Fashions of the Old West Cowgirl

Posted by John Brand on

Whether you are a cowgirl of today or a cowgirl from the Old West, making a fashion statement has always been apart of the cowgirl style.

A traditional cowgirl outfit from the old west consisted of a pair of gauntlets, a short skirt, tall lace up boots, and a red scarf. The sash was probably a style adopted from Charlie Russell who, inspired by the vaquero costume, always wore a red sash. One famous cowgirl, Prairie Rose Henderson wore ostrich plumes over her bloomers and a blouse covered with bright sequins.


The cowgirl riding gauntlets came in a wide variety of commercial designs and were often sold at Western trading posts. Inspired by cavalry gauntlets, cowboys and cowgirls adopted the style of the work glove embellished with various Indian designs. Many were embroidered with horse shoes and whips, others were decorated in buckskin fringe. Cowgirls wore gauntlets for work and in the show arena. 

Not all cowgirls feel the need to make a fashion statement, and nowadays working cowgirls might prioritize quality and efficient gear and clothing over bling, while the rodeo queens take bling to the highest level. Fashion changes over the years, and you can see trends of the past surfacing, while vintage pieces from grandparents are pulled out of the attic and worn on a daily basis. 


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