Western wear is about more than just a fashion trend, though it's been popular off and on through the past century and a half. It's about a rugged look that's sexy and earthy at the same time. It's about style, but many of the most popular elements began as a functional way of protecting the western pioneers as they went about their duties. The elements for western fashion came about piece by piece. Early settlers in Texas liked the tall sombreros worn by the vaqueros on the Texas ranches; these hats eventually morphed into the cowboy hats we still enjoy wearing today, and other elements were eventually added to the look. The buckskin shirts worn by Native Americans were adopted and embellished with elaborate embroidery in traditional native styles. They were tough and they also protected the wearing from the elements. Fringed jackets and shirts also developed from these. Denim was created in the Nimes region of France in the early 1800s as clothing for workers, and eventually made it to the west as the uniform of choice for gold miners. It was constructed of thick cotton material and prized for its ability to wear well for daily outdoor use and last season after season. Rivets were added to stress points to reinforce them, creating the signature look of the modern jean.
In the late 1800s, wild west shows began to tour around the country, glamorizing the western lifestyle and the freedom and individuality that it symbolized. This is when western fashion for women also came into its own, through female stars like Annie Oakley. The advent of the movies brought western style to a much wider audience, and the look has remained an integral part of American fashion for men, women, and children ever since.
Today, western wear can be seen everywhere from modern ranches to Wall Street. It's still about durability and rugged individuality, with a little bit of urban chic thrown in for good measure. When you put on western gear, you can't help but have a good time.
You can find great western-inspired apparel at online shops like Killer Hats. Specialty clothing stores like these carry lines that are constructed of high-quality materials, with a cut and look that are classic. These are clothes that never go out of style, and they're great dressed up or down, for almost any occasion.