Anyone can find a western style hat that best suits them if they take an honest assessment of their facial shape and shop accordingly. Shoppers should be aware that cowboy hats tend to have exaggerated proportions that can attract attention to features like very thin faces, jowly chins and broad foreheads. Balance is the key.
Choose hats with a low crown in order to minimize the appearance of a long, thin face.
Brims that tilt downward can also help minimize the appearance of a long face and neck.
In addition, medium-sized brims makes a thin face appear fuller.
Strive for a "happy medium" in terms of the hat's height and width: If the hat's crown is too high or too low, the face appears to bulge; a brim that's too wide makes the face appear oblong.
Brims with an upward tilt draw the eye upward and inward; giving the illusion of a thinner, smaller face. Faces that are full at the chin and pointy on top require hats with low crowns and brims that extend further than the chin's width.
Wider brims and/or high crowns reduce the prominence of foreheads.
A brim that's too thin makes the face balloon in appearance.
Don't be bashful about asking a friend, a fellow shopper or a salesperson if the hat you're trying on helps your overall look to appear balanced.
Shop around. The hat that looks at first like a bargain may ultimately attract dust in your closet if it doesn't fit your face. On the other hand, don't assume that the hat that's costs more suits your face the best.
A. Scott Walton began his journalism career in 1985 at the "Nashville Tennessean." His reports have extended to radio, television and the Web and he has written extensively for the "Detroit Free Press," the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution," the "Atlanta Voice" and many other publications. Walton holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Vanderbilt University.