How The Cowboy Hat Became The Breakout Trend Of The Season
From left: Florence, January 2020. Photograph by Mr Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images. Florence, January 2020. Photograph by IMAXtree. Florence, January 2020. Photograph by Mr Vincenzo Grillo/IMAXtree
Here’s a tale to tell: cowboy hats are fashionable. Nobody saw it coming – apart from, perhaps, the Coen brothers – but there’s been a marked uptick in stylish men wearing bonnet toppers worthy of Mr Tim McGraw or The Rich Texan from The Simpsons.
Mr Luke Day, the much-snapped fashion director of GQ, has become something of a Stetson lodestar himself; the hat’s wide-brimmed silhouette is a regular sight on the front row at fashion shows (usually worn by Mr Day with a bejeweled tasseled shirt open to the naval to reveal a thatch of chest hair threaded with medallion necklaces, natch). The street-style set have followed in his stead; cowboy hats are now almost as common on the fashion circuit as logo-printed baseball caps.
Also, perhaps to blame is the relatively recent emergence of country rap, a music genre that fuses hip-hop with country and western that has somehow managed to create some hugely overplayed but also kind of endearing songs. After the initial success of “Old Town Road”, Lil Nas X later put out versions with Mr Billy Ray Cyrus and Young Thug, and even collaborated with Mr Mason Ramsey, the yodelling Stetson-wearing 13-year-old who went viral for singing in Walmart and subsequently appeared on Ellen.
Diplo at the Annual American Music Awards, Los Angeles, 24 November 2019. Photograph by Mr Christopher Polk/Shutterstock
And then there’s the red carpet. Mr Orville Peck and Diplo, who we’d wager were the same person were they not frequently pictured in the same room together, are also huge proponents of cowboy hats – Mr Peck invariably in his leather tasseled mask, while Diplo is clearly a fan of sparkling bolo ties. Lil Nas X took the Western trend right to its limits at the Grammys, showing up wearing a hot pink studded Versace suit with a matching hat, and somehow got away with it.
It’s not, we admit, the easiest thing for a man to pull off – at the time of writing, there are no Stetsons currently available to buy on MR PORTER. But if a man’s got gumption and is fixin’ to get gussied up, there are certainly nods to Western style that he might find in, say, Prada’s leather bolo ties, TAKAHIROMIYASHITA TheSoloist.’s star-print leather cowboy boots, or a chunky gold belt buckle from Sid Mashburn – the perfect things to ride off into the sunset with.