Sunday, March 29, 2015

The 101 Ranch Hat

Back around Christmas, in our shopping travels, my husband and I happened upon Colorado Mountain Hats, a custom hat maker. I probably would have never considered having a hat made (they did mostly cowboy hats), but my husband has wanted a hat like Wyatt Earp wears in Tombstone for ages, so we stopped.

Well, once I saw how the hat maker fitted you, I had to join in on the fun!

They start out with this fantastic machine that looks like something out of Jules Verne. It's a 19th century head measuring device. They still use the original because, like with so many things, the old way is just best!

A paper gets placed on the top of the device, then the top is closed (the cork piece) to hold it in place. The device gets placed on your head and the shape of your head displaces moving pieces inside the "hat," pushing corresponding pins through the paper into the cork.

Et voilĂ ! The paper becomes your head pattern, which the hat maker then uses to recreate your head in his shop, to fit your hat to. I think he said they use a second antique machine to "read" the paper.

So what did I pick? Well, he had a lovely assortment of historical styles to chose from. I ended up picking a style copied from photos of the 101 Ranch Girls, who, in short, were performing cowgirls, from the 101 Ranch in Oklahoma. The 101 Ranch was a working ranch that did a show, much like Buffalo Bill's, around 1905. What with Edwardian cowgirls being a bit of a passion of mine, I thought this style was perfect!

And so we waited and waited for our fabulous hats to come, and they arrived this week! And, of course, it fits like a glove!

I can't wait to have an excuse to don my split riding skirt, some big Gibson girl hair, maybe a horse or two, and take some awesome pictures! :)

For a look at the 101 Ranch girls, and other inspiration for the hat, take a peek at my dedicated Pinterest board. 


  1. Oh what fun!!! I adore the cowgirls from the Edwardian Era! I was one for an event when I was in SASS and it was so fun! I can't wait to see you become and Edwardian Cowgirl!! Your had is very lovely!

  2. That's pretty neat! Thanks for sharing the process. I look forward to seeing more!


  3. What an amazing machine. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. I do wear cowgirl hats when I just feel like wearing it.