What cowboy hats do the top-earning bull riders who can afford anything choose to wear when they compete? Read on to find out the rodeo cowboy hat shapes J.B. Mauney, Guilherme Marchi, and Silvano Alves wear when they ride bulls.
You probably didn’t know it. But the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association actually requires all contestants wear western cowboy hats in the arena. The only exception to this rule is when a rough stock cowboy switches his hat for a helmet. As soon as his ride is over, you’ll see his cowboy hat back on his head.
But even outside of the arena, you hardly ever see a cowboy without his hat. The different types of cowboy hats allow for this functional work tool to become an expression of personality as well. From the traditional cowboy hat shapes to new shapes, styles and colors, there are many different types of cowboy hat crowns and creases.
Rodeo cowboy hat shapes in all shapes and styles
Many bull riders have moved to wearing helmets while riding. But a few do still make it through an eight-second ride with their cowboy hat planted firmly on their head. While the ride is impressive, it is equally impressive that the cowboy often gets a score while their hat stays on.
You’ll see bull riders wearing the most popular cowboy hat choice for cowboys: a felt cowboy hat in a wide variety of styles. You’ll see it all in the arena, including the popular Cattleman, Biggs, and Brick shapes. A cowboy can keep his hat in place through the roughest ride with a few tricks. He starts by choosing a high-quality and well-fitting hat with the addition of a bit of foam in the sweatband.
Here are three of the top bull riders in rodeo and their favorite rodeo cowboy hat shapes.
J.B. Mauney wears a traditional black felt cowboy hat with a Cattleman crease while resting on the chutes in Madison Square Garden. His sponsorship patch is located on the back. The black felt hatband holds multiple toothpicks, just in case. (John Lamparski)
Known as Professional Bull Riders (PBR) superstar, J.B. Mauney rode the PRCA circuit in 2021. With more than $7.2 million in career earnings, Mauney is one of the top names in bull riding. He can afford any hat he wants. In the arena, he wears a traditional felt black cowboy hat. It features a Cattleman crease on the crown with dual pinches, creating a V-shape up top with 4-inch brim and a matching felt hatband.
J.B. Mauney speaks at the AOL Build series in 2016 in a spotless black felt hat. (John Lamparski)
Felt hats come in a wide array of quality levels, known as the “x-factor.” The higher the “x,” the better the quality of the hat. A rating of 20x or higher is considered a quality hat. You can be sure Mauney is wearing a hat of 20x or higher. The size and shape of Mauney’s black felt hat with a Cattleman crease crown and 4-inch brim fit the features of his face. You’ll notice that his crown height is in equal proportion to the length of his face, slightly narrowing at the crown. The overall look is flattering at any angle.
J.B. Mauney at the 2014 CMT Music Awards in Nashville, TN. His slate felt hat features a tall crown, 4-inch brim and a matching felt hatband. (Michael Loccisano)
It isn’t surprising to see a different western hat choice for a night out on the town. Many cowboys wear a specific hat or color when competing in the arena, saving a higher quality and fashionable choice for special occasions. Mauney chooses a slate-colored cowboy hat here when dressed in formal attire. The color complements both his skin tone and his eye color. The tall crown with Cattleman crease, traditional brim, and color-matched hat band keep the focus on the color of the hat.
Guilherme Marchi has no trouble keeping his hat on in 2007 in Madison Square Garden. His black hatband is outfitted with a silver buckle that helps highlight a sponsorship patch. (Al Bello)
Guilherme Marchi retired with the most qualified rides in PBR history — 635 rides. With over $5.3 million in career earnings, this Brazilian cowboy also prefers to wear a black hat in the rodeo arena. He prefers a Biggs hat crease (which country singer Kenny Chesney also wears) with sharp shaping at the crown.
Guilherme Marchi arrives to watch the second round of the 2014 PBR’s Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas, NV. His felt cowboy hat features a bound edge on the brim and a wide contrast hatband. (David Becker)
This light brown color, often called “pecan,” provides a contrast from his black shirt. With the crisp lines of a Biggs crease designed to present a flattering profile, Marchi’s felt cowboy hat helps create a sharp, well-dressed look. The darker, wide hatband and the bound edge on the 4-inch brim set this hat apart from others. You can find a bound edge on felt cowboy hats on all levels of cowboy hats, from 10x and up.
Guilherme Marchi prepares to ride in the Monster Energy Buck Off in 2018 while wearing a felt hat. The light shade and an extremely sharp creasing to create a modified Biggs crease shape are a fashionable choice. (Al Bello)
Marchi’s bone-colored cowboy hat features a matching felt hatband. The Briggs crease is traditional at the crown but has been adapted with a wider brim crease that is extremely sharp. Although lighter colors are often worn in the summer, many cowboys choose to wear lighter hats all year as long. This 40x hat will keep its sharp creases due to the quality of the felt.
Silvano Alves competed in the Monster Energy Buck Off in 2017 in New York City. For his professional picture he chose a neatly styled silver belly hat with a wide brim and matching hatband. (Al Bello)
Silvano Alves keeps his look sharp with a Biggs crease for the crown and brim on his felt silver belly hat. With career earnings of over $6.3 million, Alves is a PBR bull rider with three world championship belt buckles. He wears a wide range of cowboy hats for different events and appearances.
Silvano Alves throws out the ceremonial first pitch in the 2012 Red Sox and Rays game. He is wearing a black cherry felt cowboy hat and his sponsorship shirt. (J. Meric)
You don’t see Alves wearing a black hat very often. He tends to prefer softer shades, such as this black cherry felt cowboy hat. Choosing a traditional crease, such as the Biggs, lets the color take the main stage over the crown and brim shape. When paired with his black shirt, he still has the overall same cowboy look. The personality choice is kept low-key with a small hatband that is the same color.
Silvano Alves and Douglas Duncan visit NYC in 2012. Alves wears a brown felt hat with a matching hatband and wide brim. Duncan prefers a shorter crown and gently shaped brim on his black felt hat. (Handout)
Alves often chooses a chocolate brown felt hat in at least a 7X for various events, including promotional appearances. The shape of his brown cowboy hat is slightly less formal than his silver belly. It features a shorter crown and rounded edges. The color matched hatband keeps things simple. This is a great hat that you can grab and go, without worrying whether it is in perfect shape or not.
The Hat Stops Here
When you look at rodeo cowboy hat shapes, most rodeo cowboys choose a western cowboy hat style based on what looks best. The traditional Cattleman’s shape on the crown and brim can be adjusted to look good on almost every cowboy. That makes it the most popular classic shape worn by both rodeo cowboys and cowgirls.
The hat adjustments made by J.B. Mauney, Guilhermo Marchi and Silvano Alves may seem slight, but they give each cowboy his unique look. You can create these rodeo cowboy hat shapes yourself with Rodeo King cowboy hats in a wide range of sizes and colors.
Most rodeo cowboys wear felt hats in the arena. But they also wear straw hats in the summer, such as Rodeo King straw cowboy hats. Straw hats are an inexpensive option to provide relief from the summer heat and sun without worrying about damaging an expensive felt performance hat. Now that’s a rodeo cowboy hat trick that can save you money too.