Why are Stetson Hats So Expensive

Have you ever asked why are Stetson hats so expensive?

Stetson hats are expensive because they are made by hand with high-quality materials which are expensive to purchase coupled with other features that cannot be found in other cowboy hats. With such an expensive material, the Stetson hats which are also known as cowboy hats become expensive too.

Well, hats are a popular head covering worn by all genders. They are versatile and can be paired with any piece of clothing. Coming in different sizes, shapes, and colors, there are many different types of hats which include but are not limited to the derby, cloche, fascinator, fedora, baseball cap, etc.

Stetsons are hats commonly associated with cowboys. Cowboys are horsemen well versed in the act of handling cows. They are a popular figure in pop culture where they have been romanticized into heroes who fight against Indians and rescue pretty damsels in distress. Hence, cowboy hats are expected to protect their head and faces from the sun. Some cowboys even add turkey feathers to their cowboy hats for decorative purposes.

Stetson Hat: An Overview

Cattle rearing was a big business in the days of yore. Farmers with large herds could not effectively manage them all by themselves. So, they would employ young men known as cowboys to look after the cattle. Their duties included rounding up cattle, branding the unbranded cows, watching over the cows and selecting the ones ready for the market place and taking them there.

Due to the nature of their work which consists the rounding up cattle, branding them, carrying out repairs on the ranch, etc, cowboys get exposed to the harshness of the weather elements which is not healthy or beneficial to their wellbeing. They could get sunburned, frostbitten, or have a sunstroke. Hence the need for a hat, a need mostly filled by Stetsons.

Even after the golden age of the cowboys passed and the world moved on from hats, movies like “Indiana Jones” and “Urban Cowboy” gave the culture a new lease of life. In a bid to copy their movie idols, people rushed to buy cowboy hats so as to gain the charm associated with them.

Stetsons hats are a make of cowboy hats produced by the John B. Stetson Company. They are so associated with cowboy hats that the hats are collectively called “Stetsons”. The company was founded in 1865 and has been a survivor of wars, trends, extinct technologies, and policy changes.

The originator of the hats, john B. Stetson made a different hat for each customer suited to their own unique styles and needs. This ethic of premium, special customer service has been followed by the company even after his death. it is not surprising that they are the world’s largest producer of cowboy hats today.

The Stetson hat has unique features setting it apart from others. These features are a product of the ingenuity of the founder. Stetsons are not just fashionable but are functional too.

However, the first Stetson hat had a seven-inch crown and a 7-inch-wide brim. Made of thick fur intended to protect the wearer from the weather, it could not be destroyed by the weather either. The shape was designed to stay in place no matter how hard it was beaten.

The high crown stored a pocket of air to keep the wearer’s head hot or cold depending on the weather. The wide brim provided extensive cover from the weather. So, no matter how hard it rained or how hot the sun was, the wearer’s face would remain untouched.

Stetson hats can serve as a fan, a safe for valuables, and buckets for scooping water. They also provide an avenue for the wearer to show off their individual fashion preference. To put a touch of panache in the wearer’s style, Stetson hats can be easily creased, bent, or punched to get one’s desired shape.

The hats also follow a precise production process. First, the pelts that will be used in making the hats will have to be cleaned to remove any impurity. Then an acid solution is added to the fur as preparation for the felting in a process called carroting. This is followed by the separation of fur from any remaining skin and then the sorting process after which the fur is bagged. What follows is a 31 step process leading to the creation of fine workmanship that is a Stetson hat.

In its heydays, the Stetson company had a roll call of well-paid workers who enjoyed numerable perks. The factory was within a self-sufficient community that had everything the occupants who were Stetson workers needed for survival. As much as 5,000 people were employed at this time and in the 1940s when the company began making other types of hats, it recorded its biggest sales of 29 million dollars which amounts to 300 million dollars by today’s standard.

This tradition of excellence was and has been a continued one even to the present day. At the moment, the Stetson company is not as big as it once was. The name has been licensed to different manufacturers who make products like perfume, jeans, eyeglasses, luggage, wallets, brandy, etc. These products bear the same standard of excellence associated with the Stetson name.

The dwindle in the company’s fortunes arose as a result of hats going out of style in the 1950s. This has been attributed to a number of factors like the rise of driving culture, the evolution of fashion trends, and a lack of good designs. The company experienced a drop in profits then changed ownership and became a licensing company.

Why Are Stetson Hats Expensive to Buy?

Stetson hats are so expensive because they pass through many quality control steps to ensure that the finish, shape, and body are appropriate; coupled with the quality expensive materials with which the hats are made of.

The quality control process makes whatever flaws that exist in the manufacturing process of Stetson hats stand out glaringly. Defective hats are sent back; they never get on a buyer’s head. So, whatever Stetson puts out is of the highest quality, hence why it is expensive. The quality of a hat is determined by the number of X’s the inner liner has printed on it. More X’s means higher quality.

However, X’s are not a universally accepted determinant of hat quality. It is perceived differently by people. What may be worth 5 X’s to Mr. A might not be the same to Mr. B.

Stetson hats are made of felts of the highest quality in existence. The quality of the felt is controlled by a number of factors like its age, color, the nature of the animal the felt was gotten from- whether wild or domestic. The best hats feel soft to touch. This is an area Stetson agrees on as their hats are always so buttery soft. These factors determine the price upon which Stetsons are fixed.

What is the Most Expensive Stetson Hat?

The most expensive Stetson hat is the Diamante, made from high-grade beaver and chinchilla fur. It sells for about $5,000.

What is the Average Cost of a Stetson Hat?

The basic Stetson model today sells for about $50. There are different prices for different makes, the “Boss Raw Edge” goes for $400 and the “Boss of the Plains” sells for $135.


Stetson hats are the world’s most renowned cowboy hats today. They are synonymous with cowboys and have cemented a place for themselves in cowboy history. To keep up the quality they are known for, the price of their hats has to be kept up. No company goes into business for charity purposes, the aim is to make money to cover the cost of production and retain a healthy profit.

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