Looking the Part - Colorado Ranch Style

Mar 20, 2018 -- Posted by : admin

Popularized by icons such as Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and John Wayne, western wear has transformed into a fashion fusion influenced by a variety of cultures. Its unique style is derived from 19th century pioneers, cowboys, Civil War dress, mountain men and vaquero clothing. Like an old pair of broken-in boots, cowboy couture has remained timeless and today, is more fashionable than ever.

Cowboy Boots

Every great outfit begins with footwear and nothing is more classic than the cowboy boot. Founded around 1870, the Coffeyville-style boot was essentially a variation of the military issue boot. It featured a low Cuban heel and the front of the boot was higher than the back. Cowboy boots continued to evolve through the late 1800s to include a higher heel and higher quality leather. As a result of Wild West movies and radio shows in the 1920s, cowboy boots became fashionable. It wasn’t until the 1950s when rodeos and country music gained popularity that designs became more adventurous, incorporating color, images and patterns. Today, cowboy boots are mass produced and customized in all shapes and styles, all while staying true to their heritage. For some of the best boots made today, visit The Heritage Boot Co.

Cowboy boots lined up with a rustic wooden fence.

Denim Jeans

Nothing says ranch attire like a perfectly fitting pair of jeans. Denim trousers were worn by miners during the gold rush of the 1840s because of their affordability and breathability. Levi Strauss improved the design and by the 1870s jeans became a staple of the rancher and cowboy wardrobe. Companies like Wrangler and Lee Cooper emerged as demand for denim increased. Today, jeans are as popular as ever before, coming in all types of cuts and washes. Accessories like belts and large buckles complement the outfit and express one’s personal style.

Western Shirts

From performing in harsh frontier conditions and withstanding the evolution of fashion, the western shirt is about as iconic as it gets. Gathering inspiration from the dress of statesman, Spanish vaqueros and rugged workwear of the Native Americans, the combining of cultures produced a garment that is defined by a signature yoke on the front and back, as well as distinct pockets. Western shirts typically have snap closures instead of buttons to minimize the need for repair by those working on the ranch. When western culture made it to the big screen, the shirt also made it big time after being worn by movie stars and musicians.

Coats

When a coat is added to the western outfit, style is taken to the next level with an infinite number of possibilities to help the wearer stand out in a crowd. Clint Eastwood’s Spaghetti Westerns popularized ponchos featuring elaborate embroidery. Fringe jackets, like those worn by Annie Oakley, are made of buckskin and are trimmed with fringe, allowing the garment to shed rain and dry faster. For a more formal look, country western singer Johnny Cash would wear an all-black western suit. Much like fashion trends are fueled today, actors and singers were the driving force behind western wears’ migration into the mainstream.

Cowboy Hats

The cowboy hat is the quintessential western wear item that ties a ranch outfit together. In 1860, John B. Stetson traveled west to Colorado hoping to strike it rich as a gold miner. The conditions were harsh, with driving winds and rain, and while he was on his journey he came up with an idea to craft a hat in a unique style. It was designed with a high crown, a wide brim to shield the wearer from the sun’s rays and the rabbit pelt skin hat also to shed rain. The hat was coined the “Boss of the Plains.” Stetson came back to Philadelphia in 1865 and opened up a factory, marketing his new hats by sending them to dealers in the southwest and his strategy worked. Notable celebrities began wearing a Stetson and by 1900 Stetson became the largest hat factory in the world. By the 1920s the company was making more than two million hats per year. The company then began expanding designs and styles such as fedoras for a more formal look. After World War II, the Stetson was known as a staple for the working cowboy and a sign of success for the city dweller. During this time, the company also produced a successful line of women’s hats, also popularized by big screen celebrities.

By the 1960s, style tastes had changed and Stetsons’ popularity began to decline. In the remaining factories, Stetson tried to keep up with the times, but eventually moved the company and rebranded by licensing their hats with other manufacturers. After a lull, it was once again entertainers who brought the hats back in the 1980s. Urban Cowboy and Indiana Jones drew people in and the demand for hats picked up. President Ronald Reagan preferred his Stetson and wore it on his ranch. Sales picked up and in 1986 the company added other products like fragrances and eyewear. Country music singers such as Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson pushed the Stetson hat back into mainstream pop culture.

A story of innovation, the Stetson name has put its stamp on American culture. Today, the company produces hats in hundreds of styles and colors, all while staying true to its premium quality pedigree. In 2015, the Stetson Company celebrated its 150th anniversary. Finding a hat is a personal choice, but a lot of it depends on face shape, hair color, complexion. A dealer can help find the best style for the individual.

Classic white Stetson cowboy hat.

As time passes, technology evolves, and styles come and go, western wear has blazed a trail into the present day all the way from the days of the 19th century gold rush. With an endless combination of garments and accessories, ranch fashion has never been so stylish and accessible, truly providing something for everyone.

If you're ready to embrace the timeless ranch lifestyle, contact Ranch Sellers today to explore current luxury ranch opportunities.

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