Yep,I do my best to de modernize modern cowboy hats.Whenever I find a good quality one in need of attention it gets cleaned ,unshaped and re blocked to a 19th century configuration.That way I'm depriving the world of one less mediocre hat configuration(think a brim that looks for all the world that looks like fins on a '59 Cadillac) and putting out one more authentic hat.Of course there are those who love the style and I suppose they(THE HATS,NOT THE PEOPLE) have their place.Those who love them really try to make a case for their period appropriateness offering some often desperate sounding reasoning for why they would have looked like that in a 19th century context.It's about has silly as seeing a 1950's grease styled pompadour hairstyle on an actor in a western from that era!
Anthony, I have 4 of the original wood hat molds, three with rounded crowns and one with a flat crown. So far I have "saved" 9 Stetsons from their fate as Rodeo hats and turned most of them to open crowns with flat brims. One has a depressed crown with just a might of a cant to the brim.
I guess we can think of ourselves as hat de programmers,saving a few good hats from the rodeo hat cult.I like pencil rolls and moderate pan dipping and usually resort to a center crease or a telescope depressed crown(as in Josie Wales).
I remember that almost a half century ago the New York Daily News made some snide remarks about Pres. Lyndon Johnson's affinity for Stetson cowboy hats. They said something like "the 'ten gallon' hat was about the ugliest hat ever worn by man." But LBJ wore a rather moderate "Open Road" type (as did Truman and Eisenhower, as well) with a pretty short, slightly curled brim. I was perplexed by the newspaper's statement, because, even as a kid, I loved cowboy hats, being enamored of Roy Rogers and Gene Autry.
Now, even though I'm a stickler for costume authenticity in movies, I still love most modern cowboy hats, though some of the rodeo and country music styles are extreme and unattractive. There's aerodynamic beauty in the sweep and swoop of the brim, and how its appearance changes as the hat moves.
I am one of the relatively few people who wear a cowboy hat on the streets of New York City, and my wife sometimes wears a straw one in the summer. I, too, have demodernized some of them, though I alternate between 20-21st Century styles, and 19th Century-appearing types. I don't spend much for my hats, however, and my felt specimens are almost all of wool. My son bought me some more expensive, rather flamboyant straw cowboy hats for my birthday and for Father's Day.
I always loved a good hat rant myself!
We members need to spice up the conversation once and a while for ol' BBB and stir the pot a little to keep him on his toes. (A fellow has gota feel needed.)
My thoughts are that flat top crowns were never very well represented in the films, in comparison to how common they were back in the days of the western frontier. Ya just got to love a hat that sits flat on the table when you set it down proper.
In my part of Brooklyn, many of the Hassids (not hayseeds) wear hats that bear a close resemblance to the Boss of the Plains, except they "come in all colors, as long as it's black," and usually have a small roll to the brim.
William, That's a dandy hat.I have a pecan Stetson with a moderate gus crease and a big 5 inch brim with a pencil roll and a bound edge.It's hard to believe that I bought it in 1978 in my first year of graduate school and it has held up through rough terrain and bad weather with only the occassional cleaning and reblocking.Keep your powder dry!
A lot of American cowboys along the border 'went Mexican,' wearing sombreros & Mexican tri-color sashes under their pistol belts, along with Mexican-style spurs. A Mexican poncho is a very handy garment & a lot of guys tied one behind the saddle. It's warm when you need warm, it's a windbreaker as long as the wind's to your front or back, it'll keep you relatively dry in a light rain but not in a heavy one, & it can be used as a blanket at night.
How do you know that those cowboys were'nt going Italian wearing those sashes.Perhaps they were those legendary cowboys of the old west--the spaghetti westerners!