How To Avoid Looking Like A Cowboy When Wearing Boots

This was a real question entered into a search engine and directed to this blog:
I have no idea why a guy from Kansas (a midwestern U.S. state known for cowboys) would ask this question, but I will give an answer (warning: these are the opinions of a guy who thinks the cowboy look is a good one!) Here are 12 rules for how to avoid looking like a cowboy when wearing boots:

1. Don’t wear a hat. Most cowboys these days wear ballcaps. In Fall, Winter, and early Spring, some men may wear a traditional Stetson (or Resistol) “10-gallon hat.” Cowboys wear hats because they avoid direct exposure to hot sun.

2. Wear a polo shirt, especially with an animal like an alligator on it. Cowboys are an unpretentious sort, so they avoid wearing any designer clothing, especially polo shirts with animals on it.

3. Wear pleated (cuffed) pants. Or, you may consider wearing designer jeans that have a pronounced label from an over-priced yuppie-oriented company. Get the “low rise” version of pants, as well, and show a hint of your underwear out the back (or even your butt crack when you bend over). Cowboys wear regular-rise blue denim jeans, usually Wranglers, which fit him appropriately.

4. Either don’t wear a belt, or if you do, choose thin dress belt with a small, non-distinctive closure. Cowboys often wear a wide leather belt and a substantial metal buckle.

5. Wear gold jewelry on your fingers, arms, and neck. The more the better. Once again, cowboys avoid wearing jewelry other than a plain wedding ring and perhaps a basic watch with a leather band.

6. Wear a sport coat and tie. Cowboys don’t wear jackets and nooses (except at funerals or weddings.)

7. Wear cologne. Cowboys don’t wear perfume.

8. Wear eye makeup. Just a touch, to remove any hint of dark circles or bags under your eyes. Cowboys have natural eye sags and bags that occur from working hard in the sun (even if wearing sunglasses.)

9. Wear products in your hair. A nice coif with your hair sticking up in just the right places … is definitely not a cowboy look. Cowboys keep their hair clean and short, and “product-less.”

10. Slouch and slide your feet along the floor. Cowboys stand tall and straight, and walk with grace.

11. Don’t look anyone in the eye when you speak with them, or shake their hand. Cowboys do both — look a man in the eye and shake hands firmly.

12. When you wear boots, choose boots with wild exotic skins, or X-toes, or high heels. Keep your boots very shiny and don’t let a spot of dirt get on the heels or soles. Real cowboys often wear ropers when going about town, traditional cowboy boots for work on a horse (or around a ranch), or even buckaroo boots. It is quite common that the boots look well-worn, and even a bit dirty. If you don’t want to look like a cowboy when wearing boots, then don’t wear boots that most cowboys wear regularly.

These are the 12 rules for “how not to look like a cowboy when wearing boots.” Hope this answers your question.

Life is short: understand the nuances of image and behavior.