Colored and “personalized” hats have slowly re-emerged on the show circuits and into the rodeo arena. I will always be a sucker for the timeless black felt hat, cleaned and creased to perfection but there is something so individual about rocking a red hat or a hat with studs, paint, or beaded hat band.
Not sure where to start? Check out Shorty’s Caboy Hattery, Greeley Hat Works or Barbara’s Custom Hats. All three companies are leaders in the custom hat market (and all three dare to be different). Outfitting big names like Tish Fappani, Sharnai Thompson, and Jill Newcomb to name a few.
Fallon Taylor took it upon herself to re-introduce truly colored hats to the rodeo scene. She rocked over 24 different hats at the National Finals Rodeo, ranging from blue to red and painted by Glam & Grit designs you can’t say she didn’t dare to be different.
Michelle McLeod had a custom grey felt from Shorty’s Caboy Hattery with buckstitched edge and hand painted with her last year’s mount Slick by Design’s name. Its great way to advertise the talented stallion owned by Jason Martin and Charlie Cole of Highpoint Performance Horses.
For the more conservative of us, who stick primarily to a black hat or a silver belly, I recommend following Michelle’s lead and trying a charcoal gray or basically any shade of gray hat. Grey is a safe, gender neutral but will still keep you on trend.
In order to make the most of your colored hat (or any hat for that matter) there are a few care guidelines from Kody Jacobs of Wide Open Custom Hats suggests:
- Don't handle your hat by the crown. This breaks down the fibers.
- Brush/clean your hat regularly to keep dust out of the fibers; this helps extend the life of your hat.
- Temperature is key when storing your hat. Avoid hot cars, or trailers. Heat causes hats to shrink or lose their shape. "The best place to store your hat is on your head," Jacobs said.
- For those storing their hats off their heads: 4. Don't stack your hats, especially light colored hats. The oil and sweat from the other bands can cause discoloration and stains.
- Store your hats in their box or a hat can, don't put them in plastic!