How To Dress Like A Cowboy

How To Dress Like A Cowboy

back to the future cowboy costume

“Marty, you’re going to have to do something about those clothes. You walk around town dressed like that, you’re liable to get shot.”

In this article we are going to take a look at how to dress like a cowboy or cowgirl. It may be for your upcoming themed Indians & Cowboy party or you may just want to accessorize your look with a touch of the ol’ west – either way we will have you covered.

Historically the Cowboy has Spanish and Mexican/American roots that date back to the early 19th Century and are traditionally animal herders throughout North America, however pop-culture and certain periods of history have redefined the cowboy as someone from the ‘Tombstone’ era around the turn of the century in the late 1800’s that was an outlaw, particularly involved in smuggling cattle and alcohol across the Mexico/North American border. Predominantly our idea of what a cowboy looks like are based on what we see in on the silver screen. Classic John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and John Ford movies have defined what many will end up labeling a cowboy costume and here we plan on taking a look at how you can pull off the look at your upcoming fancy dress event. The clothing articles we are going to take a look at are:

  • Cowboy Hats
  • Cowboy Accessories
  • Cowboy Top
  • Cowboy Pants
  • Cowboy Shoes

Firstly the cowboy hat – There are several different types of hats that can be worn to pull off the wild west look including sombreros and the weathered fedora hat however generally the cowboy hat is made of leather, felt, beaver fur, straw or various different kinds of animal hide and is a wide brimmed hat that is usually accessorized with some kind of hat band around the brim. There is also the famous ten-gallon cowboy hat that is more of a modern cowboy look however is none the less a very impressive hat. Pictured below are a few different options for cowboy hats.

cowboy hat styles

As you can see there are a lot of different styles of cowboy hat, most of them will be available at your local costume store or if you are looking for a particular cowboy hat from a movie we would recommend having a look online. We sell a quality Clint Eastwood in our online store here.

Once you have sorted out what hat to wear the next thing we will take a look at as part of your overall cowboy costume is Cowboy accessories. This can often make or break how good or rather believable your cowboy costume is. Accessories can vary depending on the overall look you are after however some to consider are: Cowboy neck scarf (often a paisley or simple pattern and can also be worn as a bandana if you are dressing as a bandit, this is fastened around your neck in a triangle like shape), Cowboy Belt Buckle (if you are tucking in your shirt make sure yo get a large R&M Williams style belt buckle to show off), Gun Holster (usually can be clipped on to most belts if you buy one from online and will be able to house your pistol for the night and look all the more authentic), Bandoliers (if you are going as a bandit/bad guy make sure you get some bullet filled belts to cross over your shoulders), Revolver / Rifle (a crucial piece to any cowboy costume – goes with out saying that generally the bigger the better), Hip Flask (a great accessory to have regardless at any upcoming) & of course if you are dressing as a sheriff be sure to polish off your sheriff badge and wear it on your breast pocket.

Next we will take a look at what kind of Cowboy Top to wear as part of your costume. If you are on a budget and just want something easy generally we recommend just grabbing an old flannel shirt and maybe a vest if you have one. The more modern disco-cowboy look would see you going out to a vintage store and buying a shirt covered with tassels like Marty McFly’s pictured above however if you are after an authentic look its probably best you go with either a big sheriff’s trench-coat or a woolen poncho like Clint Eastwood wears in The Good The Bad and The Ugly. You can purchase a replica of his poncho at our online store here.

cowboy pants chaps

Now that most of your costume is sorted we just need to work on the bottom half. This involves the Cowboy Pants or chaps as they are usually known which are traditionally made out of leather, however many costume stores will sell cheaper replica ones (see picture to the right), they fit over any jeans (or can be worn without if it’s that kind of party) and generally will have tassels running down the side. Of course if you are wearing a poncho or trench-coat instead of the more cliche cowboy look to the left than we just recommend wearing some old jeans with a big belt buckle.

Cowboy Shoes are the last part of the costume and most people will just wear some old work boots or riding boots if they have them or if you’re dressing as a cowgirl than some tasseled boots and this is fine, however if you have a bit of extra cash to spend on your costume we would recommend investing in some cowboy spurs they can be fastened on to most shoe types and will not only sell your look but will make sure that your presence is felt as soon as you bust through those saloon doors and in to your wild west party.

You will no doubt have all the information now to go out and find the best cowboy costume – just a few last tips to top off your costume. If you’re a bloke that can grow facial hair we recommend that you go a few days without shaving or grow a moustache to make your look more authentic – even rub a bit of dirt on clothes and face or some scars. Last but not least make sure you practice your quick draw before you get to the party so you can be the fastest slinger in the west.

There is no doubt, the most famous cowboy in the world is “The Man with No Name” in the movie The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, better known as Clint Eastwood. We have an exact replica of the poncho he wore on sale right below.

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If you are looking for some cheaper alternatives to the Clint Eastwood poncho replica, we have provided a few of ours below also.


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