When Stetson first started making its iconic cowboy hats in 1865, they were sold with an open crown (a rounded dome) that served as a blank canvas for the wearer to crease in a manner that best suited their lifestyle. The custom crease communicated information about the wearer’s origin, profession and personality. The quality and type of crease worked as a kind of shortcut to judging the “measure of a man”. As times modernized, manufacturers began creasing their hats in factories so they could be sold pre-creased for mass distribution. The crease was no longer an indicator of social standing but rather became an expression of style, as it continues to be today.