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How to Look Like a Cowboy

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

In old good times cowboys were in-charge of the horses and/or cattle. In addition to ranch work, cowboys work in and participate in rodeos. Cowboy style is mainly influenced by Mexican vaqueros. Many styles that are connected with cowboys have been accentuated in movies and stories. They are pretty impressive for their times. Cowboys of today care about function and comfort, not much about style and designs. Here is what you can wear and do to look like a real cowboy.

Follow These Steps

  1. Get a hat. A hat is very important for cowboys. Wear a cowboy hat, but don't let them look too "new". Real cowboys didn't just get their hats and only wear them once in a while. their hats aren't shaped like when they bought them. Most hats aren't even symmetrical anymore from the constant use and handling. Look for Stetson or Baily hats, and choose a beaver fur felt hat for cold weather, a straw hat for warmer & hot weather.
  2. Grow a mustache or beard if that looks good on you. Cowboys are like any other group, some wear facial hair, some don't, but working cowboys often are on the job from can to can't, so they are not the most well-groomed profession, on average.
  3. Get a long leather jacket, usually with large buttons. The jacket was always used when its cold and lots of traveling is involved, and larger buttons make them easier to use with gloves on. If its a warm climate a vest is equally good.
  4. Many cowboys favor jeans, with straight legs or boot cuts, not designer labels and fitted styles. When a cowboy is working, he needs comfortable, tough pants.
  5. Many cowboys prefer wide leather belts with large metal buckles, often silver or brass. These may have "western" themes, but may just as well advertise for a favorite tobacco or beer company.
  6. Chaps are for extra protection during rodeos and while working on horseback. If you don't actually plan on this, you'll just look stupid. The same goes for spurs, it is not likely you will see a cowboy walking around with spurs on in public.
  7. Wear Western style shirts, although some cowboys goes for T-shirts. The look should be rugged.
  8. Get some cowboy boots. Boots are more for function, not for dress-up! so don't get too focused on them and don't worry much about designs. Real cowboy boots take getting used to, since the heels and sharp toes are for fitting a stirrup on horseback, not walking sidewalks at the mall.
  9. Spend time out doors. Cowboys work outdoors, not in corporate offices, so their skin is tan, leathery, and coarse from wind and sun, often 12 hours a day, 6 or even 7 days a week.
  10. Don't spend a lot of time working on your fingernails, or trying to keep your hands baby-smooth and soft. Cowboy work makes rough callouses, and dirty nails, and often scars from cuts while working on fences or equipment.

More Tips For Looking Like a Cowboy

  • Meet real cowboys, not just actors at special re-enactments that actually dress all like the stereotype!
  • Clean shaven cowboys were just as common as mustached and bearded cowboys.
  • Learn to ride a horse.
  • Develop your own style.
  • Go to actual local rodeo's those guys can teach you to be real cowboys! Events such as the Big city 'stampedes' (Houston, Calgary etc), NFR's and the PBR's have more Urban and Wannabe Cowboys than actual 'working' cowboys.
  • Do not call yourself a cowboy, it is what they are known as but not what they call themselves generally


Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual.


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