There are two kinds of people in the world: people who just discovered Westernwear when Lil Nas X put out "Old Town Road," and people who have been waiting for the right moment to wear their favorite Western pieces off the ranch for years.
Before Cowboy Culture blew up last year, I felt like most people's experience with Westernwear fell into one of three main categories:
1) Western Day during High School
2) Europeans obsessed with the concept of American Cowboys
3) Marlboro Commercials
Of course, Mary Kate and Ashley's 1994's classic How The West Was Fun is also a contender, as are Will Smith's two mistakes: Wild Wild West the movie, and Wild Wild West the accompanying song.
There is also Boone, the plastic cowboy toy, from the children's book The Indian in the Cupboard (I was deeply in love with Little Bear, Boone's Native American enemy-turned-blood-brother. I spent hours in my room locking the knock-off Little Bear I had into my jewelry box, each time eagerly opening it to see if my soulmate had come to life.
What an amazing film
These are all palatable, inoffensive versions of the cowboy that gloss over the less-than-ideal impact on the Native population, but growing up, they were what we had (until cigarette advertising became a bit more restrictive, and I was no longer able to see the Marlboro man's image displayed on the lane dividers in the grocery store checkout line. (I also had new and confusing feelings about the Virginia Slims woman.)
Of course, there were and are also all of the old "Wild Wild West" films, thankfully only a few of which I had to sit through in undergrad. I have, however, recently gotten very into looking at old posters from Western-themed plays and movies.
Case in point:
And let's not forget:
But these things are merely cheap imitations of the true cowboy and even the so-called "Wild West" (AKA the American Frontier.)
Now, let's manifest our destinies by taking a look at some of these incredible pictures from the LOC website of real-deal, scuffed-boots-wearin,' hat-tiltin' cowboy style.
Let's start things off with a bang:
This photo of Ned Coy, a celebrated cowboy, shows him and his pet horse, BOY DICK (???????) bucking and showing off
Two Custer County Cowboys, 1886
Jicarilla Cowboy, circa 1905
Cowboys helping each other learn to dance.
A cowboy, his horse, and his rifle, 1886
Another Custer County Resident, circa 1886
A cowboy from Bitterroot Valley, Montana
This photo is actually entitled, "Barbecue after the Rabbit Hunt" and was taken circa 1905 in, of course, Fort Worth, Texas.
Come on, did you really think we WOULDN'T include a picture of Annie Oakley?
Annnnnd one more for good measure, from around 1899
A parade of cowgirls in Billings, Montana, around 1939
A (pretty hot or is it the quarantine?) cowboy in New Mexico, 1940
Another New Mexican cowboy gearing up for a 1940 rodeo
Make sure you shop our collection of Westernwear, especially western shirts, which we've always had a fondness for. And no matter what, never give up on the Yeehaw Agenda.