Santa Fe offers a range of hat options to help you dress the part.

JD Noble knows Santa Fe has plenty of places to buy a cowboy hat. So, when he opened The Hatsmith (228 Ortiz St., 995-1091), four years ago, he came up with a simple approach.

“The idea is to save people money and get them a quality hat,” says Noble.

“It’s amazing we have this many hatters in town,” he adds, with a laugh. “And everybody makes the claim that they’re the best.”

Noble is bringing traditional handcrafted cowboy hats to the people—he keeps prices down (between $300-$600) by using pre-made “shells” of beaver felt, which he hand creases and personally shapes in custom sizes. He even offers New Mexico residents a clean 15 percent off year-round.

The former farrier and rodeo cowboy got his start making hats 24 years ago. He’s seen plenty of would-be buyers walk away from hefty price tags. With his own store, he is out to get more heads in more hats and quickly—he can even get you a custom fit in just two days.

“It’s not about getting rich,” Noble says. “It’s about doing something that’s satisfying.”

Davis Custom Hats (17 Bisbee Court, Suite D, 780-5059)
Beavers are aquatic animals and they don’t hibernate. This is useful information, explains Roger Tomlinson, owner of Davis Custom Hats, at least when you’re making a cowboy hat. Beaver fur is tough stuff, which is why hatters have been using it since the 19th century. “They haven’t found anything better than that,” Tomlinson says. Apart from a few pre-made straw hats in the summer, every hat this one-man shop churns out is personally made to order in a custom rim size, crown height, color, and style. “It’s just completely up to the individual,” says Tomlinson. Prices range from $275 to $800 “depending on how fancy they want to get.” 

O’Farrell Hat Company (111 E San Francisco St., 989-9666)
Above the register at O’Farrell hangs a hat that was made almost 35 years ago by the store’s founder, Kevin O’Farrell. It’s in perfect condition—a testament to the kind of durability you can expect from a hat off these racks. Owner Scott O’Farrell knows that’s a good thing, especially with price tags between $575-$1,000. “That’s a lot of money,” he says. “If I was buying something from your place for a thousand dollars, I would make damn sure it was a good product.”

"The idea is to save people money and get them a quality hat," says Noble.

Kowboyz (345 W Manhattan, 984-1256)
If you prefer the vintage look, the thrill of the hunt or simply taking it easy on your wallet, Kowboyz is the perfect place to uncover a hidden gem. “People come here for the deals,” admits co-owner and self-proclaimed Cowgirl-in-Chief Cristina Iverson. She has seen enough people walk into her store after leaving pricier downtown shops with their “tails between their legs.” New and used hats of all makes and styles practically spill from the shelves. You can find new hats from legendary names, like Stetson, and even used handmade custom beauties that date back to the 1940s—all for prices ranging from $49-$200.