A study of history or at least a bit of readin' on period clothing will help here. There are some good books on everything from clothing to gun leather. It seems to be about time to mention choosing an alias. The character someone chooses to portray can have an impact on just about every angle of Cowboy Action Shooting. Now the personna doesn't have to be a cowboy. It can be a gambler, banker, judge, anyone who was a part of the era, and was likely to be packin' a smoke wagon. Take time to consider the versatility or restraints of a chosen alias. And check around to see if it is already taken if you want to be a historical character. Now If you are wonderin' where to find an outfitter to help with that special look... I know just the place. Drovers Mercantile takes care of most of my needs. Check out their link below. And visit other sites where the links lead ya'.
As far as pickin clothes, I guess the best place to start is at the top. Now for the ladies, well I claim ignerance there. I just know the ladies wore clothes and lots of 'em! Except for them Delano Dollies . Now those are some fine ladies indeed!
I need to make this clear before we go on. When it came to picking out clothes, one thing a cowboy did not have, was taste . A cowboy would buy what ever was new, bright and fancy. This could lead to striped pants, a flowered print shirt and a paisley or plad vest to go with it. His wild rag could be bright yellow silk. Or to put it simply, to dress like a cowboy just pick out the gaudiest, non-coordinated outfit you can muster. You will probably be pretty close to accurate.
There are as many kinds of hats as there are personalities. Pick one that fits you and your head. Here's a tip, consider stampede strings. The wind blows outdoors and likes to take hats with it.
Pullover bib shirts. More colors, prints and styles than you can shake a stick at. This would be a good time to check the vendors and see what they have.
A more appropriate term would be britches (or breetches, depending on yore accent). No jeans unless you can get them to look like the Levis the miners wore. Button front and one back pocket. You will want to do some research if you want dungarees. Most men will want (need) braces also known as suspenders to keep them up.
When you look at cowboy boots, most have a pointy toe or a "J" toe and some stitching on top of the toes. This is called a "toe bug". Prior to 1900, boots did not have toe bugs. Neither should Cowboy Action Shooters. There are several manufacturers of "period" footware. My personal preference is Buffalo Runner brand boots. Check with Drovers Mercantile for those and other brands of boots. If they don't have what you are looking for, try River Junction Trading Company. Make sure they have a good "shelf" if yore gonna wear Spurs.
Now lets add some layers.
I am working on a list of 101 uses for a wild rag. Here are a few: Wipin' sweat off your face. Use it like a napkin while eating. Put it over your hat and tie it under your chin if you don't have stampede strings. Dippin' in ice cold water on a hot day and wrappin' it around your neck. Using it as a sling iffn' ya git winged. Use it as a tourniquette in case you get snake bit. Covering your face in dust storms and while makin' withdrawls from the bank. Get the idea? I'm ssure you'll be able to come up with a few of your own.
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McGregor IA 52157
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