Cowboy Hat Fit Guide

Apr 13th 2020

Cowboy Hat Fit Guide

How to Measure to Determine Cowboy Hat Size

Maybe you're looking to replace your well-loved but beat-up cowboy hat. Maybe you're looking to top off that perfect Western look with a hat that's both memorable and comfortable. So how does a cowboy or cowgirl go about finding the perfect hat in the right size?

Hats that are too big can fly off in the littlest bit of wind. Hats that are too small can irritate the skin on your brow and may even cause a headache—the last thing you need while you’re working or out enjoying a date night with your sweetheart.

So how do you find a cowboy hat with the right size and fit? This infographic and guide walks you through how to measure your head, how to convert the measurement to choose the right hat size, and how to choose a new Western hat.

How to Determine Your Hat Size

Gather Your Supplies

First, we're going to need a few supplies to get the numbers. You've got to know the size of the head you're going to be putting into the hat. So go ahead and grab:

  • MEASURING TAPE - The fabric kind you can wrap around your head.
  • STRING - No measuring tape? Use a piece of string or twine and a retractable measuring tape or ruler.
  • WRITING UTENSILS - Piece of paper and pen to write down your measurements.

How to Measure Your Head

You've got your tape measure, and you've got your head or the head of the cowboy in need of a new hat. It's time to measure.

  1. Whether you're using a measuring tape or the string, you'll want to start one end around the middle of your forehead about half an inch above your ear.
  2. Wrap the tape measure or string around your head. Make sure to lay the measuring tape or string about midway on your occipital bone (that little bump in the middle of your head at the back.)
  3. Cross it over where it meets the point you started at—at the middle of your brow.
  4. Keep your finger on where the measuring tape meets, then look to see the measurement number. If you're using string, make a mark on the string, unwind it, and use your retractable tape measure or ruler to get the length.
  5. Compare the measurement to a cowboy hat size chart to convert the measurement and determine your hat size.

Average Cowboy Hat Size Conversion Chart

Explore this chart to find your ideal hat size. If you’re unsure, come on in to visit us—we’ll help you try on a few sizes and styles to find the best fit.

Size Head Measurement (Inches) Hat Size
Extra Small 20 ¼ Inches 6 ⅜
Extra Small 20 ⅝ Inches 6 ½
Extra Small 21 Inches 6 ⅝
Small 21 ½ Inches 6 ¾
Small 21 ⅞ Inches 6 ⅞
Medium 22 ¼ Inches 7
Medium 22 ⅝ Inches 7 ⅛
Large 23 Inches 7 ¼
Large 23 ⅜ Inches 7 ⅜
Extra Large 23 ¾ Inches 7 ½
Extra Large 24 Inches 7 ⅝
2XL 24 ½ Inches 7 ¾
2XL 25 7 ⅞
3XL 25 ½ Inches 8

What Size Do You Choose if You’re Between Hat Sizes?

If you're in between hat sizes, don't worry—choose the next larger size. So say your head measures a little over 22 ⅝ inches, but not quite 23? Go ahead and choose the 23 inches, or size 7 ¼ (Large.) You want a hat that's most comfortable, and there's nothing comfortable about a cowboy or cowgirl hat that rubs your skin raw or is so tight it causes a headache. It's easier to fix a hat that's a little large than one that's too small.

How to Choose a Cowboy Hat Style

You've got the numbers and you've got your size all figured out. So why not go ahead and get your new cowboy hat? Hold on there, partner—to determine the right cowboy hat style, consider where are you going to wear this hat. Where you're going with your new hat should influence what materials you choose so the fit is always perfect. A working cowgirl should have a hat that won't shrink or stretch, and a cowboy might need a fancy hat to match his new boots and shirt for a casual night on the town.

Western Hat Materials

When you look through our cowboy hatshere at Stages West, you start noticing something: Some of our hats are marked 2X, 4X, or even higher. What's that X mean? That X tells you that those hats are made of a higher quality, denser fabric—or in the case of our straw hats, finer weaves and smaller fibers. This indicates hats crafted to last you longer than the average hat.

The higher the X, the more durable and smoother to the touch. A working cowboy wants to look for a higher X cowboy hat to withstand weather or anything they may face.

Straw cowboy hats are comfortable for summer months or if you're working in high temperatures. Straw, sisal, palm leaf, and other straw hats allow sweat to evaporate and that means feeling a lot cooler. For X-rated straw hats, higher the X factor, the more durable the hat. The drawback to straw hats, however, is they don't like to be packed away, left in the backseat of a car too long, or get too wet. Unless the straw hat is made of a palm leaf straw, then try and wear straw only in light rain. Lower X straw hats might not withstand tough use.

Felt/felt fur hats were designed specifically for rainy days or areas that experience a lot of downpours. These are the best choice too for the winter, as well as wool cowboy hats.

Wool hats are probably best used in dry climates without a lot of rain or humidity and they aren't recommended in wet conditions—unless, of course, your wool hat is pre-treated with a water repellent. Wool is definitely a good choice for keeping you warm, too.

Leather or suede cowboy hats are the go-to hats for water resistance and are extremely durable. The downside is they aren’t as breathable in the summer and can be very hot.

Ultimately, the choice of Western hat material is up to the cowboy—and Stages West carries all of the styles you love. Use this handy guide to find your hat size for the perfect fit, and explore our blog for more ideas for everything from boots to Western wear.