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.

Dial ‘M’ For Menswear

The Men’s Fashion Staple to Die For…


The suit and tie has a long standing position in men’s clothing history. The evolution of the suit started with the elaborately decorated outfits of men at court (1600s – 1700s). Since then menswear has become a lot simpler.

Men’s Vintage Suits

The basic parts of a suit have seen adjustments throughout history:

  • Jackets had wide opened fronts that became single or double breasted.
  • The widths of lapels have widened, narrowed, and widened again.
  • The long waistcoat (first introduced in 1666) was replaced with the shorter vest.
  • Long trousers made stockings and breeches obsolete.
  • Heeled footwear gave way for flat boots and shoes.
  • Fabrics became scarce during wartime, and made available again during economic booms.
  • Cravats & ascots changed to bow ties and neckties.


Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980)

The Master of Murder, Alfred Hitchcock, always made his appearances in a black suit and tie. From his cameos in most of his films to his introductory monologues of his television show Alfred Hitchcock Presents, he can be seen wearing the men’s fashion staple. Although Hitchcock personally kept it simple with his black suit and tie, he used costuming as a way to communicate to his audience the true nature of the characters in his films. Colors were particularly important in demonstrating the good or evil, the innocent or guilty, or the hero or victim of a character.

Join us all month as we display our menswear collection and revere one of film’s greatest directors – Alfred Hitchcock. We can dress your male leads for success with our business attire, formal wear, and casual clothes – complete with complimenting accessories. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for photos and information about our menswear collection.


Did you know?

During his time as a director (1919-1980), Hitchcock directed 52 films and appeared in 40 of them! What started as a joke became his signature, and thus became known as “King of the Cameo.”

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)