Dress For a Rodeo

Suppose you’ve swiped right on a hot cowboy or cowgirl on Tinder, and they’ve invited you to a rodeo for your first date. In that case, you might panic if you’ve never ridden a horse or thrown a lasso.

And to top it off, you’re still determining what to wear to a rodeo without looking like a fool. But don’t worry; we’ve got your back with this quick wardrobe guide.

A rodeo can be viewed as an all-encompassing event that showcases multiple sports. But only the rodeo would be complete with the fans or spectators who cheer on the brave cowboys and cowgirls and add to the overall experience.

History: At a Glance

Rodeos have a long history. The term “rodeo” originated from the Spanish vaquero tradition in which vaqueros rounded up cattle.

Cowboys in North America created the first rodeo competitions in the 1820s, and rodeos quickly became mainstream athletic events.

Rodeo associations were formed in 1929 to establish standardized rules for the sport. Today, rodeos are athletic events that offer a unique blend of athleisure clothing and cowboy apparel.

What to Wear to a Rodeo – Guys

1. Rodeo Cowboy Boots

If you want to buy boots to wear to a rodeo, it’s important to consider style, comfort, and function. Avoid wearing work boots as their steel toes can overheat. Instead, choose the boot for ankle or calf-length boots in brown, as they are more versatile.

Look for boots with a low heel, around an inch or so, for comfortable walking. Wide-toed boots are also an excellent choice to prevent pinching or discomfort, but if they’re new, stretch them first to avoid misery all day long.

For a dressier look, choose boots with decorative designs or embroidered details.

2. Cowboy Hat

Always remember, If you tilt your hat back and it falls off your forehead, it’s a sign that it is too big. To ensure a comfortable fit, you want the rim of the hat to be snug but not sweaty or grimy.

There are many kinds of cowboy hats made of such as wool, felt, or straw. If you need more time to commit to the rodeo look fully, you can go for a baseball or trucker hat. Anything with cowboy couture is acceptable, such as hats featuring horses.

3. Cowboy Jeans

When selecting jeans to wear to a rodeo, it’s essential to consider the style and fit. Avoid cuffed or ripped jeans, as they tend to look too urban. Instead, pair a simple pair of well-fitting blue jeans, reserving other colors for the afterparty.

A straight cowboy cut is a great choice. Younger guys, particularly those in their teens and twenties, may prefer looser fits. In comparison, older guys over thirty may choose a slimmer cut.

Skinny and baggy jeans are not recommended, so avoid sagging at all costs! Boot cuts are acceptable, but a straight leg is more stylish, hanging loosely over your booted feet.

4. Cowboy Shirt

When attending a rodeo, guys typically have two choices of what to wear. These two are a button-down or snap shirt or a t-shirt. Always choose a long-sleeved shirt, preferably in a plaid or paisley pattern, though solid colors also work. Western-themed t-shirts are also a good option.

Ensure the shirt has a collar, and consider pairing it with a bolo tie. You likely won’t need a jacket or blazer unless the rodeo is indoors. To minimize the appearance of sweat stains, choose a darker shirt color.

Flannel shirts are ideal for this purpose and are often designed with snaps.

5. Cowboy Belt

Complete your rodeo outfit with a leather cowboy belt featuring a chunky silver buckle. Even if your shirt is tucked in, the buckle will remain visible and add a touch of Western flair. Consider accessorizing your outfit with a bulky watch as well.

Ensure that your belt is of good quality, as it’s an essential accessory for a rodeo. Don’t forget to carry a nice wallet too. Leave the tattered suede one at home, and select a good-quality wallet that complements your belt and outfit. You want to make a good impression on your date!

What to Wear to a Rodeo – Girls

1. Rodeo Cowgirl Boots

When selecting boots for a rodeo, prioritize style, comfort, and function. Look for boots with round or square toes instead of snip toes, as they provide more comfort while standing for extended periods.

Ankle boots are not recommended, but knee or thigh boots are impractical, so choose mid-calf boots with plenty of embroideries for a more stylish look.

Consider boots in different colors, with decorative stitching that matches your outfit or highlights specific elements. A low heel is recommended for both style and comfort.

Brown or white boots are versatile options, or you could go for brighter colors that complement your attire, such as a logo on your t-shirt or earrings.

2. Cowgirl Hat

For women attending a rodeo, a cowgirl hat can be a stylish accessory that complements your outfit. While baseball caps are acceptable, choosing a well-fitting cowgirl hat can help you make a fashion statement.

Choose a hat that flatters your face shape and works well with your hairdo. Blingy hats can be fun, but simpler versions blend better with the rodeo atmosphere.

You can make a statement when you’re wearing a hat, bejeweled or not. If you prefer something simpler, go for a beige or ivory hat with simple turquoise detail or feather appliqués.

3. Cowgirl Jeans

Wear fitted jeans that can easily be tucked into your boots when dressing for a rodeo as a woman. Stretch jeans are a great choice, and you can even consider colored jeans, but avoid any ripped ones.

Wear jeans with decorative details on the back pockets to show off your figure. Consider adding some embellishments to the front pockets too.

Look for boots with embroidery and bling to complement your jeans. Unlike men, who wear their jeans over their shoes, women should tuck their jeans into their boots for a more authentic cowgirl look.

4. Cowgirl Shorts

While Daisy Dukes can be a fun and trendy option for the rodeo, remember that they may not be appropriate for all occasions and dress codes.

If you wear them, consider pairing them with a top that provides more coverage, such as a loose-fitting blouse or a button-down shirt.

If you prefer a more modest look, consider wearing denim shorts that hit or just above the knee. Add flair with embroidered details on the back pockets or a cute belt.

Remember to prioritize comfort, especially if you spend much time on your feet. Choose shorts made of stretchy material or with some spandex content for added flexibility.

5. Cowgirl Skirt

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to what to wear to a rodeo, a good option is to choose practical and comfortable clothing that allows you to move easily. Instead of a long and flowing skirt, a shorter skirt or shorts may be more practical.

Styling options for bottoms are many, including curvy denim mini or short straight suede. Adding fringes to the skirt or shorts can provide a stylish Western look.

It is important to prioritize comfort and flexibility regarding what to wear to a rodeo. It’s also recommended to wear comfortable shoes that will allow you to move around easily while providing protection and support for your feet.

6. Cowgirl Dress

When choosing what to wear at a rodeo, consider a long-sleeved, comfortable dress in denim, suede, or leather. This will give you a feminine and stylish look while providing the mobility you need on horseback.

When choosing the dress style, options include boho dresses with bell sleeves or more ornate options such as plunging dresses with rhinestones and beads. Lace can also be an attractive option.

Consider highlighting details or colors with complementary jewelry, purses, or shoes when accessorizing your rodeo dress. However, it’s important to remember that functionality is vital, and pockets may be necessary for carrying essentials at the rodeo.

7. Cowgirl Shirt

It’s important to consider what you’ll wear on your lower half. Top off your outfit with jeans, shorts, or skirts in which the top matches. If you choose a plaid or flannel shirt, pick a long-sleeved fitted version that flatters your curves.

Also, you can try knotting the shirt or wear a peasant blouse or boho shirt for a more feminine and comfortable look. A cowgirl-themed t-shirt can also be a fun and playful option, either knotted or not.

If you choose a shirt, it can be embroidered or fringed, but it should be a collared button-down. Short sleeves are acceptable as well. Overall, the key is choosing a comfortable, practical top that complements the rest of your outfit.

8. Cowgirl Jacket / Vest

Girls need to stay warm and comfortable at the rodeo, especially if it’s held outside. Adding light overwear to your outfit can help keep you cozy and stylish. A denim shirt or a suede-fringed vest can be great options to consider.

Another fun way to layer your outfit is to wear a girly blouse underneath, such as an off-shoulder, boho, fitted t-shirt, or crop top, and then layer a long-sleeved plaid shirt.

This allows you to adjust your look as the temperature changes throughout the day, wearing the plaid shirt open or partially buttoned.

9. Cowgirl Belt

A chunky belt is a perfect accessory with jeans, shorts, or a dress to complete your rodeo outfit. Choose a style that complements your outfit, and consider a silver buckle adorned with rhinestones or other details for a touch of sparkle. A clutch or small sling purse that matches your belt is the best choice for your purse.


The clothes you wear to a rodeo can be challenging, especially if it is your first time attending. When attending a rodeo, cowboys and cowgirls typically wear clothes that blend athleisure and cowboy apparel.

Cowboy boots, cowboy hats, cowboy jeans, cowboy shirts, and belts are perfect for guys.

Women attending a rodeo can pick rodeo cowgirl boots, cowgirl hats, and belts, as well as accessorize with cowgirl shirts.

When selecting what to wear to a rodeo, it is important to consider the comfort, style, and function of each item in your outfit.

Golam Muktadir is a passionate sports fan and a dedicated movie buff. He has been writing about both topics for over a decade and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with his readers. Muktadir has a degree in journalism and has written for several well-known publications, including Surprise Sports.