Construction of I-5 in 1962 significantly affected the traffic volume on US 99. Business at Hat n' Boots went into a long decline and the station eventually closed in 1988. After 15 years of neglect and deterioration, Hat n' Boots is now in the process of landmark designation and on the road toward its rebirth in a local park.
If you want to follow this story to its successsful conclusion you can at the Official web site of world's largest cowboy hat and boots. Now on with a Hats and Boots discussion more in line with why you're here - a brief history of the cowboy hat and the cowboy boot, followed by information on materials, sizing, and sources you should find helpful.
a) If Boots are on your mind you'll find information concerning materials, prices, sizing, etc; by clicking on
b) if Cowboy hats are on your mind, read on.
Cowboy Hats - History, Styles and Sizing
The cowboy hat as we know it goes back to the 1860's with John B. Stetson credited as the inventor. Before Stetson introduced his wide-brimmed Boss of the Plains, cowpunchers wore everything from top hats and derbys to sailor's hats and Civil War gear.
Most people look good in a cowboy hat which is truly a marvelous invention.
and with the right shaped hat - be rather unique
The higher quality hats are made from felt (animal underfir to be more precise), one of the smoothest, lightest and resilient fabrics known in addition to being highly water-resistant. A good rain never hurt a quality felt hat.
If the seemingly infinite number of cowboy hat styles and shapes is puzzling to you, The Cowboy Hat Book by William Reynolds is designed to help you understand this unique item of cowboy clothing.
Beginning with a brief history of the cowboy hat, the book explains the building of the perfect hat, its care and feeding, hat etiquette, hat hair, and more. Photos of real and movie cowboys illustrate how creases, brims, shapes, and trims are unique to the individual who wears each hat.
For more details just click on the illustration which will take you to the appropriate page on Powell.coms website.
Of course if you have a dealer in cowboy hats in your vicinity, that is the best place to start if for no other reason than the conveience involved. If you do choose to shop by mail-order or over the Internet, the key factor, once you have found a style to your liking, is going to be the head size. Many (but not all) on-line dealers have a chart of one type or another which equates the inches around the head to the hat size. Measuring the head really is critical, being much more important to communicate to the dealer than just the hat size. A chart is provided below for your use should you be on the verge of purchasing a hat on-line.
Of course if this is a gift and is supposed to be a surpise, the hat size may be your only option. In that case, a tad too large is better than a tad to small.
Using a tape measure, measure the head's circumference at its widest part, just above (about 1/2") the ears and eyebrows, to the nearest 1/8 inch.
With this information in hand you can shop for a hat through the mail or over the Internet with a pretty good dose of confidence that you will end up with a hat that is a good fit.
A rather unique hat shop that popped up on the monitor is the JAXONBILT HAT CO. out of Salmon, Idaho.
If you've a favorite movie or TV western star or role, be it Hoppy with his distinctive crown, the Lone Ranger (very stylish), John Wayne, or another hero, JAXONBILT makes hats emulating these famous western movie hat styles in addition to their regular line of western and custom hats.
Another good place to start? Whether you're looking for a Stetson or another fine brand , you'll find a very wide selection of cowboy hats at
- or pay a visit to our Gift Shop.