I've been talking a lot about cowboy stuff lately, so let's talk about hats.
Probably the most iconic hat, when we think about Cowboy hats, is Stetson. Stetson is celebrating their 150th anniversary this year and they have a line of hats out to celebrate that milestone. Starting in 1865, John Sttson made a hat that he called "The Boss of the Plains". It became an iconic hat, synonymous with the cowboy hat. It's still a popular model and you can buy one today.
I have a Stetson, that Milady bough for me a couple of Christmases ago. Part of the Gun Club collection, mine is a gray, 5X beaver hat. It's a little bit more dressy than the standard cowboy hat, and very well made, as we expect from a Stetson.
The hat that is symbolic of the Cavalry, PawPaw's favorite branch, is also called the Cavalry Stetson, although many of the hats worn by today's troopers aren't made by Stetson. Mine in particular, is made by the New York Hat Company. They call it the Gambler and it works well as a Cav hat. The simple fact of the matter is that Stetson didn't even start making hats until after the Civil War, so if you ever have someone try to sell you a Civil War era Cav Stetson, do your research. It ain't a Stetson.
Of course, you can't really talk about western hats without talking about Resistol Hats. Lots of these hats are worn by country music stars, rodeo cowboys, working ranchers and run-of-the-mill folks. PawPaw himself has worn Resistol hats although I don't have any in my collection right now. I used to like Resistol straw hats for summer wear. I am told that both Resistol and Stetson are now owned by Hatco, Inc of Garland, TX. They are just brands now, like so many other things in our economy.
There are some craft hat makers around. Folks who make custom hats for fun and profit. There is one in particular I've been watching. Penman hats out of Hillboro, Oregon. I've been following him on Facebook and he seems to have some very nice hats indeed. Presumably, you can order just about anything you like from him. There are contacts at the link if you'd like to contact him.
I like hats and you'll seldom see me wandering about without a hat on my head. Every company I've linked to above has the PawPaw seal of approval.