How to treat your cowboy hat with respect and follow etiquette

Even though hats with large brims have been prevalent since ancient times to protect their wearers from the harsh elements, it was after John B. Stetson invented the modern cowboy hat in 1865 that it acquired its iconic status. With the classic cowboy hat being a prized possession, it did not take long for certain practices for caring for and wearing cowboy hats to emerge and become accepted by society. Some insights:

The Right Cowboy Hat for the Season

You can buy mens cowboy hat in various materials. Some popular ones are straw and fur-based felt, while leather is less common. People usually wear straw cowboy hats in the summer because they are lightweight and breathable, hence more comfortable in bright sunshine and heat. The fur-felt ones are better suited to winter since they protect the wearer from cold and dampness. Because of this, people generally follow the rule that you wear straw cowboy hats from May to Labor Day, with the felt season beginning afterward. However, the extent you want to follow this rule depends on the weather.

The Right Way of Handling the Hat 

According to convention, you must hold the hat by the crown and not by the brim when putting it on or removing it from your head. It is because you are liable to damage the brim, if you hold it. Holding the crown does not have any problem because it is soft and pliable anyway. Similarly, when you need to put your cowboy hat down, you should always place it upside down on the crown and never on the brim. Ideally, you should hang your hat on a post or hat rack.

photo by Raul Najera

When to Wear and When to Remove

When you enter a building, for example, a restaurant or an office, you should remove your cowboy hat from your head, and once inside, you may wear it again if the environment is casual, however, in formal situations, it should stay off. If you are inside a restaurant, you should avoid wearing the hat, but if you are eating or drinking at a bar counter, you may wear the hat. The cowboy hat can stay on if you are eating outdoors.

According to Pinto Ranch, you should show respect by removing your cowboy hat when inside a church or any place of worship. You should also remove your hat when the National Anthem is being sung, or during the Pledge of Allegiance and Passing of the Flag. You must also remove it during indoor events like weddings and funerals. If you encounter a funeral procession, you should take off your hat, hold it in your left hand and cover your heart with your right hand. Alternatively, you can take off the hat with your right hand and cover your heart. It is good manners to take off your hat when meeting someone for the first time, especially someone elder than you.

Final Words

A cowboy hat is a special and personal item, and you should make it a point to wear and handle it respectfully. You must not play pranks with someone else’s hat or treat your own roughly.

lead photo by Elijah Hail from unsplash

Other articles from – –