What To Wear To A Rodeo

What to Wear to a Rodeo

If you have never been to a rodeo before, we encourage you to give one a try. They are a really fun event that you are bound to love. Plus, it is a great way to see beautiful horses do some cool things. What’s not to love? 

For people who are new to rodeos, it can be tough to know what to wear. Thankfully, this guide will give some inspiration for both men and women, ensuring that you are appropriately dressed for this event. 

What Are Rodeos?

Do not worry if you are unfamiliar with rodeos. Essentially, they are a sporting event whereby the participants can show off their cowboy and horse-based skills.

What to Wear to a Rodeo

Horses and other animals are frequently included in these routines. This allows you to see cowboys and cowgirls working with some majestic creatures. 

  • Steer wrestling
  • Bull riding 
  • Team roping 
  • Tie-down roping 
  • Barrel racing 

Rodeos are particularly popular in the United States, particularly in Wyoming and Texas. The sport is also common in Canada and Mexico, meaning that you may be able to watch a rodeo if you visit these countries. 

What Should I Wear?

Whether this is your first or fifteenth rodeo, you may be searching for some wardrobe inspiration. These tips can be used by both men and women, as the outfits tend to be quite similar at rodeos.

Cowboy Hats

What to Wear to a Rodeo

As an event that is rooted in the history of cowboys, cowboy hats are a wardrobe staple at rodeos. There is something about that that will immediately help you get into the mindset of a cowboy.

Felt hats are the most popular variety, though you can also get cowboy hats made from leather or straw. 

Though felt hats look great, you may be better off wearing a straw hat in the summer. Felt will likely cause you to overheat.

In terms of color, a black cowboy hat will go with several outfits, though it may also be too hot for warm weather. In this case, you may be better off with a light or medium brown cowboy hat. 

Remember to look up cowboy hat etiquette before wearing one. For example, you will be expected to take your hat off whenever the National Anthem is played.

What to Wear to a Rodeo


For both men and women, denim jeans tend to be worn at rodeos. Though you can try wearing trousers, they may seem too formal for this event. Bootcut jeans will be ideal, especially for men. If not, feel free to try straight-cut denim jeans.

In terms of color, blue jeans are the standard. Black jeans will likely be too hot for these events, so it may be best to leave them in your closet. Though it is acceptable to have a few rips in your jeans, overly ripped jeans will not be too fashionable at a rodeo. 

Cowboy Boots

What to Wear to a Rodeo

Like cowboy hats, cowboy boots are one of the first items of clothing you will think of when it comes to rodeos. Cowboy boots have quite high heels, allowing you to add some extra height to your appearance.

They are also quite decorative, enabling you to find an appealing pattern. You can find them in a small range of colors, though most cowboy boots are brown. 

You may want to break in your cowboy boots before you attend the event, as they can be quite uncomfortable at first. Traditionally, cowboy boots are made from leather. You can also get faux-leather cowboy boots if you are vegan.

Though leather boots can be a costly investment, they are worth spending the money on if you want to attend rodeos frequently. Suede boots are also an option.

What to Wear to a Rodeo

Buttoned Shirt

Shirts are a great way of adding some color to your rodeo outfit. In fact, you are pretty much free to choose whatever pattern, print, or color you want. The only rules that you have to stick by are that the shirt should have buttons and a collar. 

You can stick to some fairly standard shirt colors, such as white or blue, or you can experiment with more bold prints or patterns. Even if you do not want to do something too vibrant, you can still try wearing a striped or checkered shirt. Honestly, the sky’s the limit!

Belt And Buckle

What to Wear to a Rodeo

Though you may need to wear a belt to hold up your clothes, you can also wear one for style purposes. Preferably, the belt should be made from leather (or synthetic leather).

The belt will likely be on show, as shirts are commonly tucked into the pants at rodeos. As a result, you may want to choose a designer buckle. 

Try to match the belt to the rest of your outfit, mainly the boots or hat. For example, if your cowboy boots are medium brown, you should wear a medium brown belt. 


What to Wear to a Rodeo

When the weather is chilly, you may want to opt for a scarf. This choice is particularly popular with men in winter. 


Though jewelry is not commonly worn by men at radios, feel free to give it a try. For women, jewelry is quite popular. For jewelry, turquoise is often worn at rodeos. If you are going to wear jewelry, you may want to match it with your shirt color.

What to Wear to a Rodeo

Other Accessories 

Bandanas are perhaps the best rodeo accessory. They can add some much-needed vibrancy to your outfit, as they are available in a variety of colors and patterns. Red is a widespread choice when it comes to bandanas.

You can keep it in your pocket or wear it around your neck. Bandanas do not tend to be worn around the head at rodeos, as they are unnecessary when wearing a cowboy hat. 

You may also consider wearing a bag to your rodeo so that you can store all your essentials. For women, you may want to bring a tasseled handbag or purse. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Wear Sandals To A Rodeo?

What to Wear to a Rodeo

It is not the norm to wear sandals to rodeos, as cowboy boots are the more common choice. We only advise wearing sandals when the weather is warm. They will be more comfortable in the heat. 

Why Did Cowboys Wear Bandanas?

What to Wear to a Rodeo

You may have noticed that cowboys are often depicted wearing bandanas in film and TV. The reason why they wore these accessories was to protect themselves from the harsh conditions in the desert. Bandanas would defend their faces from sand and dust. 

Final Thoughts

Rodeos tend to be lively events. By following these style suggestions, you will be able to fit into a rodeo. If you ever dreamed of being a cowboy or cowgirl as a child, rodeos are great ways of living this fantasy.

Catherine McDowl
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