Cowboy hats remain a staple for men and women in many parts of the United States, Canada and other countries. Although cowboy hats come in a variety of styles, including different tops and brims, the basic style is the same for men's and women's cowboy hats. A woman's hat may have more decoration or bling or come in softer colors; the hatband above the brim traditionally ties on the right rather than on the left on a woman's hat, according to The Last Best West website.
A woman's cowboy hat may be smaller than a man's. To figure out your hat size, divide your head circumference measured in inches by 3.145. If you order a custom hat, the hat maker will fit the hat precisely to your head. Any hat made in your hat size is fine for either a man or woman to wear, although men may find pink hats with rhinestones not to their liking, regardless of fit.
Traditional cowboy hat colors for men include black, brown, white, gray or silver, and tan. Traditional colors also work well for women, but women also wear cowboy hats in less traditional colors, such as red, blue or pink.
Most cowboy hats for men have little decoration outside of a satin or leather hatband or other decoration just above the brim. A woman's hat may have a wider, more colorful hatband adorned with jewelry or a piece of jewelry on the front and center of the hat. Decoration is a matter of taste. A man's hat may have more elaborate decoration than a woman's, depending on the owner's preference. While the hatband ribbon traditionally ties on the right for women, a woman can have the ribbon tie on either side today.
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The best cowboy hats for both men and women are made from felt, made from beaver or rabbit fur or a combination of the two. The percentage of beaver to rabbit, the less desirable material, is designated with a number followed by an X. An expensive hat may be marked as 100X, meaning it contains 100 percent beaver fur. The number doesn't designate the percentage in all cases, however. A hat marked 10 X might contain a 50-50 mix of beaver and rabbit. Different manufacturers use different scales, according to The CanadianCowboy.com. Ask your salesperson what the actual percentage is.
A registered nurse with more than 25 years of experience in oncology, labor/delivery, neonatal intensive care, infertility and ophthalmology, Sharon Perkins has also coauthored and edited numerous health books for the Wiley "Dummies" series. Perkins also has extensive experience working in home health with medically fragile pediatric patients.