Happy Straw Hat Month!

Did you know April was the Straw Hat Month? Sponsored by the Headwear Information Bureau, Straw Hat Month is meant to remind you to exchange your knitted and felt hats for straw ones in preparation for the warmth of spring and summer. The way to observe this month is to wear your favorite straw hat or purchase a new one, and then use #StrawHatDay hashtag on social media to share.

Want to figure out what kind of straw hat to buy? Read on!

Cowboy hat photo by Clint McKoy

Being that this blog is written in the American West for lovers of all things cowgirl and cowboy, the first type of straw hat that comes to mind is a cowboy hat, but there are many other styles of this popular type of lid. There's also the Boater hat - a formal straw hat with a flat top and brim, the Panama hat - an expensive, finely woven straw hat, the Conical hat - a hat worn primarily by farmers in Asia, the Buntal hat - a formal or semi-formal hat from the Philippines, and then, there's straw fedoras, floppy hats, big sun hats... and the list goes on.

Now, back to straw cowboy hats. We've got Bangora and other work hats. These machine made hats stand up to the elements and keep you cool in hot summer months. The only problem's that they are lacquered to help them keep their shape, and you need to be very careful when you try to clean them, lest you mess up the lacquer and your hat loses its shape.

There are also higher quality hats. The X-factor's not just a show you see on TV. The X designation is used for both felt hats and straw hats to suggest quality. The higher the X number, the better quality the hat. So, in straw hats, you'd want to go with a 15X-plus designation when you have to dress up for summer happenings.

Then, you have palm leaf hats. They're usually more expensive than Bangoras, but there's a reason for that. First, these hats are hand-woven, and second, they clean up really easily when it's time to dress up. Plus, you can easily shape them yourself.

Last but not least, how do you know when's the proper time to switch your straw hat for a felt and the other way around? Traditionally, straw hats are worn from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and felt hats the rest of the time. Also, you can always wear felt for dressier occasions, winter or summer.

Now that you know all of this, have a happy rest of the Straw Hat Month! Tip your hat and say, "howdy" when you see us and Buckaroo Bling out and about. Find out where to catch us at the orange link below.

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