"Today, while there are many manufactures involved in making both inexpensive wool and machine blocked hats, as well as custom manufactures making hand creased MAGIC, the basic hat remains the same. Its function continues to protect its wearer from the blistering effects of the sun and the tortures of wind and rain. While some of today's hats remain true to their turn-of-the-century beginnings and others follow their own design features, today's cowboy hat continues to be seen as the last vestige of apparel of a young and untamed nation. Every hat makes a statement about the tough individuality at the center of every pioneer that carved a life from the new frontier." says Ritch Rand.
The cowboy hat was a regular and necessary part of the cowman's daily wear. The wide brim made quick work of fanning a fire. It could be used to whip a horse, wave to distant riders, and yes, even lend an air of grace and prestige to the man beneath its brim. And, of course, during inclement weather, the cowboy hat served as a very effective umbrella or sunscreen.
In addition, there came to be a kind of code to the particular style, shape, and size of the cowboy hat. While it remained a universal image of the American West, certain nuances in shape, size, and style provided specific information of the wearer's background and geographic base. With a subtle adjustment to the brim and a couple of extra dents in the crown, a man could indicate that he was from the northern regions of Nevada or the rough plains of Texas, the wind-whipped ranges of the Rockies or the low deserts of New Mexico.