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The Perfect Cowboy Hat


By Nancy Brannon

David Allan Coe once sang about “the perfect country & western song.” Kevin Glover of Brinks Hattery, one of the vendors at the Palomino World Show, creates the perfect western hat. I wondered how he did it, and got a personal demonstration about the process.

Glover says a professionally shaped had makes all the difference in the way a person looks, versus pre-shaped hats that are purchased at a store. “The way the hat fits is important. A professionally shaped hat is shaped to bring out the person’s best features, and the shape varies with the face. The person should feel confident wearing it, and it gives a professional appearance,” he explained. “When I shape a hat for a person, I want the square just outside the eyes. And the brim also varies with the face. For a bigger person, I don’t bring up the brim so high on the sides. If the person is petite, I bring up the brim higher on both sides so the face is not hidden.”

The basics of a show hat vary according to riding discipline. The popular show style crease is called by many the “taco” style. “Ropers want their hats a little wider and a little rounder and softer in front” than the taco style, Glover explained. Bull riders want the brim a bit wider than the show crease.

Glover starts with open and flat hats, and he uses brands such as American Hat Company, Atwood Hats, and Rodeo King. For summer, straw hats are appropriate. The felt hats he uses are made by Rodeo King; the higher end hats are hand made by Greeley Hat Works in Colorado. He likes these because they “put a finer finish on their hats and they all have a truer color,” Glover said.

The first step is to put down a center crease. It should be down the middle, square, and in line with the center of the face. Next, he finishes the crown and moves to the brim, again tailoring it to the specific person’s head shape.

In August, 2016, AQHA Daily published a guide to showing: “Cowboy Hat 101: How to Create the Perfect Look.” The article explained how to find the perfect hat “that’s perfect for you, depending on your preferred corner of the barn. A good hat helps finish the professional look we all strive for in the arena.”

The article explains the styles and shapes required for various show disciplines, and how the hat should complement the person’s face. “When distinguishing your face shape in relation to your hat, the basic rule of thumb is: a narrower face should have a narrower crown with the edges tipped up more than average; and a more round face should sit a little lower with the sides not tipped up quite as high.”

There is also good advice on how to store and care for your hat. While at the Palomino World Show, one of the services Glover offered was the cleaning and re-shaping of exhibitors’ hats.

With help from professional hatters like Glover, you, too, can have the perfect western hat.

Read the full AQHA Daily article at:

Find more information about Brinks Hattery on facebook at:
Lady friend: Rebekah Kazakevicius

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