Evolution of Cowboy Buckles with the Time

Evolution of Cowboy Buckles with the Time

Before the 1920s, cowboys didn’t actually wear belt buckles. Many cowboys didn’t even wear belts and today, some still don’t. Most cowboys by the late 1800s actually wore suspenders. Suspenders did the straightforward job of keeping the pants up just fine, and were very functional for the work of a ranch lifestyle – riding, roping, saddling, tending to and caring for animals, building, and the other tasks of ranch management. In fact, the whole attire of the cowboy within the 1800s was essentially functional, with many cowboys wearing second-hand clothing to figure in, since at the time clothing wasn’t mass-produced but custom and tailor-made.

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During the war , from 1861 to 1865, the military began to use the friction buckle , the sort of buckle where you pull the belt behind and thru the buckle to stay the belt in situ . It doesn’t have a prong and a hole. Those buckles were mostly made from brass, and because the war waged, and buckles were mas produced in large quantities, they became more widespread and a few cowboys started wearing them too.

It wasn’t however until the first 1900s, that trend, fashion and elegance began to work into the cowboy’s dress. This was the time that Hollywood began to romanticize, on the screen, the clothing of the cowboy. a definite cowboy image began to return clear, with Hollywood finding ways to reinforce elements that seemed particularly unique. In these early films, cowboys were wearing regular belts and buckles but by the 1950s, cowboys on the large screen had begun to sport larger, shinier western belt buckles with Western-related scenes and imagery. These images had a serious influence on the cowboy’s pride and fashion sense, and cowboys everywhere adapted, in part, to the pictures on the screen. Although these large belt buckles that were bulkier weren’t necessarily conducive to the type of labor cowboys did, many cowboys’ dress ethic shifted from merely practical to stylish.

Western belt buckles today, aren’t only for cowboys, but are popular amongst those that show an appreciation for western motifs and designs . Cowboy belt buckles are still in demand amongst real cowboys. But there also are cowboys that live functional and contemporary lifestyles, without those fashionable accoutrements – and that they are still cowboys.

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