The cowboy hat is a high-crowned, wide-brimmed hat best known as the defining piece of attire for the North American cowboy. Influenced by 19th century Mexican culture, today it is worn by many people, and is particularly associated with ranch workers in the western and southern United States, western Canada and northern Mexico, with country-western singers and ranchero singers in Mexico, and for participants in the North American rodeo circuit. It is recognized around the world as part of Old West lore. The shape of a cowboy hats crown and brim are often modified by the wearer for fashion and to protect against weather.
It is an item of apparel that can be worn in any corner of the world, and receive immediate recognition as part of North American cowboy culture.
The first western model was the open-crowned Boss of the Plains, and after that came the front-creased Carlsbad, destined to become “the” cowboy style. The high-crowned, wide-brimmed, soft-felt western hats that followed are intimately associated with the cowboy image.