From Its Beginnings In The Old West Cowboy Clothing Has Become A Stylish Modern Option

.tags From his humble beginnings as a cattle tender, the American cowboy has grown to be an admired and much-emulated symbol of the American West. The term cowboy most likely came from the Spanish word vaquero, which was the word used to describe a Spanish as well as Mexican cattle wrangler. Although cow hands had been around for hundreds of years, the image of the American cowboy firmly took root by the mid-nineteenth century.

Cowboys of yesteryear dressed in a certain way because it helped them to do their work, much of which was performed in the outdoors and was very physical. Today’s western clothing has sprung from that tradition, and you will find a wide array of western shirts as well as western formal wear that was influenced by those early cowboys but now is an appropriate choice for the office or for casual wear.

Early Wild West shows and Western movies have played a role in how we think cowboys dress. In reality, the cowboy was a worker whose job was very physically demanding and left little time for other pursuits. There are cowboys today who perform many of the same procedures that cowboys of times past did. Taking care of the animals is their top priority; this includes the feeding and watering of them on a daily basis, along with branding, ear tagging, and tending to cuts and scrapes and other needs. They spend time on horseback patrolling the pastures where the cows live, checking fences, even working irrigation lines and other maintenance chores.

Cowboys are noted for their western clothing, which have always included the cowboy hat. This hat had a large brim, and was worn to protect the face from over-exposure to the sun or to rain. A bandana was often worn around the neck, tied, so that it could be brought up over the nose to prevent the inhalation of dust from the cattle’s hooves in dry weather.

Cowboy boots with a heel were worn for safety, to prevent the foot from slipping into the stirrup of the saddle, causing the foot to get stuck, a deadly combination should the cowboy fall off the horse. Chaps were leather overpants that were worn to protect the legs from scratches from sagebrush. Denim jeans were worn for leg protection as well, and were close fitting, so that excess fabric would not get caught in equipment. The cowboy wore gloves to protect the hands and to warm them in cold weather. Western shirts were often long-sleeved to protect the arms from scratches.

Today’s western shirts and pants are often made of fine fabrics and can be worn as western formal wear, perhaps a far cry from where the cowboy’s clothing originally started, but a lovely tradition nonetheless.