Which Western Hat Is the Oldest: Here’s the Rank!

Western hats are steeped in a long, proud history. Dating back to the late 1800s, they have been an integral part of western fashion and culture ever since.

But when it comes to oldest western hats, which one reigns supreme? Read on for our definitive ranking of the oldest western hats around!

1st. The Panama Hat

U.S. President, Theodore Roosevelt Once Wore Panama Hat During His Visit to the Panama Canel

The Panama hat can be traced back to the 16th century, but it wasn’t until 1906 that the name was introduced.

However, the name “Panama hat” is a bit of a misnomer. These days, Panama hats are most often associated with the country of Panama, but in reality, they originated in Ecuador.

It wasn’t until the early 20th century that Panama hats started to become popular among westerners, thanks to their sleek design and functionality.

Today, Panama hats are still widely available and are a popular choice for both men and women.

Whether you’re looking for a stylish summertime accessory or a functional piece of outdoor gear, a Panama hat is a great option.

2nd. The Top Hat

Brunel at the launch of the Great Eastern wearing a top hat

The top hat is a western hat that debuted at the end of the 18th century. It was initially designed for men, but women also began wearing them.

The hat quickly became a symbol of wealth and power. The top hat is typically made of felt or beaver fur, although other materials are sometimes used.

It has a tall, cylindrical shape with a brim that is usually turned up on the sides. The top hat is typically worn with formal attire but can also be worn with more casual clothing.

3rd. The Trilby Hat

Leonard Norman Cohen Wearing Trilby Hat

If you’re a fan of trilby hats, you have George du Maurier to thank. The hat gets its name from du Maurier’s 1894 novel, Trilby.

In the book, the protagonist is a young artist’s model who wears a small, soft hat that becomes all the rage in Paris.

While the trilby might be associated with du Maurier’s novel, the hat actually dates back to the 1830s.

It was initially seen as a western-style hat and was popular among cowboys and ranchers.

In the early 1900s, the trilby became more mainstream and began appearing in fashion magazines.

By the 1920s, it was considered a must-have item for both men and women.

While the trilby has undergone some changes over the years, it remains a popular choice for both men and women.

If you’re looking for a stylish and versatile hat, the trilby is a great option.

4th. The Pork Pie Hat

A Pork Pie Hat from the 1940s

The pork pie hat was popularized in the mid-19th century (1830-1865) by Edward VII, who often wore one during his horseback riding outings.

This hat is typically made from wool or fur and features a small, round-brimmed shape.

5th. The Bowler Hat

The Wright Brothers Wearing Their Bowlers In 1910

The bowler hat debuted in 1849 and quickly became popular for huntsmen and country gentlemen. This hat is characterized by its hard-fel material and curved brim.

Similar to the fedora and trilby hats, bowler hats have appeared in many Hollywood films. But they were preferred by comedian actors such as Charlie Chaplin.

6th. The Cowboy Hat

William S. Heart In Cowboy Hats

The cowboy hat has been around since 1865 but didn’t become widely popular until after the Civil War when cowboys began moving out westwards in droves.

These hats are typically made from straw or leather and feature a wide brim that helps protect against harsh sun exposure and inclement weather conditions.

7th. The Cloche Hat

Vilma Banky Wore A Cloche Hat, 1927

The cloche hat rose to popularity in the early 1900s thanks to its sleek, bell-shaped design. This style is typically made from wool or velvet and fitted snugly around the head.

8th. The Pillbox Hat

Doris Day with Pillbox Hat In the Film Midnight

The pillbox hat was first seen during the 1930s but gained widespread popularity during the 1950s thanks to First Lady Jackie Kennedy who often wore them.

These hats are small and boxy in shape, hence their name, and are typically made from felt or straw materials.

9th. The Fedora Hat

Prince Edward & Fedora In 1924

The fedora hat was first seen in the late 19th century but became widely popular during Prohibition( 1905 – the 1920s).

These hats are soft, plush, and feature a wide brim that can be worn up or down depending on your preference.


Whether you’re a fashionista or just curious about history, this guide provides everything you need to know about the oldest Western hats still worn today.

So go ahead and try out a few different styles – you might find your new favorite!

Reference: All Pictured from the Wikipedia