The cowboy is one of the most iconic figures of American history. Of all of the contributions that the United States has made to modern culture, its greatest contribution to fashion might be found in western clothing stores. The mystique of the western cowboy has long been attractive to boys and girls for well over a century. As such, the silhouette of a a figure dressed in cowboy attire was among the most common figures gracing the screens during the dawn of American cinema and television. As is often the case in American culture, American fashion soon embraced the cowboy and western phenomena. The clothing they purchased through western clothing stores included everything from ten gallon hats to suede chaps to baby cowboy boots.
As the romantic legend of the American cowboy pervaded the imaginations of Americans of all ages, the most popular film genre of the 1930s and 1940s was the Western. During that time, the biggest names in film included Roy Rogers, John Wayne, and Lee Marvin. When televisions entered American homes during the 1950s, the most popular television shows focused on the Old West; and featured actors adorned in the same cowboys clothing that you can still be found at all western clothing stores. Wildly popular television programs such as The Lone Ranger, Bonanza, The Rifleman, Gunsmoke, and Rawhide, had American children running around the house, engaged endless games of “cowboys and indians.” Even little brothers and sisters did their best to keep up, stumbling along after their older siblings in their toddler cowboy boots.
While you no longer see cowboy clothing as much as you did a few decades ago, cowboy clothing has proven resilient. As the popularity of western clothing stores declined during the late 1960s and 1970s, the film Urban Cowboy sparked a renewed, if faddish, interest in western clothing. Accordingly, common folk flocked to western clothing stores primarily for the famous cowboy sombreros like John Travolta sported while conquering the mechanical bull.
It is impossible to predict if, or when, another cowboy renaissance lies beyond the horizon. While it does not seem very likely, especially with open minded liberals leading the media, and stifling anything to do with rural or redneck culture, cowboy clothing has proven itself resilient, and will never disappear. Regardless of the fate of the American cowboy, western clothing stores will always have their place within American culture.
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