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From hat to boots, the open range cowboy's clothing was well suited to the job.

Hat: The wide brim gave shade from the sun and funneled rain away. It could even be used to water a horse or fan a cook fire.

Bandana: The handiest accessory of all. This square of cotton or silk kept the draft off on a cold morning. Dampened, it cooled the back of a sweaty neck. Pulled over the mouth, it filtered the dust. It could be a bandage, a sling, a tourniquet or a washcloth. For a cowboy going courting, it was a colorful accessory.

Boots: High heels kept feet from sliding through a stirrup and trapping the cowboy on a troublesome horse. High leather tops protected him from snake bites and thorny brush.

Pants: Durable canvas pants were common. Some northern cowboys preferred wool. It was water resistant and warm.

Shirt: Cowboys wore pullover shirts that buttoned at the neck. Pearl snaps for western wear did not become common until the 1940s.

Spurs: Worn at all times, except to bed, the spur provided 'incentive' to a horse. A cowboy might own two pairs; one for working with rounded rowels [sharp-toothed wheel in spur shank], and another was a fancy silver pair with a special 'jinglebob' which clinked musically when he walked.

Vest: Provided an extra layer of warmth without the restriction of sleeves. The pockets might hold the 'makin's' for hand-rolled cigarettes, a pocket watch secured by a braided horsehair chain, or a notebook of brands and owners.

Chaps: Whether shot-gun [straight legs like a stove pipe], bat-wing [large floppy legs], or woolies [legs with sheep or goat hair], this extra layer provided warmth and protection from rough brush and contrary cattle.

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