For the young or the young at heart, western costumes are a fun way to show your adventurous side at Halloween parties or other costume parties throughout the year. Whether you buy a fancy pair of boots or just make a belt buckle out of cardboard, cowboys, prairie girls, and even mustachioed villains are always in style.
For cowboys who want to look like they're about to step into the saddle, start with an old pair of jeans and a flannel or plaid shirt. Add a vest and chaps if desired. Fabric stores have simple patterns and felt or suede-like material. You can also make your own "leather" by using brown paper bags. Crumple the paper, wet it, and wring out excess water. Iron the paper and then cut out a vest or chaps. Cut fringe along the edges for decoration.
A cowgirl costume can be similar to a cowboy's, but you can make things a little more feminine by wearing a mid-length skirt with a button shirt. Sew or glue fringe along the shirt's back yoke, cuffs, and pockets. You can also glue sequins or rhinestones onto your costume for added flair.
Cowboy and cowgirl costumes aren't complete without a pair of western boots. If you don't have boots, you can make qa pair out of paper and wear them over your regular shoes. Color and cut out four boot-shaped silhouettes, and tape one to the outside and inside of each leg. You can also secure them together with rubber bands or twine attached to the inside of the paper. Tape a triangular piece of paper to the front of each shoe. Kids especially will enjoy coloring and decorating their own set of boots.
For a different western look, try a prairie style. For men and boys, wear a button shirt or a long-sleeved red T-shirt. Add denim overalls and roll up the legs into cuffs. Don a straw hat and chew on a piece of hay to complete the look. If the weather is nice, go barefoot! For women and girls, wear a long skirt and a long-sleeved blouse. Tie on an apron and wear a bonnet.
For a cow costume, wear a white, black or brown sweat suit. Cut out paper, felt, or fabric spots and attach them to the suit. Make a tail out of felt and wear a large bell around your neck. Wear the same thing for a horse costume, but use sections of yarn or a long wig for the mane and tail.
Finish off your western look with some rootin'-tootin' accessories. Tie a bandana around your neck, strap holsters to your hips, or attach a looped rope to your belt. For a large, shiny belt buckle, cut a shape out of cardboard and wrap it in aluminum foil. Decorate it with gold and silver glitter paints. Be a good guy by pinning a sheriff's badge to your vest. Or you can play the villain by wearing a mustache or drawing one on with eyeliner.
Top off your western costume with a 10-gallon hat. Give kids small western decorations to glue on and personalize their hats, such as feathers, metal badges, beads, old coins, or sequins. To ride off into the sunset, carry a stick horse. You can also make a horse or cow out of a cardboard box and wear it attached to suspenders.
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