Sunday, October 25, 2015

Doing It Piecemeal

So you don't want to purchase a whole cowboy outfit.  Or worse, you've realized that the outfit from the catalog is missing a few pieces, probably what you felt were the most important pieces.  Or perhaps you already own a few pieces of cowboy gear that you feel are good enough for a reasonable costume at that special Halloween party where everybody gets drunker than Cooter Brown and you just want a passable outfit.  Don't worry none, they got ya covered.

A fine mustache is something we associate with the Old West.  Now not everyone has the time, or in my case the genetics, to grow such a fine bit of facial hair.  I mean, I have friends that forget to shave for just one day and wake up looking like a ZZ Top impersonator, but not me.  Nope, If'n I want to look like Wyatt Earp, I'm going to have to buy a mustache, like the one above.  That's your basic handlebar western look, exaggerated a bit.  But just a bit.

Above we see Wyatt Earp himself.  That's a fine 'stache indeed.  See the way he's cleverly trimmed his facial hair, like a human topiary, to produce what experts call the "flying walrus" form?  The fauxstache above isn't a patch on ol' Wyatt's natural flavor-saver.  If you have the genes, I recommend you grow your own.  Mustaches were quite in vogue during the era, you know.

Well it's a vest.  Now I personally call them waistcoats (pronounced weskits) but that's me.  Vest is the accepted American term.  We associate vests with the Old West thanks to cowboy movies.  Oh, they were worn, historically, during the era to be sure.  A man wearing a waistcoat can safely remove his coat and still be considered dressed, as opposed to in a state of undress, in polite society.  So why the hell would a sodbuster or cow puncher bother having one on while riding the range or working the field?  And why wear it open?  Well, John Wayne did it all the time in his movies, and who are we to argue with the Duke?  This is a pretty shitty option, however.  The faux cowhide patches and the fringe just scream, "I'm a dude that's come out west and want you to think I'm a tough guy."  Or possibly, "I'm looking for a date, cowboy."

Better, hoss.  This vest is more in line with what I'd expect to see.  The fauxstache is decent too.  Your basic Earp economy model.  That hat looks a bit sad, don't it?
About the saddest damn thing known to man...
I don't know what to say.  It's a black bib style shirt popular with cavalry soldiers.  It's being worn by the tenderest of tenderfoot sugarpants nancy boys, however.  If he thinks the whip is helping his cause he is sadly mistaken.  That's just asking for the jokes I know you want to make but are too polite.  Don't worry, we don't judge you, the reader, at the CP Ranch.  Unless you show up dressed like that, in which case get ready to run home crying, which if you dress like that I suspect you do anyway.
My mistake.  THIS is the about the saddest damn thing known to man.
Chaps are a functional piece of outwear used to protect the trousers and the legs beneath them.  They are typically made of a durable material such as duck, leather or hide and are useful when working or riding through brambles, mesquite groves (the mesquite is a tree, well several species of tree, native to the Southwestern portion of the USA and Mexico with thorns on it that can get over three inches long and rip your shit up) and working around cattle.  These are shiny costume chaps that look like paper and have the stupidest looking fringe in the world tacked on.  Chaps can instantly say "cowboy" to the viewer, so they are an option, but these are like adding an orange water gun to your authentic cowboy outfit.  All people are going to remember is how damn fool stupid you look.

There are many more options I haven't covered here.  You can acquire all manner of convincing and not-so-convincing sixguns for your costume, get a lariat, definitely get some boots (especially since there are no costumes with boots as part of the package on the market) and you are going to need a good hat.  Honestly a bowler hat is a good historical choice, but again nobody will know why you did that, so stick with the classic.

So you can be a Western character, but are you a Weird Western character?

I feel like something is missing...

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