The original purpose of the clothes which cowboys wear was to help them survive the environment that they live in and withstand the heat, rough terrain, and other hazards that come with the places that they take their animals to graze. However, the clothes, which were mainly work clothes for convenience, seem to have entered the mainstream world of fashion and currently, they are a central part of the American fashion now dubbed the Western Wear.
The Original Cowpuncher Outfits
While there are some minor regional differences here and there, there were a lot of similarities in the traditional cowboy wear. The main components of the outfits included tall boots that had big rowel spurs, wool or cotton trousers, leather chaps, a shirt and a waistcoat, an oversized neckerchief now known as a wild rag, and a wide-brimmed hat.
All of these components of the cowboy’s outfit used to be tailored to match their own unique needs. However, there is a lot that has changed about that fashion now, and today, the outfits even feature leather, which was a staple of the Indians. The leather boots, vests, and gloves were brought into the mix by the Europeans and thus the process of redefining Western Wear started.
The Evolution of Sombreros to Stetsons
At some point in history, Mexican horsemen tended their cattle in the area that is present-day Tejas to California. Their outfits included wide-brimmed sombreros, colorful serapes, leather chaparreras, waistcoats, short trousers, and tall boots. The government then decided to populate the area and invited American settlers to immigrate. The Americans borrowed aspects of the Vaqueros’ fashion and have been keeping and polishing up on it to date.
The Rise of Western Wear and Cowboy Wear in Mainstream Fashion
There are a number of factors which have contributed to the rise of cowboy and western wear in mainstream fashion. First was Hollywood, which made the ranchers look really cool in their getups, and then the mainstream fashion designers like the Calvin Klein Western Wear or Luis Vuitton Cowboy Boots.
One of the more popular western-inspired fashion line is Ralph Lauren’s RLL line that was inspired by the western-styled workwear. For most of the 20th century, the perfect image of the macho male was depicted by a cowboy in his outfit and everyone just fed into the craze until it became a thing. Today, the best fashion designers have invested in the western wear culture; it has actually become a pertinent aspect of the American identity.
Western fashion is here, and it is here to stay. Though it keeps evolving in the modern sense of it, unlike the traditional setting where it is still functional, most of its flavor has been retained in both worlds, which makes it very unique.
Where else have you seen the western style or the old Vaquero or Buckaroo style influence modern styles?