic. In the photo on the right, the actor Tom Mix (far right) sports his namesake hat. Photo courtesy of W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library Photograph Collection, Collection no. 0018, Special Collections and Archives, University Library, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

 

Open Crown
Popularized by Stetson in its early days, the Open Crown cowboy hat features a roomier crown that's typically rounded and free of dimples.

 

Amish
Worn by Amish men, this is a cultural accessory. The hat is black, has a flat crown and straight, round brim. The hats also sport a hat band that can be muted in color or decorative in some cases.

 

The Cutter
Similar to the Cattleman crown style, this crown features side dents that allow for enhanced room inside the hat. It also has a brim that curves up on the sides more than the cattlemen.

 

Ridge Top
A tall crown with two side dents that are shallow and at a steeper angle than the cutter. The brim also curves up on the sides.

 

Dakota
This hat has a squared off look. The crown has a shallow dent in the center and two shallow side dents on each side. The crown is higher than most cowboy hats.

 

Mountie
The traditional hat of the Canadian police, the Mountie has a round brim, with a round crown that comes to a peak with dents on each side.

 

Diamond
The diamond is a flat top cowboy hat with a triangular center dent, two side dents and a dent in the rear of the hat.

 

Boss of the Plains
This hat has an ovular brim and round crown that is "open" or has no dents.

 

Tycoon
The Tycoon has a tear drop shape crown with a slightly blunt forward pinch and two generous side dents.

 

Salem
The Salem has a single, shallow center crease from front to back and two, long and shallow side dents that form two small peaks on each side. It is slightly reminiscent of eastern, farmer hats.

 

 Cowboy Hat Brim Shapes
The brim shape of a cowboy hat adds a special flare and character to the hat. Brims come in one of a few well-known shapes, mostly distinct by the type of curve or curl and the overall shape of the brim.

 

Flat Brim
The Flat Brim is straight with no curve up or down.

 

Texas Brim or Half Taco
The Texas brim, or Half Taco, is slightly curved upwards on the sides with a straight front end.

 

Full Taco Brim
The Full Taco brim is curved up sharply on both sides in the shape of a taco.

 

Relaxed Taco Brim
The Relaxed Taco has two sides curved up at a very slight angle of about 45 degrees. It's similar to the Texas brim.

 

George Brim
Similar to the Relaxed Taco and Texas brims, the George brim is angled up on both sides.

 

Rolled Brim
This brim has rolled up edges.

 

Retro Brim
The Retro brim has rolled up edges that are a little more relaxed than the Taco.

 

Come and Go Brim
With edges that are slightly angled up in a slight curl, the Come and Go is a common brim style for cowboy hats.

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