“A cowboy is known by the hat he wears.”
His hat becomes signature, making an impression, revealing character, forming other’s opinion of who the cowboy really is.
Same does go for caps, but essential to distinguish: “caps are not hats.” Of our peeves calling a cap a hat goes near top.
Cowboys sometimes wear caps; hat is true tool of trade. Most farmers, baseball players, hunters, golfers, and others wear caps.
Hats are worn by cowboys, some farmers, certain businessmen, lawmen, fishermen, hikers, stylish beatniks, a skating Olympics coach, even well-dressed women, especially bygone years (Kitty Russell sure had fancy hats).
There are endless styles and colors. Old-time cowboy shows contend good guys wear white hats, and black hat means bad. Yet, plenty of good cowboys are wearing black hats.
It’s not the style or color that matters. Rather how the cowboy creases and shapes it, cares for it, wears it, personalizes the hat for the cowboy he is.
Consensus often is that hats look better with age, while hat bands, pins, feathers, appeal or distract.
Felt hats are for winter, and straw summer; controversy about date to change. Some cowboys wear felt hats year around, seeming appropriate. Cowboys generally don’t wear leather hats.
Never wearing a black hat, oddly, we had a dark-greenish one for a time, and a brown hat during college; silver or whitish thereafter.
A dozen straw hats worn overtime, even a “farmer straw,” once.
In the handful of felt hats, only one was “just right.” Now more than 30-years-old, it was even worn by daughter as queen.
After becoming dilapidated, “that hat” was sent for restoration, costing more than new, with torn places sewn, some stains yet apparent, it still feels best.
Deciding to get a new hat, we selected everything: brand, color, crown, brim, style, shape, had special ordered, taking several months to get.
Exciting time when “perfect hat” arrived, put it cocked on right ear our way, looked in the mirror, sought bystander opinions; uncertain. The hat’s in the box; we’ll try it again someday.
Yes, an idiosyncrasy, hats are powerful, but…
Reminds us of First Corinthians 2:5: “God’s power did it, which made it clear that your life of faith is a response to God’s power, not to some fancy (hat) mental or emotional footwork by anyone.”