“I never trust a man who doesn’t wear a cowboy hat.”
-Professor Buzzkill

Everyone loves the cowboy hat. Even if you don’t wear one, you want to see your cowboy movie heroes wearing one. Anything else would be un-American, right?

myth-cowboy-1Wrong. The classic, iconic cowboy hat design didn’t appear until 1865 and didn’t become popular until the end of the 19th century. The vast majority of the famous and infamous cowboys during the “Wild West” period wore derby hats, also called bowler hats. Sombreros were especially popular in the south west. Some cowboys would even wear top hats if they had gentlemanly pretensions.

If you were out walking the streets of Laredo during those days, you wouldn’t see many Stetons, Buzzkillers. Top hats, derby hats, and Sombreros, but no “cowboy hats.”