If you’re going to be a real cowboy, you’ve got to look the part. What do ranchers wear? Often, it comes down to whatever the day’s chores dictate is necessary! Here are a few tips.
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What Clothes Do Ranchers Wear?
For as long as we can remember, the rancher lifestyle has been described as exciting, iconic, and straight-out legendary. Cowboys are known for their bravery, their toughness, and most of all, their fashion!
If you’re going to be a rancher, you’ve got to start with the right clothes. Ideally, your clothing should be a combination of fashion and function. Here’s what we mean by that.
Start With the Boots
Hands down, the one piece of clothing that no cowboy can go without is a pair of cowboy boots.
There are several styles of cowboy boots including the classic “cowboy” style, the “Stockman,” the “buckaroo,” and the “roper.” All usually have stirrup-friendly heels in varying shapes and heights, with toes ranging from extra pointy to square off.
Not every boot is right for everyone, though. If you’re new to wearing cowboy boots, you might want to try a roper-style heel, as these are more comfortable. These are lower than many of the riding styles, which are designed for stirrups.
If you truly want to look the part, avoid spiked boots known as “cockroach killers.” These types of boots, along with those that have no scuffs, scars, or wear and tear, show that you’re not a true cowboy but instead a city slicker!
Still not convinced that wearing cowboy boots is right for you? Check out this video to learn more about what wearing cowboy boots says about you:
Chaps – Just For Show?
When you’re dressing for a day on the job as a rancher, one of the most important items to add to your wardrobe is a good pair of chaps.
What are chaps?
Chaps are leg coverings that consist of a sturdy material (often leather) that is held together by a belt. These are meant to be worn over a pair of pants. They do not have a covering over the crotch or bottom, so pants are essential!
There are several types of chaps you can buy, including equestrian chaps, motorcycle chaps, and logging chaps. As a rancher, equestrian chaps will be the ones you want to buy. These pants are usually made of leather or similar materials like sheepskin, bear, buffalo, or goatskin. There are also chaps made out of lighter synthetic materials but these aren’t as durable.
Despite being undeniably stylish, chaps are not just for show. They also add a level of protection to your legs. As a rancher, your day-to-day tasks will likely consist of working and riding in challenging circumstances. They will keep thorns out of your legs, prevent rope burns, and protect your legs if there happens to be any kickback from an animal.
There are several kinds of chaps you can buy, including shotgun chaps, woolies, batwing chaps, and chinks (half-length chaps). Batwings and shotgun chaps are common on working ranches.
What Pants Should Ranchers Wear?
Without a doubt, jeans are the best pants for a rancher to wear. Denim is durable and protects your legs from the elements. While Wrangler and Levi Strauss are the classic brands, you have hundreds of varieties to choose from.
Look for pants that don’t sag and have hip pockets that don’t ride too low. Don’t tuck your boots into your boots, either. The best cut of jeans to wear as a rancher is boot-cut jeans. These are designed to slide over the top of your cowboy boots and to fit snugly around the shaft.
Be sure to wear a leather belt. Even better? A leather belt with a gorgeous belt buckle.
What Kind of Shirts Should a Rancher Wear?
As a rancher, the shirt you wear will likely play second fiddle to your boots, chaps, and jeans. However, you can’t be going around topless in that hot summer sun!
Your shirt should be simple – cotton, button-down, long-sleeved shirts are preferred. White, plaid, or anything else will work, but cotton is the key element here. High-tech fabric will rip when it gets wrapped around a limb. Cotton won’t budge – but it will also give you some breathing room on the dance floor and on the range!
What Do Ranchers Wear in the Summer?
Most of the time, summertime attire on the ranch is exactly the same as it is during the rest of the year.
Shirts might be thinner and cooler, with the goal of summertime shirts primarily to provide protection from the sun. Shorts are a no-no, but a lighter pair of denim jeans is a good way to go.
Many ranchers switch to straw cowboy hats or even baseball caps in the summer. Another swap that many make is the change to chinks, or half-length chaps. These are ideal for warmer climates since they don’t cover the entire leg.
What Do Ranchers Wear in the Winter?
In the winter, a rancher will, again, wear the same types of clothing that he wears during the rest of the year.
However, he might make a few swaps and additions.
Insulated bibs and heavy coats are common, as are thick high-quality gloves. Insulated vests are also good choices, as are thermal underwear.
Many ranchers also upgrade to woolies at this time of the year. Woolies are thicker chaps that are made out of fleece or cowhide hair. They’re common in the Rocky Mountains and Northern Plains and are designed specifically to keep the legs warmer during the cold winters.
Another type of chaps you might consider wearing are shotgun chaps, also known as stovepipes, because they have a snug fit. These chaps are better at trapping body heat and can keep you warm in snowy, windy conditions. Whatever you do, don’t wear them when it’s hot and humid – you’ll pay for it!
What Style Hat Do Ranchers Wear?
Ranchers can wear any type of hat but the classic chapeau is the cowboy hat. A good hat shop should carry a variety of cowboy hat styles and can even mold your favorite crease pattern into the brim and crown.
If it’s hot, opt for a straw hat – in the cold, a felt hat (beaver or rabbit) is best.
Most cowboy hands will stand up well to the elements, whether it’s howling wind or drenching rain.
What Do Real Cowboys Wear?
If you want to kick it cowboy style, you’ve got to dress like one. These fashion tips will help you stay comfortable and safe while working with your livestock and on your ranch – while also helping you look the part.