Boss of the Plains Hat

In 1865, John B. Stetson designed the Boss of the Plains conical hat as a lightweight, all-weather conical hat for the demands of the American West. It was supposed to be tough, watertight, and full of flavor. This plan, as well as the term “Stetson,” eventually became linked with everything but the Texas-style hat.

Available Styles

Some members of the Dodge City Peace Commission wore Boss of the Plains hats in 1883. The Boss was designed with a high crown to provide protection at the highest point of the head, as well as a wide solid edge to provide protection for the face, neck, and shoulders from both sun and rain. The first fur-felt cap was water-resistant and kept rain out.

In general, the cap was sturdy and light. The cap’s underside featured a sweatband, a protective coating, and, as a nod to previous plans, a bow on the sweatband that served as a functional means of distinguishing the front from the rear. With four-inch crowns and overflow, the early plans were standard in shading. For the lash, a simple lash was used.

Stetson agonized over the waterproofing for a long time before deciding to construct his beaver felt cap. To make a beautiful cap, it took about 42 beaver gut pelts. It was waterproof to the point of being used as a cap because of the tight wind of most Stetson caps. In one narrative, a rancher is described as walking a long, dry expanse of grassland. His bottle has a hole in it. He was able to conserve the drinking water by transporting it in his Stetson. The promotion of a cow rustler bathing his pony with water carried in the crown was featured by Stetson. The wearer might also use the edge to direct water to a person’s mouth. In some places, a top-notch cap in excellent shape was also seen.

“Made to order”

An Apache wearing a Stetson that reads, “Manager of the Plains.” For around twenty years, the straight-sided, round-cornered, level-overflowed Boss of the Plains configuration prevailed. The hat does not have a purposeful wrinkle in most nineteenth-century photographs. Crowns were used to keep hats open.

Caps, however, lost their original appearance as a result of their use, misuse, and customization by individual wearers. In particular, the crown would be scraped, at first by chance, then by the deliberate decision of individual proprietors. The edge was rolled or bent on a regular basis, and decoration was occasionally applied. These wrinkles and overflow shapes began to reflect where a certain cap proprietor lived or worked, and in some cases, even cattle rustlers on individual farms could be identified by the wrinkles and overflow shapes.

As a result, the newly created styles began to shift as well. The “Carlsbad wrinkle,” named after a style popular in Carlsbad, New Mexico, was the most well-known modification. It was a long wrinkle slanting from the high back down to the front. Another design was inspired by the pointy top of a Mexican hat, which moved north and became known as the “Montana top,” which had four impressions and was originally created by being cared for on top with four fingers.

4 replies on “Boss of the Plains Hat

  • Deepti Hegde

    It is a wonderful blog for Plain Hats lovers. I like your Hat blog. As Conical hat is widely popular and highly demanded all over the world for its lightweight, durability, and all-weather. The Mad Hatters want to add a sentence here. We are a Hat brand- The Mad Hatters. Our each hat is made by experienced tailors in an audited factory that ensures fair wages and a safe working environment for its majority women workforce. Our mission is to create with a purpose and to provide stylish yet comfortable headwear for discerning customers worldwide. As a responsible brand, we aim to be plastic free and engage in processes that are environment friendly. We are proudly Made in India, Made for the World.


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