A prized Stetson is something special, but nothing beats a fully bespoke hat. Texans have been designing their own headgear for generations, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at TikTok, where bachelorettes and spring breakers are turning an age-old tradition into a fashion trend. Haberdashers are rushing to accommodate with “hat bars,” cowboy mixology experiences that allow shoppers to handpick accessories in the store and walk out with curated extensions of their personalities atop their heads. That might mean leaving with a pastel blue felt hat with dried baby’s breath and your name branded on the crown or a punk-rock black straw decorated with studs and splatter paint.
“[Custom hats are] super fashion-forward currently,” says Shaun Chisholm, an event coordinator at Maufrais, a hat bar in Austin. She adds that in addition to social media, we also “have Yellowstone and other Western-forward TV shows to thank” for the renewal in popularity.
That means that even those of us who didn’t grow up in Resistols are sidling up to hat bars, feathers and beads in hand. “I can’t tell you the amount of people who say, ‘I’m not a hat person,’ ” says Heather Devers, director of strategic partnerships and editorial at Flea Style in Dallas. “I [tell them], ‘Let’s see what we can build that fits your personality.’ I can’t think of a time that somebody has built a hat and said, ‘Oh, I don’t like this.’ ”
Whether you’re looking for your first-ever hat or an addition to a hearty collection, here are seven spots across the state where you can create a custom topper to keep for a lifetime.
Stylists at this newly opened Main Street boutique have been customizing hats nonstop since a satisfied customer’s TikTok went viral. Felt hats come in a rainbow of colors, from lilac to deep red and olive green, and your “bartender” can brand your full name on the crown while you wait. Kick off your wine country weekend here, then spend the rest of your visit sipping in your own customized shade. To visit the hat bar, where styles range from $180 to $300, make an appointment in advance.
Dallas, Fort Worth, and Frisco
When you’re choosing flair from one of this minichain’s stocked hat bars, don’t let reason enter into the selection process. “I always encourage customers to grab whatever catches their eye,” Devers says. “You might think that certain pieces don’t go together, but the hat bar team can make the coolest combinations.” Options for the colorful felt hats include vintage scarves, dried flowers, feathers, and metal charms—including a popular Texas-shaped one.
Walk-ins are welcome, but you can also select a time, stylist, and sip of your choice if you book ahead. Fully accessorized hats cost $150 to $300 on average.
This South Congress shop offers more than just accoutrements; stylists also shape hat brims and crowns on-site. “We want to help our customers tell their own story, whatever that looks like,” Chisholm says. “Just bring your own personal style in. You really don’t even have to have an idea when you come into the store.” Custom-sized felt or straw hats start at $450, while preshaped options range from $120 to $325. Complete the look with a Zuni- or Navajo-made turquoise pin.
Simply Twisted Hat Co
If digging through baskets of beads and piles of feathers feels overwhelming, Webster’s Hayley Unverzagt will customize a felt or straw hat online via Etsy or Instagram direct message. She’s made elegant, flowery creations for brides and decorated hat brims with Dolly Parton quotes. (Card sharks will especially love the tastefully burnished aces and queens that she tucks into hatbands.) Her creations start at $150.
Standard Hat Works
Long before the TikTok influencers and bachelorettes adopted cowboy hats, Standard Hat Works set up shop in Waco. Here, you can choose everything from fur felt (options include rabbit, beaver, and chinchilla) to brim shape and hand-embroidered design. In his nine years as a haberdasher, owner Cameron Morris has seen all types of cowboys. He was once asked to brand the image of the Alamo into the side of a hat, he says; another time, he made a lace hatband from a customer’s late mother’s wedding dress. Hats start at $360 and can climb up to $2,500 depending on fur type.
After taking a hat-making course for fun one summer, Teressa Foglia turned her love of toppers into a career. Now she has retail locations in California, New York, Nashville, and Houston, and she collaborates on collections with designers and even sports teams. Aside from bespoke and premade hats, Foglia sells gorgeous, upcycled-leather hatboxes that will keep your creation safe in style. Hats start around $550.
Turquoise Desperada Hat Works
Madison Grenwelge is the authority on rustic-looking hats. Her felt hats, many of which feature burned-on designs, look as though they’ve fallen out of a sepia-toned photograph. To create the burns, she draws directly on the hats with a pen, then uses a soldering iron to sear in the artwork. She did just that for a recent bride, who added her married name and wedding date to a tastefully tarnished white felt hat. You can place a custom order via Instagram or stop by Grenwelge’s boutique, Loca on Main, to shop premade options. Hats range from $160 to $350.