The Symbol of the American West and a Giveaway by Charlene Sands

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What do all these images below have in common?   If you guessed the cowboy hat, you’d be right.  Personally I love a man in a cowboy hat.   On paper, in movies and at the rodeo, but if I see a man wearing a cowboy hat out in public, well now, that’s a different matter, since I live in the city.  So seeing a city-slicker wearing a Stetson does turn my head and make me question, why?   It’s intriguing to say the least and only a few can pull it off and make you believe.  Not so in the Old West though.


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Here are some fun facts about the cowboy hat you may not know:

We’ve all heard the term “ten-gallon hat” but did you know it’s believed to come from not the exaggerated amount of water the hat can hold,  but from the Spanish term “tan galán” which translates loosely into “handsome hat” or “really fine hat”.

 It is the one article of clothing that if worn in other parts of the world, is immediately associated with the American cowboy and the Old West.

The term “Mad as a hatter” came from early hatters who used mercury in the making of their felt. Their bodies absorbed mercury, and after several years of making hats, the hatters developed violent and uncontrollable muscle twitching and for some, brain damage.  Their weird movements and obvious strangeness was then attributed to madness giving no blame to the toxic mercury they worked with.

John Batterson Stetson created the “Boss of the Plains” hat and because each one of his hats was embossed with his name in gold, the hat soon became known as the Stetson.  Some, in the early days called the hat, the John B.

Everyone from the Texas Rangers (the first law enforcement agency to wear these hats) to the famous men and women in American history,  Buffalo Bill Cody, Calamity Jane, Annie Oakley, President Roosevelt and the U.S. Calvary, wore the Stetson.

If this is truly true, what a testament to the Stetson’s durability –  It is said that some 14 years after the battleship USS Maine sank in 1898, the ship was raised from the Havana Harbor and a Stetson was found in the wreckage.  Sitting in seawater and exposed to harsh elements, once the hat was cleaned off, it appeared undamaged.  The durability and water resistant nature of the hat was heralded publicly in 1912 and only proved to the country the great product Stetson had produced.

***Take a peek at this 3 min video to see how a Stetson Hat is made today.  I found it fascinating and now I know why they cost so much!

Do you or your significant other wear hats?  My hubby wears ball caps all the time. He owns a cowboy hat, but doesn’t wear it, not even when we go to country western concerts.  It’s not him.  Takes a certain kind to wear a cowboy hat…like a real cowboy!   Do you agree?

Post a comment today and you’ll be entered in a Happy New Year giveaway of am available back list book of your choice!   Don’t delay!  And be sure to check out my next Moonlight Beach Bachelor story…One Secret Night, One Secret Baby available now for pre-order:

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39 thoughts on “The Symbol of the American West and a Giveaway by Charlene Sands”

  1. It does take the right guy or gal to wear a cowboy hat! Neither my hubby nor I are among that group. He wears ball hats a lot. Me? I only wear hats when we’re hiking or something.

  2. When I first met my husband he wore his black stetson hat!!! He looked so handsome!!!! I’ve tried western hats on before. The hats do not look right on me.

  3. I didn’t know any of these facts. Thanks for sharing. My husband doesn’t wear a hat. he used to wear a baseball hat in the mornings when his hair was longer. Now all he wears is a little knitted thing over his head at work when it’s really cold outside.

    • Hi Janine
      Yes, my hubby will wear a wool cap and I admit he does look cute in a rugged, mountain man kind of way, especially if he’s wearing a plaid shirt or jacket. Actually, he looks good in all kinds of hats, except a Stetson. It just doesn’t go with his personality. I remember driving through Texas and was amazed at how many men AND women wore western hats!

  4. No hats for me or my hubby. It does take a certain persona to pull off wearing a cowboy hat, male or female. I do like seeing it worn in the city too, it makes a statement.

  5. Mine wear ball caps all the time. He does have a cowboy hat but does not wear it. I think only a cowboy looks good in them.

  6. I think it takes certain people to pull off wearing a hat. With that being said – I prefer to see them on a “real cowboy”.

  7. My hubby and his groomsmen wore cowboy hats at our wedding. I love them! We both own a couple of them and used to wear them much more than we do now. Now I wear baseball caps all the time. I’m just a hat girl.

  8. We usually don’t wear hats. If it’s really sunny and we’re hiking we will wear a baseball hat. We grew up in Wisconsin. I don’t think I ever saw a person wearing a cowboy hat. I associate them with ranches, Texas, rodeos, cowboys and Country and Western singers. I also associate them romance book cover heroes!

    • Hi Laurie G.
      I’ve always loved reading westerns with true cowboys, but the Stetson really hit home with me when I became a country music fan. Tim McGraw knows how to wear a cowboy hat, and Brad Paisley and of course, George Strait. I’m not seeing a lot of newer Country singers wearing them anymore.

  9. Well I don’t wear hats but my husband does wear a baseball hat about every day. You are right about that not all men can wear a cowboy hat, most that I have seen around here just doesn’t look right on them. I think it takes a real cowboy to pull it off and we don’t have any of those around here.

  10. How interesting,,we dont wear cowboy hats but occ my grown daughter will,,i like visors,,my husband loves his baseball caps,,he has a wide selection

    • HI Vickie C
      Oh, my grown daughter too, has a hat face and good hair. She can pull off any hat and I do think she looks adorable in a cowboy hat. I wear hairspray on my hair and that’s about it. Ha!

  11. What an amazing video.. I never realized what went into making a Stetson…Not many guys I know where a cowboy hat, mostly ball caps.

    • Hi Kathleen
      I know! I had no idea how a Stetson was made. All that fuzzy fur making the felt and then how they shape it and all. They still use beaver, mink and chinchilla fur, the higher quantity of fur means more XX’s on the hat. I guess it’s a gauge of some sort. I’m happy you watched the video!

  12. My dad wears a ball cap all of the time when he goes out… hats do not look that good on me… once in a while I will wear a ball cap…

  13. Interesting post. I only wear goofy hats to ward off the weather, but in our younger days my boyfriend (now husband of a million years) was a cowboy and wore the hat. Pretty cute. Retired now and mostly at home so no hats except for the occasional ball cap. Thanks for the giveaway.

  14. I love fascinating facts like that! My husband has a huge collection of baseball caps but living in PA, not too many cowboy hats are worn lol. I have thick hair and never really cared for myself in hats (I liked them when I was young though).

  15. Hi Charlene, what great facts! Thanks for sharing. I agree with you, we don’t see too many Stetsons around here, but when the horse rescue has fundraisers, they tend to show up LOL. I do not have a Stetson but I have a western-style had I got in Lake Tahoe that I have worn a few times. Mostly it’s my visor from the Parker Ranch LOL. I also got the Parker ball cap with horses on but I like the visor better. Hugs and happy new year…best of luck with the Bachelor! xoxox

  16. We live in the East and have relatives in the West. Both my father and my grandfather wore Stetsons as long as I knew them.
    those hats are very durable and their prices meant they were quality and built to last. They were not cowboy hats.

    My husband bought me a cowboy hat because he likes them on me and so he could find me in the stores–works well! I love them.

  17. Thanks so much for the link to the video. I was familiar with the finishing steps, but didn’t realize how they started production. Not everyone can pull off wearing a cowboy hat. In some cases they just don’t look right on a person. Sometimes, they are just out of place. My husband has two, a felt one and a summer woven one. He got them when we were living in Colorado and it just seemed right to wear them. We have lived in the Washington, DC area and East TN since then. It just doesn’t seem to fit in in those places. That is not to say people aren’t wearing them here. There are a large number of males that sport the boots, Levis, and hats on the East Coast. Very few are the real deal and it shows.

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