Western Dress Hats from The Last Best WestMysterious Dave. A deadly rider on both sides of the law. The band on his Boss of the Town hat reads: Assistant Marshal.

Western Dress  Hats

Classic Western Dress Hats from The Last Best West

We make western dress hats the way they did in the old west – one at a time- and believe if you want an authentic Boss of the Plains you should be able to get the same looking hat that cowboys wore back in the day. We start with the best fur-felt hat body available – made in the USA – and fashion as fine a custom western hat as you will find. :: All about hats and how we do it :: Testimonials

In the early days of the western frontier small brimmed Town Hats, like Top hats, Bowlers, Sailors Caps and military hats were the most common headwear on the settlers and adventurers that pushed west into the Great Plains of North America from the eastern part of the continent.

Back in those days the large brimmed cowboy hats were associated with Texas Cattlemen, Mexicans and other hell-raisers.

In fact Marshals like Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson considered most anyone that wore a large brimmed hat to be a trouble maker.

Any well maintained, clean cowboy or western hat can certainly pass as a dress hat – but back in the 19th century small brimmed or Town Hats were the norm to wear with a good suit of clothes. Even today folks that like hats and have a good suit tend to have a western dress hat that they keep for good wear.

“Every dog, we are told, has his day, unless there are more dogs than days.” – Bat Masterson

Western Dress Hats

Tend to have smaller brims in the 2-3 inch in width, and the crowns can be any where from 3 1/2 to a full 6 inch height in the case of a top hat or bowler.

Western Dress Hat

The 4 inch crown and brim of our classic Boss of the Town hat

 Boss of the Plains

The first mass marketed cowboy hat. 

The first Boss of the Plains was sold in Central City Colorado in 1865, and quickly became a marketing marvel.

Everyone in the west had to have one, and Stetson was hard pressed to keep up with the demand. Most people think John B. Stetson invented the Boss of the Plains. He did not. Mister Stetson was a talented promoter and marketer – and therein lay his gift.

Christy’s Hats of Bristol, England held the patent on this design and after losing a lengthy court battle, Stetson ended up having to pay a licensing fee to Christy’s Hats for the use of the Boss of the Plains design. No fooling.

This was the cowboy hat that formed the basis of most other western hats. Remember the movie Tombstone? (1993) All the Earp Brothers (played by Kurt Russell, Sam Elliot, and Bill Paxton) wore different colors and slight variations of this same classic open-crowned Boss of the Plains design. Our other open crowned designs include, Captain Call, Stumpy, and the Samuel Jones.

Crown and Brim Measurements

We make hand-made cowboy hats so the crown and brim measurements are pretty much redundant. The hats you see online are our standard hats, which have specific crown heights and brim widths to maximize the look of that particular style or hat design.

We can make up to a six (6″) inch crown and a five (5″) brim. Any hat with a brim width of more than 4 inches we must start with an oversized hat body, which adds a little to the cost. Most of our cowboy hats have a crown height between 5 and 6 inches and a brim width of 3 1/2 to 4 inches.

Hat styles with a wider brim include The Wasey, Quigley, Everett Hitch, Blondie, Little J, The Dunson, Last of the Dogmen, Wild Bill, all our B-Movie hats, and many of our Custom Rodeo Hats


Daniel Plainview hat

This crown style was very popular at the turn of the 20th Century, made famous by William S. Hart, in the early silent western movies of the day.

Western Dress Hats

There Will Be Blood

With his masterful depiction of the ruthless oil-baron, Daniel Plainview, Day-Lewis’ acting drives the story in There Will Be Blood. {2007}

About 2/3 of the way through There Will Be Blood the audience has figured out what a socially undesirable megalomaniac Daniel Plainview is, and you watch and wait in anticipation for this bully to get his. And he never really does.


Richard Boone had a strong career in feature films as a bad guy or heavy.

Western Dress Hat - the Paladin Town Hat

Paladin Town Hat from The Last Best West.

Have Gun Will Travel

TV Series from 1957 – 1963

Have Gun Will Travel was one of the most watched TV shows of the late 50s and early 1960s.

Richard Boone portrayed the character Paladin convincingly to millions of viewers and the hats were great.

An aging Randolph Scott was first offered the role of a Knight of the Old West. Richard Boone ended up with the part of Paladin, in Have Gun Will Travel, which became his signature role. A big kettle curl on the brim gives The Paladin Dress Hat its unique look and style. Like all Westerners who could afford it, Paladin had two hats. A good hat for in-town to wear with his good suit of clothes, and a trail hat for when he was in the saddle.

Western Dress Hats being worn by the Dodge City Peace Commission

Dodge City Peace Commission photo of 1876
Seated Left to right: Charley Bassett, Wyatt Earp, Frank McLain, Neal Brown.
Back Row from Left: Longfellow (recruited in 2007!), Luke Short, Bat Masterson, and W. F. Petillon.