Lifestyle

The Evolution of Cowgirl Fashion

Just like country music, country clothing has changed drastically over the last 100 years. Throughout the last century, cowgirl fashion has evolved from long skirts and frilly blouses to skinny jeans and flannel button-downs.

While the fashion trends on the ranch have changed, a few things remain the same: cowgirls want clothes that are functional but still fashionable.

From frills to fringes, leather to denim and skirts to jeans, the cowgirl style has evolved over the last 100 years. Take a look at some of the cowgirls’ best styles of the last century.

1913

Flickr/Toronto History
Flickr/Toronto History

Cowgirls around the turn of the century donned the classic long skirts, wide-brimmed hats, fringed vests and boots. Over 100 years later, many of these styles, like fringes and leather boots, still influence modern fashions.

1920

The Bulletin

The cowgirl of the “roaring 20’s” sports the same fringe and leather accents that were seen earlier in the twentieth century. Much like the flappers of this era, this progressive cowgirl takes on a less conservative look with a shorter hairstyle and (gasp!) pants.

1930

Buffalo Bill Historical Center
Buffalo Bill Historical Center

The 1930’s cowgirls continue the trend of wearing pants. In this era, beaded embellishments become more popular, as seen on the second cowgirl from the right.

1940

Messy Nessy Chic
Messy Nessy Chic
Messy Nessy Chic
Messy Nessy Chic

In the 1940’s, the cowgirls’ skirts get shorter and the pants get tighter. Gone are the days of long, baggy skirts and ruffly blouses. These rodeo queens are showing a little more skin with this more modern look.

1950

Owens Valley History

Time to break out the plaid and denim. In the 1950’s, cowgirls start sporting classic Western wear: jeans and a flannel. This style is carried on throughout the ’50s and into the 1960’s, and it’s still a standard rodeo look today.

1970

Tumblr/Super Seventies
Tumblr/Super Seventies

Bell bottoms and discos were all the rage in the ’70s, and even the rodeo queens copied these trends in their clothing styles. These fringed bell-bottoms combine the classic ’70s look with a touch of Western.

1980

Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors

Fringed and embroidered button-downs ruled the rodeo in the ’80s.

1990

Photo Bucket/Chelsea Babcock
Photo Bucket/Chelsea Babcock

Hats, belts and hip-hugger jeans dominate the cowgirl fashion scene in the ’90s and early 2000’s.

Twenty-first Century Cowgirls

Modern cowgirl styles have come a long way since the early 1900’s. While many cowgirls today pay tribute to the styles of the cowgirls of yesterday, the styles have changed drastically.

From glitzy…

… to glam…

…. to traditional…

… and everything in between…

… there’s sure to be a modern cowgirl outfit to suit your style.

Next: 10 Places in the U.S. Where Cowboy Culture Is Alive and Well

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The Evolution of Cowgirl Fashion