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Cowboy Sartorialism: What to wear to a Dance/Concert

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(This post was inspired by whatever wonderful person got to this blog by asking “what to wear to a George Strait concert.” Bless you, whoever you are.)

Warm weather is here and it’s time to get out and enjoy it. What better way than heading out to a concert or dance and giving your date a spin around the floor?

Here’s what to wear for a night of two-stepping:

The Shirt

A light colored plaid, 100% cotton so it will breath. Go with pearl snaps, something classic and casual. Like this one from Stetson or this one from Larry Mahan. Nothing too crazy, but colorful. You’re going to be wearing some dark blue jeans, so keep the shirt a light color for contrast.

The Jeans

Levis 514’s in a rigid wash, or a medium wash. Generally, I advise buying your denim as raw as possible because it’s a better value, but if you have a pair of jeans that are a little washed out, fit well and stack up over boots just right, wear those. Why 514’s? Nice, slim cut that fits well over boots, and in this case, the low rise isn’t a big deal because you won’t be sitting much and the extra range of motion is only going to help out there on the dance floor. Don’t go with anything that has overly embroidered pockets or is overly distressed. My tween-aged nieces wear bedazzled jeans and they’re the only demographic that doesn’t look silly in them. Buying pre-distressed jeans is like buying a car at the brand-new price but with the added bonus of 40.000 miles on the dial and a bunch of dents in the doors. No bueno.

The Belt


Yeah, a belt. If you’re going to a more rocking or casual show, you can leave your shirt untucked. If you’e going to be dancing, tuck it in, lest your shirt tail flap around like a skirt. Chances are you’ll look better with your shirt tucked in, because it makes a better silhouette. Go with a Carlos pattern belt like this one from Big Bend Saddlery. This is an old turn of the century design that this sorta coming back. It’s simple without being boring like a basket weave or floral pattern and unique without being too out there, or looking like you wrapped all the chrome from a 50’s diner around your waist. If you have a trophy buckle or fancy buckle, now’s the time to break it out. If not, whatever u-shaped generic buckle you have will be fine.

The Boots

If you don’t have a pair of boots for partying, now’s your chance. I recommend a walking heel and either a round toe or a not totally unctuous square toe. Go for American made and something close but not matching your belt. If it’s your first pair, I’d go with brown, like these Tony Lama’s.

The Hat

Wearing a hat isn’t for everyone, and if you didn’t grow up wearing or one, or don’t have a lot of confidence, go bareheaded. (Don’t wear a ball cap in this situation. If you’re going to go out, the least you can do is comb your hair.) Where you come from and what you do will usually determine what brim shape and crown crease  you’ll wear. My modest suggestion: something ventilated like these from Atwood Hats.

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One big advantage Palm Leaf hats have is that they’re super easy to shape at home simply by soaking them in plain water. They’re tough and I’ve noticed they last a lot longer than some other straw hats.


In some parts of the country it’s considered rude to dance with your hat on. Do what everyone else is doing.



The above is not a cowboy hat. Buy a real hat from a real hat store and not something that looks like it’s been run over by the Kenny Chesney tour bus.

(In the future I’ll cover all of these topics a little more in depth. Happy two-stepping!)



About Seth

Bury my heart in West Texas.

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