Western duds and cowboy garb. What comes to mind when you imagine clothing from the Old West?
A definite and iconic picture forms when we think of the classic American cowboy. On his lower half he’s got dusty jeans, weathered chaps, thick leather boots, and ringing spurs. On top he’s wearing a crisp checkered shirt, brown leather vest, and perhaps a crimson neckerchief. Finally, on his head is the all important cowboy hat.
Oftentimes, however, the authentic western garb of the Old West wasn’t quite what we would imagine. What has been portrayed to us in artwork, literature and Hollywood is only roughly based on fashion items which were initially made in under circumstances that prioritized function over form. As such, their form changed over the years, and only some of those forms are revealed in the modern conception of the classic cowboy.
Our image of the cowboy appears a bit idealized. But if it is, then where did all this Western flair come from, and what is the picture of a true cowboy? Join us as we discover the history behind each item.