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How To Choose The Right Cowboy Hat In Texas

by Zack Gilbert

Not all cowboy hats come from Texas, but few symbols represent the state more. If you're in Texas, a cowboy hat may be the souvenir you want to bring home. It may even represent a Texas-themed gift for a loved one. Find out how to choose the ideal cowboy hat for yourself or as a gift.

Look for the X-Rating

Cowboy hats have X-ratings that have nothing to do with that theater down the alley. Rather, a hat's X-rating denotes the materials used in construction. Good cowboy hats are made of felt that contains beaver and rabbit fur. More beaver fur earns a higher X-rating, and also a softer, more durable hat. The X-rating does vary by manufacturer, though, so you may have to compare the hats.

Get Your Head Measured

You want your cowboy hat to fit just snug enough so you can adjust how it sits on your head. To that end, you'll want to have your head measured so you know which hat will fit best. The hat size relates to the circumference of your head, which manufacturers put into a formula to get a number ranging between 6 to 8.

If the hat is a gift, you'll probably need to give up on the surprise element. You do need this measurement because cowboy hats aren't adjustable.

Consider Your Color Choices

Everyone knows the hero in westerns wears a white hat. However, according to True West Magazine, black is the most popular color for cowboy hats. The preference probably doesn't indicate more villains than heroes so much as a desire to keep hard-working hats clean. If you don't think the hat will see much work, you could always opt for a lighter color.

Have Your Hat Hand-Creased

The crease at the crown of the hat is largely what makes cowboy hats so distinctive. Many hats come to the stores already creased, usually by machine. However, you have the option of buying a hat with an open crown, which doesn't feature a crease. The staff at the store can create the crease by hand for a completely personalized look.

You don't have to take this step, but it does result in a hat that's totally unique.

Choose Your Brim Shape

The other factor that makes cowboy hats distinctive is the brim. The three main shapes are flat, low rodeo, and tracker. The first shape is obvious. The low rodeo is the classic shape with the sides coming up slightly. The tracker features just one side rolled up. This choice is completely personal. For a gift hat, the classic low rodeo is probably a safe choice.

Buy a hat that just screams Texas — the cowboy hat.