The History of Womans Western Hats: From Bonnets to Cowboy Hats

The Western hat is an iconic piece of clothing that has been around for centuries, representing a variety of different looks and styles. From the classic bonnet to the modern cowboy hat, women have been wearing hats in the American West for hundreds of years. 

This article will explore the history of womans western hats and how they’ve evolved over time.

Early Bonnets:

One of the earliest forms of womans western headwear was the bonnet. Bonnets were often made out of cotton, wool or even leather and could be decorated with ribbons, lace, or other materials. These hats were usually worn by women when they traveled on horseback across the plains and deserts. As bonnets became more popular, they became a symbol of fashion, elegance, and style.

Cowboy Hats:

The cowboy hat is one of the most iconic pieces of clothing associated with the American West. Innovations in manufacturing in the late 19th century allowed for this popular style to become commonplace among women. The shape and materials used for cowboy hats varied depending on region and personal preference, but almost all featured a high crown, wide brim, and distinctive shape. 

Modern Womans Western Hats:

Today’s womans western hats still evoke those classic styles while incorporating modern designs that allow them to be worn year round. Styles such as the brimmed fedora or safari hat have become popular additions to any wardrobe while providing an updated look to more traditional western styles. Other popular additions are the flat topped rancher hat and the classic Stetson, both of which have become popular year-round staples of any wardrobe. 

Women’s western hats have a long and storied history, dating back to the early days of the American west. From practical bonnets to stylish cowboy hats, women have used hats to protect them from the elements and make a statement about their personal style.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the history of women’s western hats, from the early days of the west to the present day.

The Early Days: Bonnets and More

The earliest women’s western hats were simple bonnets, designed to protect the wearer from the sun and wind says Chiang Rai Times. These bonnets were often made of plain cloth or straw, and they usually had wide brims to shade the face from the sun. As the west became more settled, more elaborate bonnets appeared, made from fancier materials such as velvet and silk. These bonnets often featured decorative ribbons, feathers, or beads.

Cowboy Hats: The Iconic Look of the West

In the late 19th century, cowboy hats became popular among cowboys of the American west. Initially, these hats were utilitarian in design; they had wide brims to protect against sun and rain, and tall crowns to keep the hat on in windy conditions. Over time, however, cowboy hats evolved into an iconic look that is still popular today. Cowboy hats are now available in a variety of styles and colors, allowing women to make a statement with their western look. 

Modern Styles: Variations on a Classic

Today, women’s western hats come in a variety of styles and materials. From straw cowboy hats to suede fedoras, there is a hat for every occasion and taste. In addition to traditional western looks, many modern women’s western hats feature embellishments such as beads, sequins, feathers, and even rhinestones. 

No matter the style or material, however, women’s western hats remain an iconic part of the American west. They are a symbol of strength and independence, as well as a way to express personal style. From practical bonnets to modern variations on the classic cowboy hat look, women’s western hats will always be an important part of history. 


Women’s western hats have a long and storied history, from practical bonnets to iconic cowboy hats. As the American west has grown and changed, so too have women’s western hats. Today, there is a wide variety of styles available for women looking to make a statement with their western look. From straw cowboy hats to suede fedoras, no matter the style or material, women’s western hats remain an important part of the American west. They are both a symbol of strength and independence and an expression of personal style.