Cowboy Hat Styles: Your Ultimate Guide

As a lover of cowboy hats, I have come to appreciate the different cowboy hat styles that exist in the world of western fashion. 

From the classic Stetson to the modern Gambler, cowboy hats come in a variety of shapes and sizes. 

But what makes each style unique? 

In this article, I will explore the different cowboy hat styles and explain the history and characteristics of each one.

Whether you’re a seasoned cowboy or a city slicker looking to add some western flair to your wardrobe, understanding the different cowboy hat styles can help you choose the perfect hat for any occasion. 

Each style has its own distinct look and feel, and knowing the differences between them can make all the difference in finding the perfect hat to suit your personal style.

The Classic Cowboy Hat

As I dive into the world of cowboy hats, I can’t help but start with the classic cowboy hat.

This style is what most people think of when they picture a cowboy hat. 

It’s the one that John Wayne wore in all his movies and the one that has become a symbol of the American West. 

The classic cowboy hat has a high crown and a wide brim. 

The crown is usually rounded, but it can also be creased in various ways, depending on the wearer’s preference. 

The brim is typically flat, but it can also be shaped into a curve or turned up at the sides. 

One of the most famous makers of the classic cowboy hat is Stetson. 

In fact, Stetson is largely credited with popularizing the style in the West. 

The first style to gain popularity in the U.S. was the “Boss of the Plains” hat, which was created by John B. Stetson in 1865. 

This style had a high crown and no creases, making it a simple yet iconic design. 

The classic cowboy hat is made from a variety of materials, including felt, straw, and even leather. 

Felt is the most common material, and it’s what gives the hat its structure and durability.

Straw hats are popular in warmer climates, as they’re lightweight and breathable. 

Leather hats are less common, but they’re a great choice for those who want a more rugged look. 

Overall, the classic cowboy hat is a timeless style that has stood the test of time. 

The Cattleman

The Cattleman (aka the Cattleman Crease) is my go-to hat for most occasions. 

The classic style features a tall, slightly tapered crown with a simple center crease, flanked by two side dents.

It’s a versatile hat that provides good sun protection and is perfect for long days in the saddle. 

This style is synonymous with the cowboy way of life, and I’m proud to wear it.

This hat is perfect for those who want a classic and timeless look. 

The Cattleman hat is characterized by its three-crown design and slightly curved brim.

It is often seen on cattle ranchers and other working cowboys. 

The hat is designed to protect from the sun and wind while working outdoors. 

One of the great things about the Cattleman hat is its versatility.

It can be worn with a variety of outfits, from jeans and a t-shirt to a full cowboy suit. 

The style is also available in a range of colors, including traditional brown and black, as well as more modern colors like white and red.

If you are looking for a hat that is both stylish and functional, the Cattleman hat is a great choice.

It is designed to withstand the rigors of outdoor work while still providing a classic and timeless look. 

The Gus

The Gus or Gus Crease is Named after the character Gus McCrae from the novel and TV miniseries “Lonesome Dove,”.

This iconic style is a popular choice among cowboys. 

It’s got a high, rounded crown with a deep front crease that slopes down toward the brim.

The brim itself is wide and curves up at the sides, providing plenty of shade. 

When I wear my Gus hat, I can’t help but feel a bit like an old-time cowboy legend.

I have to admit that when it comes to cowboy hat styles, The Gus is my personal favorite.

One of the things I love most about The Gus is that it has a timeless look that never goes out of style. 

It’s the kind of hat that you can wear to a rodeo, a country music concert, or just out for a day on the ranch. 

Plus, it’s incredibly versatile and can be worn with just about any outfit. 

The Gus is typically made from felt or straw, and it comes in a variety of colors. 

The most popular colors are black and white, but you can also find it in shades of brown, gray, and even pink. 

The brim of The Gus is wide enough to provide plenty of shade from the sun, but not so wide that it gets in the way when you’re trying to work.

If you’re thinking about getting a cowboy hat, I highly recommend The Gus.

It’s a classic style that will never go out of fashion, and it’s versatile enough to wear with just about anything. 

Plus, it’s comfortable and practical, making it the perfect hat for any cowboy or cowgirl.

The Tom Mix

I appreciate the style and flair that the Tom Mix hat brings to my wardrobe. 

Named after the silent film star, this hat features a tall, open crown with a wide, rolled brim.

It’s a bit more dramatic than your average cowboy hat, but it sure makes a statement when I’m out on the town or participating in a rodeo event.

I have always been fascinated by the iconic cowboy hat styles that have graced the silver screen over the years. 

One of the most recognizable styles is the Tom Mix hat, named after the legendary cowboy movie star of the same name. 

The Tom Mix hat is characterized by its high crown and wide brim, which flares out slightly at the edges.

It is often made of high-quality fur felt and features a bound edge brim and a grosgrain hat band. 

The crown is typically creased with a Gus crease, which gives it a distinctive look. 

This style of hat was popularized by Tom Mix in the early 1900s and quickly became a symbol of the American West. 

Mix was known for his daring stunts and elaborate cowboy outfits, which often included his trademark ten-gallon Tom Mix hat. 

Today, the Tom Mix hat remains a popular choice among cowboy hat enthusiasts and collectors.

It is a versatile style that can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion.

If you’re in the market for a Tom Mix hat, several reputable brands offer high-quality versions of this iconic style. 

Stetson, for example, offers a 6X quality fur felt Tom Mix hat with a bound edge brim and Gus crease crown. 

Other brands, such as Resistol and American Hat Company, also offer their own versions of the Tom Mix hat. 

The Pinch Front

When I need a hat that’s a bit more casual and modern, I opt for the Pinch Front Crease. 

It’s got a lower, teardrop-shaped crown with a pinched front, which creates a unique and stylish look. 

The brim is typically medium-width and can be shaped to my liking. 

This hat is great for a night out at the honky-tonk or when I’m just looking to switch things up.

When it comes to cowboy hat styles, the Pinch Front is one of the most recognizable. 

The Pinch Front is often associated with classic Western movies and TV shows, and it has remained a popular style for both men and women. 

The Pinch Front can also be customized with different brim widths and materials, allowing wearers to create a unique look that suits their individual style. 

There are several variations of the Pinch Front style, including the Cattleman and the Gambler. 

The Cattleman features a wider brim and a more traditional Western look, while the Gambler has a smaller brim and a more refined appearance. 

Both styles are popular choices for those looking for a classic cowboy hat. 

If you’re considering a Pinch Front cowboy hat, it’s important to choose the right size. 

A hat that is too small will be uncomfortable and may not stay in place, while a hat that is too large can look awkward and may fall off.

It’s also important to consider the material of the hat, as different materials can affect the look and feel of the hat. 

The Open Crown

When it comes to cowboy hat styles, the Open Crown is a classic. 

This style features a completely round crown and does not have any creases. 

It has a similar appearance to a sombrero, but with a smaller brim. 

The Open Crown also has a round, flat brim that does not turn up. 

One of the most famous Open Crown hats is the “10-gallon hat.” 

Despite its name, this hat does not actually hold 10 gallons of liquid! 

The origin of the name is unclear, but some believe it comes from the Spanish word “galón,” which means “braid” or “trim.” 

Mexican vaqueros would often wear hat bands called “galóns,” and it’s possible that this term was eventually applied to the hats themselves. 

The Open Crown is a versatile style that can be worn by both men and women. 

It’s a popular choice for those who want a classic, traditional look. 

However, because it doesn’t have any creases, it can be difficult to style. 

Some people prefer to leave the crown completely open, while others choose to create their own creases. 

Overall, the Open Crown is a timeless cowboy hat style that has been popular for over a century. 

Whether you’re a seasoned cowboy or just looking for a stylish accessory, this classic style is sure to make a statement.

The Gambler

The Gambler hat is a cowboy’s choice when it’s time to get a little fancy. 

With its low, round crown and wide, upturned brim, this hat has an air of sophistication.

It’s not quite as practical for long days on the ranch, but when I put on my Gambler, I feel like I’m ready to hit the high-stakes poker tables in style.

This hat has a creaseless crown and a wide brim that provides shade and protection from the sun. 

The low crown also helps keep the head cool, making it a great hat to wear on hot summer days.

The Gambler is typically worn with the brim flat, although it can also be worn with the brim turned up or down. 

This hat is often made from wool or felt and comes in a variety of colors, including black, brown, and tan.

If you’re looking for a stylish yet practical cowboy hat, the Gambler is a great choice. 

It’s perfect for outdoor activities like horseback riding, hiking, and fishing, as well as for casual wear.

Overall, the Gambler is a classic cowboy hat style that offers both style and functionality. 

Flat Top: 

The Flat Top cowboy hat is a throwback to the Old West, and I love its simplicity. 

It has a straight-sided crown with a flat top and a wide, flat brim.

It might not be as fancy as some other styles, but it’s got a rugged charm that’s hard to resist. 

When I wear my Flat Top hat, I feel like I’m channeling the spirit of the frontier.


This style features a high, tapered crown and a wide, upturned brim, reminiscent of the sombrero.

It’s great for keeping the sun off the face and neck, and it’s a nod to the rich cultural history of cowboys in the Southwest.

Montana Peak: 

When I want a hat that represents the rugged individualism of the American West, I reach for my Montana Peak. 

This style features a high, four-pointed crown that comes together at a single peak, similar to a military campaign hat. 

The brim is medium-width and can be shaped to my preference. 

The Montana Peak is a popular choice among cowboys who work in the wilderness and the great outdoors.


As a cowboy with a taste for the finer things in life, I appreciate the elegance of the Tycoon hat.

It boasts a high, open crown with a unique, square-shaped crease, and a medium-width brim that curls up at the sides. 

This hat is perfect for formal occasions or when I want to make a lasting impression.


When I’m feeling adventurous, I don the Buckaroo hat, a favorite among rodeo cowboys.

The hat features a tall, open crown with a distinctive, wide brim that dips down in the front and back. 

It’s often adorned with a flashy hatband or even a few feathers, adding a touch of flair. 

The Buckaroo hat is perfect for showcasing cowboy skills and making a statement in the arena.


A nod to our Spanish influences, the Vaquero hat is a style that connects to the traditions of the early Mexican cowboys. 

This hat features a low, rounded crown with a wide, upturned brim that provides excellent shade. 

The Vaquero is often decorated with intricate designs or embroidery, adding a touch of artistry to any cowboy wardrobe.


I hope this article has been informative and entertaining for you. 

We’ve covered a lot of ground when it comes to cowboy hat styles, from the classic Cattleman to the modern Gambler. 

Remember, when choosing a cowboy hat, it’s important to consider both style and function. A good cowboy hat should not only look great, but also protect from the sun and wind. 

And don’t forget to take care of your hat by storing it properly and cleaning it regularly. 

In conclusion, the cowboy hat is an iconic piece of western fashion that has stood the test of time. 

With so many styles to choose from, there’s a cowboy hat out there for everyone. 

So whether you’re headed to the rodeo or just out for a night on the town, grab your cowboy hat and let your inner cowboy shine.