Thinking about buying your first Stetson but aren’t sure what hat size you need? You’re in luck, partner—we’re here to teach you a thing or two about how to measure for a cowboy hat, and luckily, it’s much easier than roping a runaway steer.
So rustle up a measuring tape and practice your Eastwood squint, because all it takes is about two minutes to determine your ideal hat size and get yourself ready for whatever life throws your way, be it a business-casual luncheon or a long day of riding fences.
How To Measure for a Cowboy Hat
Cowboy hats are worn with the brim, or the flat, horizontal part that attaches to the crown, sitting right around the middle of the forehead—not too high and not too low.
Since this is the part of your noggin where the inner band makes contact, this is the part that you’re going to measure. And you’re going to get it done in four simple steps.
Quick note: Sizing up your own head can be a bit awkward, especially if you don’t happen to be near a mirror. It can help to have someone else handle the actual measuring while you stand there fantasizing about how good you’re going to look in your new Cattleman Crease.
- Take a fabric measuring tape and place it against your forehead roughly ⅛ inch above the tops of your ears. If you measure yourself, start with the 1″ end in front to make it easier to read your final measurement.
- Wind the measuring tape around your head until the loose end overlaps your starting point. Use one finger to hold the ends together.
- Make a note of the number you see where the two sections of the measuring tape come together. To make sure your measurement is as precise as possible, round up to the nearest 1/8th inch.
- Jot down the number on a piece of paper right away. Doing so will keep you from forgetting it as soon as you put down your measuring aid.
Told you it was easy.
Understanding Cowboy Hat Sizes
Cowboy hats come in standardized sizes, diverse head measurements notwithstanding.
The smallest cowboy hat size will generally start with a band circumference of a certain number of inches, then gradually get larger in 1/8th-inch increments. This incremental sizing system makes it a cinch for any ol’ buckaroo to end up with a hat that fits like a glove (so to speak).
The size progression for the average line of cowboy hats might look something like this:
|6 ¾/6 ⅞||7/7 ⅛||7 ¼/7 ⅜||7 ½/7 ⅝||
7 ¾/7 ⅞
Actual Size (Inches)
20 ¼/20 ⅝/21
|21 ½/21 ⅞||22 ¼/22 ⅝||23/23 ⅜||23 ¾/24||24 ½/25|
If you’re not sure whether a given size will fit you comfortably, go with the next size up. Most hats will mold themselves nicely to your skull as you break them in, but it’s still better to have a hat that’s a smidge too loose than one that’s a smidge too tight.
Cowboy Hat Brim Sizes
The size and shape of the cowboy hat brim can vary depending on the style of the hat and the preferences of the owner. Generally speaking, though, they’ll be in keeping with the proportions of the crown, meaning you won’t have to worry about measuring for them separately.
Watch the following tutorial to learn how to measure cowboy hat for yourself.
That’s all there is to it, partner. It’s possible to measure yourself for a cowboy hat quicker than you can say “yippee-ki-yay.”
Once you have an idea what size you need, you’ll be able to find a hat that suits your unique dimensions and ride off victorious into the sunset—looking mighty good while you do it.