American popular culture has created the image of a Stetson as the classic cowboy hat. They are distinguished as having wide brims and high, distinctly-shaped crowns. Straw, fur, and wool felt are the common materials used for making these hats. Straw, aside from being cheaper, is the best hat for during hot weather. However, age and long wear might cause it to become brittle. For durability, fur felt hats of either beaver or rabbit are best though more expensive.
Real cowboys have several hats and other than function, they have other reasons. First, straw and hats of light colour are fashionable and must be worn only in the summer or dry seasons. This is because they are airy, breathable, and light colours absorb less heat. Dark coloured and felt hats are worn during the colder months. Aside from protecting the head against the bitter weather, these hats also absorb more heat, thereby keeping the cowboy warm. White hats are no-no after the celebration of Labor day (USA).
Cowboys follow certain etiquette when wearing hats. They are not worn indoors except in public places that are enclosed including malls and square dance halls. Wearing it while dining gives the impolite impression that youâ€™re in a hurry to finish eating and leave. A big NO is wearing it inside Churches.