Simply mentioning the Australian Outback conjures images of open spaces, beautiful mountain ranges and kangaroos everywhere. A rough-hewn lifestyle replete with the scenic backdrop of a desert landscape is what naturally springs to mind. In fact, with a switch of cattle for kangaroos, the outback offers a panorama reminiscent of the American west. So, it stands to reason that Aussie outback hats and cowboy hats would have a few features in common.
Singular Designs for Men & WomenDesign sets the outback hat apart, not only from cowboy hats but from all other hats as well. It’s the unique crafting of a smaller brim that generally measures three to four inches and is narrower or upturned on the sides that partially defines this hat. Then there is the low, tear-shaped crown, a decided departure from the high crown of the cowboy hat. Rounding out the distinguishing design features of the outback hat are the materials from which it’s made.
At one end of the spectrum are the well-known natural fibers of wool, wool felt, leather and cotton, with a shapeable weathered cotton outback hat being a prime example, its upturned sides and adjustable drawstring closure defining its design. At the opposite end are the straw outback hats, summer staples in various types of straw, including panama straw (Toquilla straw) and toyo straw as well as the elegance of satin and grosgrain. A case in point are Jeanne Simmons toyo straw outback hats, representing the distinctiveness of straw outback design with its ventilated crown and leather band.
CrushabilitySince a busy outdoorsman has no time to worry about keeping any part of his attire neat and orderly, crushable outback hats are his hat of choice. Durable, yet striking in their good looks, crushable outback hats withstand the demands of hard work in the outdoor elements, even retaining their shape if crushed, stepped on or rumpled by any other action that might destroy a lesser hat. Take, for instance, our Scala crushable wool felt outback hats. Undeniably stylish, these hats nonetheless can endure crushing and look just as good as new when worn out to dinner that evening. Yes, crushability is both a distinctive and defining feature of the outback hat.
Cool ComfortIn sizzling hot weather, anything that provides a bit of respite from the heat is welcome. That’s where an outback hat comes in. With ventilated crown designs and rigid construction, mesh outback hats such as mesh Sidewall outback soaker golf hats are a natural choice for cool comfort and equally cool looks. Offering similar breeziness are outback hats with perforated patterns encircling the crown, allowing air to circulate. Most panama outback hats are such an example, with its lightweight texture and light hue adding to the overall effect. Imagine all the protection from the sun even if you were in the Amazon.
Iconic StyleAs the hat most associated with the Australian Outback, the outback hat has become somewhat of a sartorial icon. Originally considered utilitarian, as an essential work item for those who labor in the open air, it has acquired a certain status by dint of its classic details: drawstring closures, low crown and unabashedly masculine magnetism. A case in point are outback hats made from hemp, a versatile design that embodies the elements that have made the outback hat iconic. From the leather band and drawstring to the lightness of the hemp fabric — in both textile and color — the outback hat sets a standard to which other hats aspire.
Perhaps the best aspect of the outback hat is its ability to be precisely what you need it to be: the consummate blend of form and function.