APHA
In Design—Fashion Designers, Trendsetters

HATS OFF

Top off your Western ensemble with “hattitude.”

By Raquel Lynn

Standing in front of the mirror, you gaze at the woman wearing a fancy, felt flat brim. Reaching up to caress the brim, you give it a slight adjustment—there—and smile before twirling around, craning your neck to catch another glimpse. Wearing a hat can transform you to another time and place in the ultimate game of dress up for adults—it’s a fabulousfantasy until your insecurities come to fruition: “Am I a hat person? Can I pull this off?

Yes, you can! The hat-wearing craze is blowing through town faster than a tumbleweed in a twister, and with so many options waiting, you can find the right hat to complete your Western look for effortless cowgirl style.

Hats with History

Cowboy hats have topped off Western outfits since the onset of ranching days. For centuries, the time-honored silhouette of the Western hat has been associated with the tough men and women of the West. Their hats told a story. Every crease, scuff and shape was as unique as the wearer.

The multifunctional headpiece shielded a rider’s face from the blinding sun, whipping wind and driving rain. It served as a rampart to signal fellow riders while herding cattle or to prod a stubborn beast along, and it could be up-ended to to shuttle water to cook fires or animals. True cowboys were never without their hats when navigating the Wild West.

Five years ago, Cheryl McMullen, owner and designer of luxury Western brand Double D Ranch, petitioned Trent Johnson of Greeley Hat Works to create Double D’s Western hatline. Cheryl wanted to stretch her creative wings while keeping hat history in mind.

In creating the collection, [the inspiration] was about vintage hats that I had collected over the years or hats that I wanted to have, but didn’t, Cheryl explained.

Cheryl shares the inspiration behind Double D’s popular Old Pawn hat design.

The Old Pawn is a hat I had collected from somewhere,” she said. “We do a lot with vintage jewelry and Navajo pieces, so we took this old flat brim and added fun Navajo silver element for the Double D line.”

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This is an excerpt from the full article—get the whole story in the Fall 2019 Chrome magazine, which is sent to all current APHA members. Not a member? Join or renew at apha.com/join.

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