The Unwritten Cowboy Hat Rule – Why it Matters

The Unwritten Cowboy Hat Rule – Why it Matters

When you think of cowboys, what comes to your mind? Is it the horse, the boots, the guns, or the iconic cowboy hat? The cowboy hat has become a symbol of the Wild West, representing the spirit of independence, freedom, and adventure. However, did you know that the cowboy hat has its own set of unwritten rules? In this blog post, we'll explore the cowboy hat etiquette, its history, and why it matters.

The cowboy hat rule is a set of unwritten guidelines that governs the etiquette of wearing a cowboy hat. Its origin can be traced back to the 1900s, when cowboys wore their hats as a practical measure to protect themselves from the harsh sun and rain. Over time, the cowboy hat became a fashion statement, and its rules began to emerge. Here are some of the cowboy hat etiquette guidelines and common cowboy hat rules that you should know:

Remove your hat indoors:

This is the most significant cowboy hat rules when entering a building, whether it's a restaurant, a church, or someone's home, it's customary to remove your hat as a sign of respect. Men should hold the hat in their hand or place it upside down on their lap, while women can simply put it on the table.

Don't touch or borrow someone's hat:

Cowboy hats are very personal items, and it's considered rude to touch or borrow someone else's cowboy hat without their permission. It's like messing with someone's toothbrush or hairbrush – it's just not done.

Wear the hat straight:

Cowboy hats are designed to be worn straight, with the brim facing forward. Tipping the hat towards the back or side is not only a fashion faux pas but can also be dangerous, as it can obstruct your vision.

Choose the right hat for the occasion:

There are different types and styles of cowboy hats, and each one has its own function and meaning. For example, a black felt hat is more formal and suitable for dressier occasions, while a straw hat is more casual and ideal for outdoor activities. When you wear cowboy hats make sure they fit right and your comfortable.

So, why does the cowboy hat etiquette matter? For one, it shows your respect for tradition and culture. By following the unwritten rules, you are paying homage to the cowboys who came before you and the legacy they left behind. Secondly, it shows your manners and etiquette. By taking off your hat indoors or wearing it straight, you are demonstrating your social skills and consideration for others. Lastly, it shows your personality and style. By choosing the right hat for the occasion, you are showcasing your individuality and taste.

wearing cowboy hats

Cowboy Hats: Understanding the Rules for Felt Hats

No cowboy ensemble is ever complete without a stunning hat. With that said, it’s crucial to understand the rules of cowboy hats, especially felt hats. Whether you are a seasoned cowboy or a newbie, knowing the proper ways to wear, clean, and store your felt cowboy hat can guarantee an extended lifespan. With that said, this post aims to discuss everything there is to know about the rules of felt cowboy hats.

Hat Sizing:

The first rule of cowboy hats is to get the correct size. Felt cowboy hats come in different sizes, and when choosing one, it's essential to ensure that it fits firmly and does not move around too much on your head. A loose-fitting hat can be uncomfortable, and a tight-fitting one can lead to headaches and an unflattering look.

How To Wear:

When wearing your cowboy hat, ensure that it covers your forehead and the back of your neck. If the brim is too big and falls forward, then get it adjusted accordingly. Also, when putting it on or off, use both hands and grab it from the brim’s sides, lifting it gently to avoid damaging the crown.

How To Clean:

Felt cowboy hats require regular cleaning to keep them looking new and stylish. If the hat is lightly soiled, get a soft-bristled brush and start brushing downwards in a counter-clockwise direction. For heavy stains, use a damp cloth and avoid using detergents, which can harm the hats' fabric. Always allow the hat to air dry and avoid using heat sources.

How To Store:

When it's time to store your felt cowboy hat, try not to store it in direct sunlight or excessive heat since both can warp the hat’s shape. Get a hat rack or a proper hatbox and keep it in a cool and dry place. Always avoid storing the hat on its crown since this can affect the shape and flattening of the hat.

Cowboy Hat Etiquette:

Finally, knowing proper cowboy hat etiquette is a must. It's rude and impolite to leave your cowboy hat on when you enter an establishment, except for a designated cowboy bar or rodeo event. Also, do not touch or take someone's hat unless permitted. Respect is crucial, the hat may be a very personal item and a hat is often the pride and joy of the cowboy wearing it.

Felt cowboy hats offer a unique style and appeal to any cowboy outfit. With proper care, your felt hat can last many years and always look new despite wear and tear.The essential rules to remember are sizing, wearing, cleaning, storage, and etiquette. Follow these rules, and you will be the most fashionable cowboy in town.

cowboys, cowgirls, fence

Why Can’t a Cowboy Hat Touch the Bed? The Mystery Explored

Cowboy hats are one of the most iconic fashion items in American history. They take up a special place in many people’s hearts. But did you know that according to an old cowboy tradition, a cowboy hat should never touch the bed? But why is that? In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this strange practice and the possible explanations behind it.


One explanation behind the tradition is that cowboys were a superstitious lot. They believed that a hat on the bed brought bad luck. The hat could bring diseases, nightmares, or even death for the wearer. The belief was so strong that cowboys would rather leave their hat outside the bedroom or hang it up on a hook than place it on the bed.


Another reason why cowboys were against placing their hats on a bed is hygiene. Cowboys usually wore their hats outside, and as such, they could easily pick up dirt, sweat, and other grime. If they placed their hats on the bed, they would transfer all that dirt and sweat onto the bedding. This could lead to infections and sickness.


For some cowboys, it was all about fashion. A cowboy's hat was not just a piece of clothing, it was a statement, and how they treated it showed their personality. They never wanted to be caught dead putting their hat on the bed. To them, it was an indication of disrespect for the hat and everything it stood for.


In cowboy culture, the hat is a symbol of respect. It shows respect for yourself and others. Cowboy hats were not cheap, and they took a lot of effort to maintain. Hence, it was disrespectful to throw it on something as common as a bed. It signified a lack of appreciation for the time and resources that went into making and keeping the hat in good condition.


Finally, the tradition might have started because of practical reasons. Cowboy hats came in a range of shapes and sizes, and they needed to be stored correctly to maintain their shape. Laying the hat on a flat surface like a bed could cause it to lose its form. Hanging it up to dry was a better option.

Cowboys wore hats for practical, cultural, fashion, and traditional reasons. The practice of not placing a cowboy hat on a bed may have originated from superstitions, hygiene concerns, and practicality. Even today, the rule still holds among some old-time cowboys and western enthusiasts. In conclusion, whether you believe in the tradition or not, the cowboy hat remains a crucial part of Western culture, and its fascinating history deserves respect and admiration.

Model with Topped Hats

Topped Hats

With so many different styles of custom cowboy hats available to choose from, Topped Hats is your go-to for quality and originality. Whether you’re looking for a traditional look or something more modern, you’ll find the right fit here. Our custom hats come in a variety of sizes, colors, and fabrics to fit any occasion or dress code. So don't wait any longer - express your style and purchase a custom cowboy hat from Topped Hats today! From fashion-forward designs to classic western looks, there’s something for everyone.


The cowboy hat is more than just a hat – it's a symbol of a way of life, a tradition, and an identity. By following the cowboy hat etiquette, you are not only respecting the past but also contributing to the future of western culture. So, the next time you put on your cowboy hat, remember these unwritten rules, and wear it with pride and grace.

cowgirl, cowboy hat, wagon wheel