Cowboy Costume Ideas


Celebrate Halloween by planning and making an inexpensive and memorable costume. The basis for this costume is often already in your closet, and accessories are easy to find at local thrift stores. Add various tools popular in the Old West for an authentic feel. Oversize belt buckles, chaps, fringe, silver and turquoise jewelry, bandannas, gun belts and lassos all work well to convey the classic cowboy image.

Grown-Up Cowboy

  • If you're a man exploring your roots in the Wild West, dressing up like a grown-up cowboy for costume parties fills the requirement. This costume is quick and simple but allows its wearers to don a heavily masculine personality for the night. Start with a pair of dark jeans, and add any shirt reminiscent of the Old West. Checked print, plaid, striped and white with blue squares are a few options. Add a big belt buckle, a pair of brown leather boots with spurs--remove the teeth so they don't stick anyone--and wrap a dark blue print bandanna around your neck. If you're lucky enough to have access to a big turquoise and silver ring, all the better--slip it on your finger. To ensure this costume comes off as grown-up, add a gun belt, carry a lasso and wear a vest. Chaps are an authentic addition as well.

Easy and Inexpensive Child Cowboy

  • Head to a second-hand thrift store to pick up clothing items necessary to make an original cowboy outfit for your child. Search for a plaid shirt for boys or a gingham shirt for girls, preferably a button-up one with ruffles running down the middle. Wear a vest over the shirt. Brown fringe is available at a fabric store and easily sews on for added effect. Attach a strip on the front of the shirt, both the left and right sides as well as a single strip stretching all the way across the back. Dark jeans are the best bet for bottoms. Pick up an iron-on patch, or sew on a scrap piece of fabric over the knee to create one-of-a-kind jeans. Search the men's section for a big silver buckle or a leather belt. A straw hat works well for the cowboy hat. Tie a pretty bow of scrap ribbon around the brim for girls. Cowboy boots are the final touch that pulls this outfit together.

Grocery Bag Getup

  • If you're looking for an extremely simple, very inexpensive cowboy costume that can be constructed with homemade materials, the cowboy costume Grocery Bag Getup suits your needs. The basis for this outfit is a pair of dark jeans and a blue shirt. You will need several brown paper bags from the local grocery store to fold and secure into a vest large enough to reach below the waist. These bags also work well for chaps that cover the entire leg and fall to the ankle. Flatten silver foil candy cups, and create an intricate pattern on the chaps with brass paper fasteners. Poke fasteners along the outside seam of both pant legs to create a memorable stitching detail as well. You'll need a hole punch to make the initial hole for the fastener. Make a belt buckle out of cardboard. Cover an aluminum foil loaf pan with brown paper, and thread shoelaces through the sides for a cool cowboy hat. Add a red or navy bandanna around the neck for color.

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  • Photo Credit cowboy image by Lisa Eastman from
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