Stetson is just another word for cowboy hat, right? Almost. Like Kleenex and Xerox, Stetsons are so widespread and ingrained in the culture of hats that the name is practically a universal term.

The Stetson story began in the mid-19th century in East Orange, New Jersey, where a boy named John Batterson Stetson learned how to be a hatter from his father, who was already successful in the trade. By 1865, when Stetson was 35, the aspiring hatter rented a small space in Philadelphia for his shop, spent no more than $100 on tools and materials, and established the John B. Stetson Hat Company.

Within a year, Stetson had introduced a hat called Boss of the Plains. With its wide, flat brim and straight-sided, round crown, the hat was an instant success with anyone working outdoors. It was a particular hit out West, where the short-lived era of the cowboy was in full swing. Other hats from the early years of Stetson include the Carlsbad, whose crown was creased instead of rounded like the Boss’s. Twenty years later, Stetson was the largest hat factory in the world.

It’s thought that Custer was wearing a Stetson when he rode to defeat in the Battle of Little Bighorn, but that didn't stop Canada’s North West Mounted Police from placing an order for the very wide, flat-brimmed hats what would become their trademark look later in the century.

By the 1900s, Stetson hats were on the heads of some of the most famous figures of the day. Buffalo Bill Cody wore Stetsons, as did Will Rogers. In the first half of the 20th century, Stetson was also regarded for its fashionable women’s hats, in Ascot, cloche, and other classic styles—one fedora-like creation was dubbed the Lady Stetson.

For Hollywood, Stetsons were irresistible props. Silent-film star Tom Mix was famous for his big, white 10 Gallon Stetsons—for the record, the hat only held three quarts of water. But the big crown suited the cameras, as well as Texas ranchers, who liked their imposing look.

Today Stetson makes a wide range of form-fitting wool, beaver, and buffalo felt hats in classic Western landscape colors, as well as white and black. Stetson also makes tightly woven straw and Panama hats, one of which features a band and rim that glows in the dark. And Stetson continues to be known for its dress hats, from fedoras to derbies to homburgs.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Des Chapeaux

Des Chapeaux

A French tribute to women's hats and other headwear from the 1940s... primarily magazine images, with some commenta… [read review or visit site]

American Hatpin Society

American Hatpin Society

Who knew there was so much to hatpin collecting? This site is all about great hatpin images - from recent hatpin co… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

New!!! Stetson The Open Road 4x Beaver Mens Cowboy Hat With Pin Size 7 3/8 & BoxVintage Royal Stetson Fedora Hat (mini Whippet) Size 7 1/2 X-largeVintage Org$3.95 30-40s Mens Genuine Panama Stetson Straw Fedora Swing Hat 7&3/8Vintage Stetson 3x Beaver Fedora Hat 7 1/2 Grey Fur Felt Cool Two-tone Liner!Vintage Stetson One Hundred 100 Leather Presentation Case Hat Carrier Box + KeysVintage Royal Stetson Fedora Hat 7 1/4 Open Road Style! Silverbelly Fur FeltStetson Royal De Luxe Men’s Fedora Hat Sz. 7 1/8 Old Stetson Western Cowboy Hat 7 5/8 Grey Gray Tlc Candidate Stetson "dune" The Gun Club Acorn 4x Beaver Fur Felt Cowboy Hat 7 3/8 Mint ConJohn B Stetson 3x Beaver Vintage Open Road Cowboy Hat 71/8 Great ConditionVtg Stephen L Stetson Tall Open Crown Fedora Sz 7 Blue-gray Felt Champ Hat BoxVintage Royal Stetson Size 7 3/8 Mens Fedora Hat - GreyMint Vintage Stetson Men's 6 7/8 "the Open Road" Silverbelly 4x Xxxx Beaver HatVintage Royal Stetson De Luxe St. Regis Fur Felt Homburg Fedora Hat Black 7 1/2Stetson Cowboy Hat Ranch Style Light TanVintage Men's Stetson Open Road Dress Hat Size 7 5/8 Long Oval Pantke-harpke Co.Men's Vintage Stetson Royal Deluxe Brown Fedora Gangster Hat 7-1/8th Vintage 60s Mens Brown Stetson Fedora Hat Gun Club Royal Deluxe Pork Pie 7 3/8Vtg Royal De Luxe Stetson St. Regis Fur Felt Homburg Fedora Hat Navy Blue 7 1/4Men's Royal Stetson Men's Hat Fedora 7 1/8 Long Oval BeaverStetson ~ 4x Beaver ~ Rancher Style ~ Silver Belly ~ Cowboy Hat ~ Size 7 1/4Size 7 1/4 Stetson Vintage '60s 3x Beaver Tan Felt Fedora HatVintage Felt John B Stetson Cowboy Western Hat 7 5/8 3x Beaver Dark BrownMen's Stetson Mallory" Raiders" Style Hat 7 5/8 Moss GreenVintage Stetson "the Open Road" 4x Beaver Western Cowboy Hat Size 7 Long OvalStetson - Indiana Jones 7-3/8 Black Felt Fedora Men With Box - MintMen's 1980's Brown Vintage 3xbeaver "revenger" Stetson HatAntique Vintage Stetson Western No 1 Quality Cowboy Hat 1930sMen's Stetson Beige Trapper Bomber Aviation Winter Cap Faux Fur Large/xl 59-60cmStetson " Gun Club " Tan Felt Fedora Sz. 7 5/8 W/ Orig. Hatbox Vtg Stetson 7 3/8" Black FeltStetson~open Road Shantung Panama 6x Straw Cowboy/western Hat, Size 7 3/8Vintage Men's Stetson Western Brown Cowboy Hat 7 3/4 Feather 2 Pin Jbs John B Nwot Mens Stetson Size 2xl Plum & Turquoise Western ShirtTwo Vintage Stetson 4x Open Road Silver Belly Beaver Western Hats- Size 7 1/4Vintage Stetson Fedora Rancher Western Cowboy Hat 7 1/4 Felt Stetson Gun Club Trader Hat Mist Grey 7 1/8"Old X4 Beaver Felt Stetson Hat 7.5 Moth Eaten Survivor Cowboy Rider Ranch Men! Vintage Stetson 4x Beaver Black Fur Felt Cowboy Hat 7 1/2 Horse Hair Hat Band Vtg 1960's Stephen B Stetson Classic Gray Wool Fedora Hat Sz 7 1/4 Estate Find Old Stetson Cowboy Hat 7 1/8 Western Rider Xxx Beaver Felt Stylin' Needs Tlc Mens John B Stetson Hat Black 4x Beaver Original Box Sz 57-7 1/8 Feathers & PinStetson Cowboy Hat 4x Beaver Fur Acorn Carson PinchVintage Stetson 4x Beaver Fur Felt Cowboy Hat Size 7 1/4 Chocolate Brown Stetson Boater Skimmer Men's Straw Hat Size 7 " Pink Band Vintage EraStetson 4x Beaver Cowboy Hat Size 8 Black With Horsehair Hat Band NiceStetson Ear Flap Hat Cap Men Women L Xl Trapper Bomber Aviator Sherpa Brown New Stetson Xxxx 7 3/8 Hat With Leather BandVintage Black Stetson " Big Country " 4x Beaver. Charlie Daniels Type. Stetson 5x - 6-3/4 - Cowboy Hat - Sf0575d440 4" Brim - Ranch Tan NwobStetson Hat...f3010 Rancher...mist Grey. Oval Size 7 5/8thsStetson Rancher 312 Wf2100 Cowboy Hat - Size 7 3/8 - Sand Pebble - In BoxVintage Stetson "stampede" Acorn 4x Beaver Fur Felt Cowboy Hat 7 1/8 Vintage Mens Gray Fedora Hat Stetson Size 7 1/8Vintage Stetson Black 20x Beaver Big Western / Cowboy Fur Felt Hat, Size 6 5/8Stetson Felt Cowboy Hat Size 7, Long Oval, Tan, Used, Mcpherson, Salmon, Idaho Vtg John B. Stetson Flexible Conforming Derby Bowler Hat Black Size 6 3/4 SuperbVintage Stetson Hat BoxStetson 5x Beaver Creme Colored Cowboy Hat 7 1/4 W/ Colored FeathersStetson Hat