Dressed Just Right: An Evolution of Western Style from Function to Flamboyance
Spring 2011 – January 11, 2013
When Montana cowboy Teddy Blue Abbot said in 1878 that he was “dressed just right…” after donning new cowboy clothes, he voiced one of the truths about western dress. There is a sense of being dressed just right in the West that often sparks a feeling of confidence, individuality, and freedom to those who wear it. The special exhibition Dressed Just Right: An Evolution of Western Style from Function to Flamboyance explored the history of western dress with a lot of flair itself.
Western dress is known by familiar materials and details including embossed or fringed leather, felt hats, and silver and bead embellishments. Materials and patterns did not rise rapidly but developed over a five-hundred year period and were influenced by a number of cultures. These styles are still with us today and are recognized worldwide as American western dress.
Guest Curator Dr. Laurel Wilson shared some insights about this exhibition: