Western : How hat fashion has changed

How hat fashion has changed

Two pictures showing the difference in hat styles in the fifties to modern westerns

http://fandomania.com/5-alternate-settings-for-the-magnificent-seven/
http://tv-shows.prettyfamous.com/l/13942/The-Magnificent-Seven

Personally I prefer the fifties style but maybe that's just a yearning for the golden age.
Judging from old West photographs neither style is accurate, it seems back then they just put anything on their heads that fitted.

Re: How hat fashion has changed

That's Jack Elam from Once upon a Time in the West

Re: How hat fashion has changed

Is it me, or are black hats a lot more common in western films made within the last three decades? Before then, black hats were mostly associated with either villains (especially the earlier one goes back in film history), or rogues (like Italo-Western Django, Sartana, and Sabata types of characters). I think the later the 19th century went on, lighter hats became more and more popular, and through the early 20th century, light hats predominated, although in the 1800s, black or dark hats appear to have been more common based on photographs. This could be one correct trend in modern westerns.

"A New Kind of Man" (John Foxx, 1980):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tt4oi-PRbN4

Re: How hat fashion has changed

Tim McCoy, with the original cow-boy Stetson hat.
Also used by Ken Maynard and others.
After Johnny Mack Brown, these big hats were reduced.

Picture Tim McCoy : https://wyostatearchives.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/p2001-11_36-tim-mccoy-dressed-as-hollywood-cowboy.jpg?w=500

Re: How hat fashion has changed

I believe they were called ten gallon hats, seems strange that they were once considered cool.

Re: How hat fashion has changed

Doesn't Hoss wear one on Bonanza? He's so big it actually suits him. Neither Steve McQueen nor Burt Reynolds would have looked good in one IMO, as they weren't really big guys. John Wayne wears a big hat early in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. I'm not sure how many gallons, but it's big.

Re: How hat fashion has changed

Does a show from 20 years ago count as "modern"? Or did you mean to post a pic from the new Magnificent Seven? The hats and costumes in the newer film are definitely more authentic than the 60s version, but still not quite right.

http://www.facebook.com/scarletworm

http://facebook.com/davidlambertart

Re: How hat fashion has changed

One main difference is that back is the days of the original M7 hats were usually bent or curled up at the sides whereas the most common trend, for a number of years now, is to have the front of the brim bent downwards with the sides flat, like a fedora. Looking at old photos of cowboys etc, brims were kept flat quite a lot and the hat pushed to the back to the head.

Re: How hat fashion has changed


Looking at old photos of cowboys etc, brims were kept flat quite a lot and the hat pushed to the back to the head.


The reason they seem to have the hats pushed to the back of their heads is because the photographers would ask them to push back their hats for the pictures. This is seen in posed photos. In candid natural photos, the hats are worn more forward.

I prefer the original 1960 "Magnificent Seven" style hats to the gigantic circus tent sized style that was popularized in the 1990s by people like Costner in movies like Open Range. Starting with the remake of 3:10 to Yuma, there seems to be a trend back to the smaller hats of older movies. I think the smaller hats with upturned brims look far more heroic.

My two most favorite cowboy hats from the movies are William Holden's from The Wild Bunch:
https://bamfstyle.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/wbpike-gun4-win92.jpg

and also James Garner's from A Man Called Sledge:

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Xt6PPD3yXYg/hqdefault.jpg

My Least Favorite of all time is the aforementioned Costner hat in Open Range:

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/35/1f/e2/351fe254b8a3a990a5c5ce32e71103c9.jpg

Looks like a freaking tent!

Probably the worst overall use of hats I have ever seen in a western is the 2007 film September Dawn, which took place in 1857 but almost everyone in the film was wearing modern Garth Brooks style Stetsons.

Re: How hat fashion has changed

Agree, all you have to do is start googling and you'll see quite a variety of hats. Heres a shot of some railroad workers to illustrate that.

http://www.truewestmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Chinese-laborers_laying-last-Rail_a-j-russell.jpg

Re: How hat fashion has changed

I much preferred the curled up brim too. Why not use the style again? But Hollywood has never been authentic with western hats, if they did the leads would not look very cool.
Shaped like oversized fedoras which personally I don't like.
http://variety.com/2016/film/news/magnificent-seven-denzel-washington-chris-pratt-photos-1201756594/

Re: How hat fashion has changed

My personal theory is that the popularity of Westerns declined when they did away with the curled up brim hats. There's no way you can look cool with a circus tent or a giant fedora on your head.

I think there was one actor in Deadwood who wore a tan colored 50s/60s style hat. I forget who it was, though.

Re: How hat fashion has changed


My personal theory is that the popularity of Westerns declined when they did away with the curled up brim hats. There's no way you can look cool with a circus tent or a giant fedora on your head.



Probably true.

I remember reading that Sergio Leone was at Western Costume in Hollywood one time with one or two of his actors and it took them 5-6 hours to get a hats that fit the actors face, and the look he had in mind.

Now a days they look like they take them right out of a hat box and plunk them on whether they look good or not, the attitude seems to be that's what they are supposed to be wearing.

I remember an old timer friend telling me back in the day him and his buds took time to personalize their hats, that and time and wear did the rest.

Re: How hat fashion has changed

This is your man. And how cool is that? Perfect!
http://celebrityimages.org/celebrity/114868/370672
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