Oct 14, 2023

Meet the Houston Hat Guy

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HOUSTON — With RodeoHouston just around the corner, we know some of you city folk are scrambling to get your rodeo gear. Of course, you need your boots, your belt and a hat.

"A hat is so personal," Lawrence Jagneaux said. "When people get a hat they love, they keep it for years and years."

When customers pop into this Cavender's along the Northwest Freeway, Jagneaux isn't pushy.

"The only person who's going to rush you is you," he said. "If you’re not confident in a hat, you’re not going to wear it."

He works in the Cavender's Hat Shop, but on social media, he's better known as the Houston Hat Guy.

"You have to be a little crazy and you also have to have a passion for hats. I’ve been a hat nerd ever since I was a teenager," Jagneaux said. "After I retired, I picked up my hobby and now I do it full-time."

If you're reading this and thinking, "I've never really been a hat person," that's OK. Jagneaux hears that all the time.

"It's because they haven't had the right hat," he explained.

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The journey to finding the right one starts with getting your head measured. With that data in hand, you can choose the style you like. Cavender's has more than a few options.

"We’ve got felt hats. Then of course, we have wool hats, straw, palm, leather," said Jagneaux, adding a black felt hat is the most popular choice, especially ahead of RodeoHouston.

From there, he customizes the hat.

"When I shape a hat or create a hat, I look at the person's face, their structure, how tall they are, how wide they are, then I design the hat to complement them," Jagneax said. "I always tell people they’re the cake and the hat is the icing."

Depending on the customer, he'll trim, sand and bevel the brim. He can also reshape the crown. Finally, he gently rolls the brim before the final fitting.

"When you get it just right and then you put it on a person's head and they look in a mirror and they beam, then you know you’ve nailed it," he smiled.

He also cleans, restores, shapes and brands hats as well. You can find Jagneaux at the Cavenders at 14031 Northwest Freeway or on social media.