How to Take Care of Your Hat (Boots Below)
The easiest way to measure your head is by following these simple steps:
- Get yourself a cloth measuring tape or you can use a string then measure the string with a ruler
- Measure around your head beginning about the mid-forehead area and about one finger’s width above your eyebrows.
- Circle right around your head just above the ear and going straight around the widest part of your head
- Take the measurement to the nearest 1/8th inch
- Take the measurement you get and look at the chart below to find your hat size
- Size up if you are between sizes
Tip: Your hat should rest about 1/8th of an inch above your ears. Padded strips are an easy fix to a loose fitting hat!
Store your cowboy hat upside down on its crown to help keep its shape. You also want to keep your hat away from high heat which can cause the sweatband on a cowboy hat to shrink. As the sweatband shrinks, this will cause the cowboy hat itself to shrink, too. Therefore, a cowboy hat that is left exposed to high heat for extended periods may no longer fit. To make sure this does not happen to your cowboy hat, never leave your cowboy hat in a car or the trunk during warm weather or near other high heat sources. The best place to store your hat is in a hat box or at the very least in a dry a cool place if you will not be wearing it very often. If you wear your hat frequently you can store your hat on a hat rack. Stampede Tack & Western Wear even sells a hat rack that installs into the inside of your vehicle to ensure that you always have a place to properly store your hat when not wearing it.
Avoid handling your cowboy hat by the crown. If your hands are dirty or oily they will leave spots on the fabric. You should always pick up your hat, put it on or take it off by the brim. When adjusting your cowboy hat, hold it by the front and back of the brim to make the adjustment.
Every Cowboy Hat reacts differently to moisture and to getting wet. The quality of the materials used to construct your hat will generally determine how well your hat will withstand getting wet. Remember, cowboy hats are “tools of the trade” for the working cowboy and they expect them to get weathered over time. Many cowboys will replace their hats each year just like someone may replace their work boots each year.
Your hat too may get wet but you must also be aware that it may lose its shape and/or soften up, among other things, if it gets completely drenched in a downpour. Just be sure to NOT dry your cowboy hat near a heat source. Instead, just let it dry naturally – preferably by hanging on a Hat Rack. Another tip for you if your hat gets wet is to flip the sweatband outward and set the hat upside down on its crown to allow it to dry naturally. If you plan on using your hat in rainy weather, consider getting a Rain Cover for your hat. They’re not expensive and they will protect your investment if you’re caught in the rain.
Remember, both hat racks and rain covers are available for your hats at Stampede Tack & Western Wear.
Straw Hats: Use a clean damp cloth or a hat sponge to remove surface dirt. Gently rub counterclockwise towards the back of the hat. To keep the sweatband dry of perspiration and hairdressings, occasionally turn down the sweatband to dry. With the leather sweatband turned out, perspiration and hair oil will evaporate instead of soaking into the hat.
Felt Hats: Use a brim brush to clean the brim of the hat and a crown brush to clean the crowns of the cowboy hat by lifting nap and surface dirt. Use a dark colored hat brush for dark hats and a light colored brush for light hats. Gently move the brush counterclockwise towards the back of the hat. After brushing your hat, use masking tape to remove any remaining lint on your hat. Gently pat your hat with the tape. To keep the sweatband dry of perspiration and hairdressings, occasionally turn down the sweatband to dry. With the leather sweatband turned out, perspiration and hair oil will evaporate instead of soaking into the hat.
If after some time you find that your cowboy hat needs to be properly cleaned and shaped, Stampede Tack & Western Wear offers this service in the store. Simply bring your hat by the store and leave it with us for a few days and we will clean it up for you and re-shape it. Most hats can be done for $15 – $25 dollars (some may be more though) and they come out looking really good. Of course, the degree that a hat can be cleaned and re-shaped depends on a variety of things and can vary from hat to hat so we will evaluate what we can do for your cowboy hat when you bring it in.
With each pair of boots you have, you should take the time to properly maintain them. The few minutes you invest doing this will greatly extend the life of the boots.
Do not let dirt and dust accumulate on leather products. After each wearing, your boots should be wiped down with a damp, not wet, cloth. Dust and dirt can break down the leather and shorten the life of your boots. Allow your boots to dry out thoroughly between wearings. This prevents the onset of bacteria from forming in the leather. Allow your boots to air dry; do not set them near heat as this will dry them out excessively.
Conditioning leather is important because conditioner helps to maintain the original look and feel of the leather. By conditioning your boots you will be keeping your boots from drying out. Use a conditioner specially formulated for boots. Lanolin based products work best. Stampede Tack & Western Wear has plenty of options for you to choose from. Our favorite for most leathers is a conditioner called Bick 4, which is especially good for exotic leathers which require ever a little more TLC.
To keep your boots looking their best, you should periodically apply a matching boot cream polish. The polish will help to cover any scuffs and can be brought to a bright luster.
You can protect your boots even more with water repellant. You can also use boot trees to help maintain your boots shape and form when you are not wearing them. Finally, always use a Boot Jack to remove your cowboy boots so that they do not break down or get damaged from “kicking” them off. Stampede Tack & Western Wear has a great selection of Boot Jacks in stock.
Please feel free to ask us your questions or concerns on caring for your boots. Whether you have purchased cowboy boots, motorcycle boots, English riding boots or any other footwear from Stampede Tack & Western Wear, they all need to be cared for in order for you to get the most out them. We’ll be happy to guide you.