The American Cowboy – America’s Traditional Fashion

Countries throughout the world are known for their traditional clothing. The kimono, for instance, has been worn by the Japanese for thousands of years. In Europe, kilts are traditional wear for Scotland, and in Germany and Austria Tracht clothing is their fashion identifier.

See more traditional clothing styles of the world here.

The United States has had many fashion stages over its 243 year history, but the most iconic is the American Cowboy. They arose from the Vaqueros of Mexico, and were known as expanders of the west from cattle driving. The traditional garb of cowboys includes:

  • Cowboy Hat – which protects the head from the sun & the elements
    (John B. Stetson opened up his hat shop in Philadelphia in 1865, and today his cowboy hats are still the number one symbol of Western clothing.)
  • Bandanna – this simple piece of cloth has many uses from mopping up sweat to covering the face from wind & dust storms
  • Western Shirt – it’s long sleeve protected the wearer from the sun
  • Jeans – the long legged pants protected the wearer from the elements and were made of sturdier fabric to prevent rips and tears
    (In 1890, Levi Strauss & Co developed their first pair of 501 Jeans.)
  • Chaps – (pronounced shaps) were made of leather and provided protection from high brush or from the livestock while the cowboys were on horseback
  • Boots and Spurs – cowboy boots have pointed toes to fit into the stirrup while the raised heels act as a stopper to prevent the boot from slipping while in the stirrup. Spurs were used to signal the horse when and how to move.

Learn more about the origin of the American Cowboy here.

Today’s cowboys still follow the clothing components of the early cowboys. Mens Western shirts come in a variety of colors and patterns, and have pearl snaps or buttons. Sometimes Western shirts are accented by a bolo necktie. The bolo necktie first appeared in the 1940s. A man named Victor Emmanuel Cedarstaff claimed to have invented the bolo necktie and later patented the slide design.

Womens – or cowgirls – also have a line of Western wear including pearl snap front shirts and dresses. Their dresses are often accented with fringe, conchas, and if a short skirt, a contrasting crinoline.


The Cowboy may be the icon of American fashion culture, but the United States has had a lot of amazing fashion throughout its history. SCC carries authentic vintage clothing for men, women, and children from the 1950s thru the 2000s. And…

SCC is excited to announce the expansion of our vintage and uniform collections! Take a look at some of the examples of new pieces available for rental today!

Happy 4th of July!

American History – United States Flag

Did you know?

  • The flag of the United States has been altered 26 times since 1777? The current United States flag is the 27th version and is made up of 13 horizontal stripes – 7 red and 6 white – and a field of blue with 50 white 5-pointed stars. There have been many interpretations as to what the colors mean, but the most accepted/known description came from former President Ronald Reagan in 1986 who explained, “Red for courage and readiness to sacrifice; white for pure intentions and high ideals; and blue for vigilance and justice.”
  • The American flag also has several nicknames including: Old Glory, The Grand Old Flag, The Stars and Stripes, The Star-Spangled Banner, and The Old Red, White, and Blue.
  • Some have claimed that wearing the American flag as apparrel is illegal, but it’s actually not. It’s frowned upon, but you won’t be arrested for your American flag bikini, shirt, or bandanna.

New! Prep Space & Office

Two 212 sqft Cages and One 276 sqft Office Now Available!


Costume prep is essential to every production! Let us help you with our new cage and office rentals. We are conveniently located on the upper westside of Atlanta with close access to I-75. Click here to be redirected for more information!

Each SCC cage measures at 212sqft.


Each cage has 48ft of hanging rack & 24ft of shelf space. We also offer 2 z-racks & 5 laundry baskets for your convenience.


Solid oak hanging bars and metal shelving are fitted into each cage.


Our office comes with 2 desks, 2 chairs, and a cork board.


Our office also offers 2 z-racks, a partition curtain, mirrors, and an extra seat.


The office measures at 276 sqft and comes with access to our laundry and kitchen facilities.

(Spring) Cleaning Powers!

Spring is here…

…and that means time for spring CLEANING!

The cleaning of costumes should always be done professionally or with care, but what happens when you have an emergency on set?

  • How do you get that stain out of the actor’s shirt before he’s called to set?
  • How do you refresh the armpits of a shirt or dress that is worn over and over?
  • How do you keep rental shoes healthy for multiple wears?

Never fear! SCC has great tips, tricks, and products to help resolve and prevent some of set life’s costume mishaps like those above:

  • Salad oil stain on a shirt? Try WHITE CHALK! Gently blot out as much of the oil as you can with a clean cloth then take crushed white chalk and gently rub into fresh stain. The chalk will absorb the oil and you can “lift” the stain out with a lint roller or if you have the time, wash out in cold water.
  • Yellowing armpits or lingering underarm odor? Try ANTIBACTERIAL SOAP! Bacteria is the culprit when it comes to discoloration and odor. Use antibacterial hand soap to eliminate those problems by gently rubbing into the problem areas and wash in cold water.
  • Multiple users in your rental shoes? Try END BAC! Stop the spread of foot fungus and odor with End Bac. Spray into shoes after each use to keep shoes fresh for the next user.

Quick fixes are always good to have in your kit, but it’s even better to have preventative solutions to stop the problem before it starts. Check out these products that are available for purchase in our supply store:

Do you have a go-to product that you must have in your kit? Do you have a cleaning trick that has saved you on set? TELL US! Share your tips and products on our FACEBOOK page or INSTAGRAM page. Be sure to follow us for tips, tricks, and products all this month!

Celebrating Women’s History Month

 SCC Celebrates Women’s History Month

March 2019

This month SCC will honor women of history, women of film and costuming, and our beautiful vintage women’s collection. The contributions women bestowed throughout history can be seen in all fields of study, and women’s clothing provides a look into the experiences of their time; telling the story of the women who’ve worn them.

Our vintage collection consists of women’s clothing and fashion primarily from the 1950s thru the 1990s. We also house a few historical collection pieces from the Renaissance era and late 19th century.

Be sure to Follow Us on Facebook & Instagram for posts on women’s history, women of film and costuming, and on pieces of our women’s vintage collection. Join our list on Facebook to get monthly email blasts about the happenings at SCC, or click here to sign up!

Our women’s vintage dresses and formal wear. Featured dress is an authentic 1970s bridesmaid dress with matching cape. (photo credit: Nate Dorn)


Know Your Craft

Come Visit SCC’s Research Library!

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” ~ Socrates

  • Want to know more about the costuming industry?
  • Interested in historical dress?
  • Committed to developing your skills?
  • Have a passion for fashion?

Mastering your craft should be your objective while pursuing a career in the costuming industry. Own your skills whether they’re in design, ageing/dying, coordination, tailoring, historical clothing, dressing, etc. The most important tool is furthering your understanding of your craft by continuing to educate yourself.

 Southeast Costume has a small but mighty research library in house for your use.

Southeast Costume invites you to visit the shop and keep developing your skills. Our in house library contains books on fashion, costume design, vintage clothing catalogs, historical dress, military dress, photography, cinema and more!

Do you have books or catalogs you’d like to donate to the SCC library? We’d love to have them!

“When I do period work, I really like to read about the period as much as I like to look at pictures because sometimes the written word is much better at conveying what their lives were really like and how much they had and where their clothes came from. Because, a lot of time, people dressed in their Sunday best to pose for a picture.” ~ Colleen Atwood, Designer

(sourced from