The legendary style of the cowboy has been a staple in American folklore and culture since the late nineteenth century. Originally, the cowboy's hat was designed to protect eyes from the sun or serve as a pillow. His boots, with their sturdy leather and two-inch heels, were made specifically for the demands of his job. Although the authentic cowboy is a modern rarity, his unique style remains popular with men and women around the globe. However, today's wide variety of options, like cowboy hats and boots, can sometimes cause confusion if you want to create a cohesive look.
Like most shoes, your boots should be coordinated with your entire outfit. Black, a neutral color, matches well with blue jeans, as well as other cowboy accessories. Choose a boot that is constructed of leather and matches your overall look. If you plan to wear a brown leather hat, light-wash jeans and short-sleeve button-up or tee, wear unpolished boots that are made from aged or rustic leather. Black rustic leather, when paired with a broken-in cowboy hat, provides a casual cowboy look.
Like black, brown is a neutral color and matches a number of clothing options. If you are not interested in a rugged cowboy look, utilize brown to create a cohesive color palette. Wear a brown leather cowboy hat, button-down shirt, dark brown belt and brown, polished leather boots for a semi-casual look that's appropriate for dinner or drinks in the city. "American Cowboy" magazine recommends that men wear dressier boots for a night out, saying, "This is a good time to try alligator, emu, ostrich or less durable materials that can look more refined but aren’t as rugged as leather."
Although many men stick to traditional brown or black boots, variations in color are often encouraged by the fashion-savvy. In the article, "How to Dress Like a Cowboy," GQ stylist Wayne Gross suggests that light leathers, such as caramel and cream, will offer an element of contrast to your look. Pair your cream-colored boots with a pair of dark-wash denim jeans and a brown leather cowboy hat for a modern, well-coordinated cowboy look.
Cowboy boots from the 1960's and 1970's are noted for their elaborate patterns and subdued colors. While these borderline-flamboyant boots may not appeal to all men, "American Cowboy" magazine notes that they often go well with modern trends. Pair these boots with light-wash, boot-cut jeans, your favorite button down shirt and a brown leather hat for an eclectic, but decidedly personal, cowboy style that is sure to make a lasting impression.
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