Purpose of Cowboy Clothing

Cowboy or Western fashion - like that old pair of leather boots or hat in your closet-  has been an important part of the Cowboys clothing since the 1800's.

In the 1800's the clothing choice for a Cowboy was important for him to perform his job and for protection on the trail. Each item of clothing had a particular purpose.

The Boots - Needed for protection riding through brush and thorns. Protection from snakes and rocks. Protect his feet from being crushed if stepped on when working with large animals

The Hat - Shields the top of his head and eyes from the sun's glare. It keeps the head and face dry if it rains. It also acted as a flag if the cowboy needed to wave it to get someone's attention. A cowboys hat shape was also an indication to what region he was from.

Neckwear - Call it what you will, scarf, bandana, handkerchief, wild rag. The cowboy called it necessary. The cowboy didn't wear these to be fashionable. They came in bright colors to make the cowboy more visible in bad weather. It prevents sunburn on the neck and warms them in the cold. It also absorbs sweat and keeps dust from getting into their mouth and nose. They were also used as washcloths and tourniquets.

The Fringe - Fringe was often on the cowboy's chaps and it helped to shed the rain as he was riding. It also gave the cowboy access to pull a strip of leather if he needed it for various reasons.

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