From Bell-Bottom Jeans to Jewelry and Bling: The Evolution of Rodeo Fashion
When people first hear the word “rodeo”, most will likely picture a man in a ten gallon hat, plaid shirt, and jeans — think Marlboro Man. The truth is, rodeo and fashion have gone hand in hand for decades. Believe it or not, rodeo attire has seen its fair share of fashion trends. In celebration of the upcoming Miss Silver Spurs Pageant on June 4th, we thought we’d share a bit of the evolution of rodeo fashion.
Going back to the 1940s, rodeo fashion endured a major change. As crazy as it seams (see what we did there?), fitted pants became all the rage. Now the definition of fitted is a bit of a stretch, but coming off the 1930s, when cowboys’ and cowgirls’ pants were very loose on thighs and calves, it’s the truth. And for women, shirt collars were longer and more exaggerated than you see nowadays.
Moving right along into the 1950s, the pants that cowgirls donned evolved again. The pants were left loose around their hips, and they were a little bit more fitted on their lower leg. This fashion statement carried on into the late ‘60s. And if this sounds familiar you’re not crazy; you’re just on trend! These classic “riding pants” have made a comeback over the past couple years and have been a hot commodity for young women.
Ushering in the 1970s, rodeo women began to rock polyester leisure suits. (Whoever named these “leisure suits” clearly did not live in Florida!) Fortunately for cowgirls of this era, their colorful polyester pants were quickly traded in for bell-bottom jeans. Women could now look even more stylish while they combated Florida’s summer heat. As a final touch, women topped off their shirts with matching hats, and wore pointed toe wingtip boots.
During the early ‘90s, the influence of country music artists such as Garth Brooks and Brooks & Dunn with their patterned shirts spread like fire — literally. When Brooks & Dunn released their Hard Workin’ Man album in 1993, Kix Brooks’ flame-patterned shirt took the rodeo fashion scene by storm. You could look around a sold out arena and observe a sea of men and women alike wearing similar fire-inspired shirts. Aside from flames, other patterns that made their way into the country fashion scene were Navajo, Aztec, and plaid.
The 2000s was a decade known for its bling! All the way from their shirts to their buckles, women were decked out from head to toe in shiny rhinestones. Even their horses were bedazzled!
So with the evolution of country fashion, what’s on trend now? Well, rodeo fashion is still heavily decked out with all the bling! Also, lace has a strong presence in today’s modern cowgirl’s wardrobe, along with a good fitted jean. The boots of these fashionistas are now more dressy with intricate patterns.
Staying up on rodeo fashion can be costly, especially for women, but many cowgirls have blended their wardrobe desires with today’s DIY trend to save a buck or two. For instance, a quick search for “DIY bling cowboy boots” on Pinterest, a popular DIY website, returns hundreds of photos and tutorials.
So what’s next in rodeo fashion? It’s hard to tell, but fans of the country lifestyle might want to attend the upcoming Miss Silver Spurs Pageant or Silver Spurs Rodeo for some rodeo fashion people watching! And don’t be afraid to add a little bling to your shirt collars or an old belt or pair of boots.
Ready to experience your first rodeo? Save the date for Saturday, February 10th for our 7th Annual Monster Bulls where you can watch real cowboys go up against some of the “rankest” and baddest Silver Spurs bulls. Or, join us February 16th through the 18th for the 140th Silver Spurs Rodeo where you can watch seven of rodeo’s traditional events: bull riding, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, women’s barrel racing and team roping! Hope to see y’all then!