Belt buckles, despite popular belief, were not worn before the 19th century. Back then, during the preindustrial error, the process for making belt buckles had not yet been invented. People had to rely on suspenders.
Howdy there. Ever wondered how the western cowboy’s big belt buckle tradition started? Why are cowboys’ belt buckles such a big deal throughout their culture, and what do they represent?
A belt buckle can be an excellent way for you to express how you feel. You could buy one to show your love and support to your state, love for your family, or even religion. Please have a look at some of the most amazing belt buckles in our collection or even order a customized one!
Some modern silversmiths currently make belt buckles taking inspiration from the earlier belt designs popularized in movies. Doing this helps preserve western cowboy history and helps maintain a healthy and robust cowboy culture. Or, in this case, belt buckle culture.
Cowboys were and have been known to sign/customize their buckles with their initials, names, favorite sports, and have even been used as a way to show their allegiance to the nation. Apart from the hat, a buckle belt is one of the most personal pieces of property that a cowboy can own.Buckled belts have always been used as calling cards for cowboys. They’ve always been used to express several ideas and as a way of communicating a cowboy’s thoughts and opinions. The belt buckles were easily customizable, and they had enough space that could support intricate customizable designs.
One thing you notice apart from the two mean-looking revolvers on his hips is the big, brassy, intricately designed belt buckle that seems to stand apart from the rest of the outfit. Well, except his brown boots and white hat, obviously. He’s a sheriff.
Cowboys don’t go for generic belt buckles. They want something unique and meaningful; why? Well, the reason for this is quite simple, generic belt buckles have no particular sentimental value because they’re just like any other belt buckle.Buckle belts were used as trophies from as early as the 1020s. They could be awarded to winners in various sports such as barrel racing, bull riding, tie-down roping, and other events. Cowboys are incredibly proud of this tradition.
Clint Ormes is one of the western blacksmiths who gets inspiration from old unique designs from the 19th century. Another iconic blacksmith whose work is inspired by the buckled belts worn by Gene Autry in the 1935 movie, known as The Phantom Empire, is David Dear.
Buckle belts became popular in the middle ages. More so, in the second half of the 14th century, they were used by knights, which made them gain a lot of popularity. However, their popularity decreased with time, and it never again gained reached the same levels until the 19th century.
Who wears big belt buckles?
The big buckles that cowboys wear have their origins in the buckles worn by soldiers in European Armies, who expected their soldiers to look sharp when they headed into battle.
One commonly known fact about buying anything is durability above anything else. It would be best if you bought a belt that can serve you for a long time. Buy buckles made of durable materials since they are strong and can, therefore, last a long while instead of other weaker materials.People, especially during the middle ages, found buckle belts to be more functional than suspenders, especially during the civil war. Cowboys and Texas rangers later turned the belts into gun belts, which were even more practical because they could be fitted with holsters and pockets for ammunition.
What is a Hickok belt buckle?
The Hickok Manufacturing Co., a Rochester firm that made belts, wallets and other accessories for men, created the distinctive award, a gem-studded, solid gold belt buckle on an alligator-skinned belt.
Cowboys are used to earning their belt buckles. So, if you are planning on buying a belt buckle, go for a belt buckle that is meaningful to you as a way to celebrate your small wins.
Suspenders first came into play in the 18th century in France. They were very basic, often strips of ribbons that were attached to buttonholes in trousers. Suspenders were considered to be undergarments and served a convenient purpose, keeping men’s trousers up.
What makes cowboy belt buckles special is that they are used as an anchor for unforgettable memories or events. The memories and events are a sign of their dedication and persistence, like their first bull riding experience, for instance.The scene opens in a desert town, and you see a lone person riding a horse into the town. The camera follows him slowly, taking its time. It seems to know that he is important, somehow. The man walks into a saloon and as he sits at the bar with one leg touching the floor on the side.
Let’s explore some of the most interesting facts on the western cowboy’s fascination for big buckled belts. What it all means and where it all started.
We live and breathe custom pins, coins, and patches. After over 20 years of experience in the custom promotional products industry, and creating custom pins for Adobe, Red Cross, Airbnb, Six Flags, and more, we know a thing or two. You could say we’re experts, and we’d likely agree with you.
However, spoiler alert, cowboys didn’t actually wear belt buckles before the 1920s. They wore suspenders because they were more practical. It wasn’t until after the 1920s that Hollywood popularized belt buckles as one of the essential must-have items for a cowboy, which helped popularize it even more for modern-day cowboys.
The Texas rangers wore sharp belt buckles which rodeo cowboys later wore in balls and social events combined with dressy cowboy boots. The trend was facilitated by Hollywood movies like The Searchers in 1956 and music videos like The Mysterious Rhinestone Cowboy in 1974.
Cowboys didn’t actually wear belt buckles before the 1920’s. They wore suspenders because they were more practical. It wasn’t until after the 1920’s that Hollywood popularized belt buckles as one of the essential must-have items for a cowboy.What we wear is a reflection of who we are, and the same goes for cowboys. Using belt buckles to pass across your thoughts on important issues can really help emphasize your commitment to that opinion.
Belt buckles through the ages haven’t changed much – they have been in use since ancient times and have never gone out of fashion. They are an accessory with a purpose. You would be forgiven for thinking Roman buckles from 2000 years ago, like the ones above, were made recently because the designs haven’t changed much. They all have the same hinged D-shaped buckle with a pin that the belt strap loops through. It is not a bad way to buckle a belt, but there is clearly room for improvement. Fashion has advanced over the years, and so should the belt buckle! If you ask us, traditional belt buckles are pretty unexciting. They have a fatal design flaw – the way you have to weave the leather strap through the D-buckle breaks your belt down in one spot, creating an ugly-looking wear pattern. Eventually, the leather will tear at that spot, forcing you to buy a new belt. This is especially true of belts made with inferior leather products. Belt buckles are one of the few ways guys can make a bold statement with their clothing. Some people use big belt buckles to make a strong statement. Think – massive dinner-platter size cowboy belt buckles or rodeo western belt buckles. And sure, a big gold or silver cowboy buckle is a statement piece, but that is a tad old-fashioned. You can earn way more style points with a creative buckle with a cool function, like one of the ones we make.
Belt buckles are one of the best and only accessories for men. Their primary purpose is to hold your pants up and make you look good. Belt buckles come in many different shapes, sizes, and materials but are most commonly made of metal and attached to a leather belt strap. They are stylish items that can quickly upgrade any outfit to make a fashion statement, from work attire to casual wear.Obscure Belts’ buckles work in a completely different way than other designs. Our patented design uses two parts working together – the cool buckle on the outside that you click to open and the special sizing screw on the inside that the buckle locks on to. This unique locking system keeps the stress of day-to-day wear off your leather so it looks great for years. No bending your leather in half to put your belt on, no floppy belt strap. Plus, your belt buckle just looks and works so much cooler than anything else out there. We stress-tested and built the Outlaw buckle to last many years of use.There are so many different styles of cool belts that you could wear with your favorite clothing – how do you choose which one will look best? We put together this guide to help answer all of your questions about modern belt buckles.
A cool belt buckle is a staple accessory for any man’s wardrobe. It can make an otherwise uninspired outfit look awesome or be the perfect finishing touch for special occasions. The best part about cool buckles? They aren’t just for men – anyone can wear them! Style them with jeans, kilts, or even skirts and dresses.A good belt buckle is all about the details. The best buckle for you is made with good quality materials, in a finish color to complement the kinds of clothes you like to wear, and paired with the best leather possible. If you use a belt to hold your pants up, the buckle should be sturdy enough to hold up to the stresses of daily use without damaging your belt strap.Some belt buckles are made with aluminum, stainless steel, or non-metal material such as wood or carbon fiber. These buckles are less common but a good choice if you have a nickel allergy.Now that we answered the most common questions about how to wear men’s belt buckles, you can confidently shop our collection of belt buckles to find the perfect one to match your unique style and fit your waist. They make great gifts too! The guys in your life will appreciate getting one of these beauties for an anniversary gift or for father’s day.
Do real cowboys wear jeans?
Jeans. All traditional Wild West cowboy outfits use jeans as the pants. This material was made popular at the end of the 19th century. Likewise, it was common to wear denim shirts.
Some belt buckles require a leather keep – a little leather loop made to hold the extra belt strap in place. This isn’t a great look because it makes belts look floppy and unkempt. One of the unique benefits of our belt buckle design is that the extra leather tucks on the inside of the belt, giving your outfit a seamless, clean style.Broadly speaking, there are three different types of gun belts: leather gun belts, reinforced gun belts, and tactical belts. Here’s what you need to when buying a belt for everyday carry.
Should men wear belt buckles?
Belt buckles are one of the best and only accessories for men. Their primary purpose is to hold your pants up and make you look good. Belt buckles come in many different shapes, sizes, and materials but are most commonly made of metal and attached to a leather belt strap.
American men’s fashion is notoriously lacking. There aren’t many creative options for men to express their personality and style. Sure, there are handkerchiefs, shoes, watches, or cufflinks you can accessorize with a suit, but choices are pretty limited if you have a casual style.Our belt buckles attach fairly simply – they screw directly into a leather strap cut straight at one end. Some traditional belt buckles use snaps or rivets, but in our experience, screws feel more secure and don’t make your belt bulge out from your belly as much.Belt buckles can be made out of just about anything if you’re creative enough. Most new belt buckles are made with metal and are plated to achieve cool colors and finishes. Those with fancy tastes can get a fashion belt buckle made of sterling silver, brass, or copper. In our opinion, it’s kind of overkill and too expensive for most people, but to each their own. It’s pretty easy to make different color metal buckles at a much more affordable price.
What is the significance of belt buckles?
Belt buckles are given for accomplishments in the “cowboy” world for such things as barrel racing, bull riding, team roping, tie down roping and more.
Do real cowboys wear belt buckles?
Cowboys didn’t actually wear belt buckles before the 1920’s. They wore suspenders because they were more practical. It wasn’t until after the 1920’s that Hollywood popularized belt buckles as one of the essential must-have items for a cowboy.
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Why do Texans wear big belt buckles?
Why do Texans wear big belt buckles? The saying goes – “Everything is bigger in Texas!” – and buckles are no exception. Traditionally, they are given as rodeo trophies and commemorate important events in state history. That carried over into everyday western fashion.
A Texas belt buckle represents Texas pride and history. A Texas belt can fall into two categories: the shape of the state, the Lone Star, or something commemorating Texas history, or it’s just a cool big buckle that makes a big statement, like jewelry for your waist.The Outlaw buckle has been a customer favorite for years. Obscure Belts spent months redesigning its third generation, expected to be available in late 2022. It’s equal parts art, history, and engineering merged into an innovative take on classic Western buckle styles. We make our old-school revolver belt with premium materials with full grain leather in any size. You won’t find our one-of-a-kind buckle designs anywhere else!
Great accessories make the outfit, even just your favorite jeans and a flannel shirt. Whether dressing casually or going out on the town, a Texas belt buckle makes you stand out and look great.The saying goes – “Everything is bigger in Texas!” – and buckles are no exception. Traditionally, they are given as rodeo trophies and commemorate important events in state history. That carried over into everyday western fashion. Wearing Texas-style buckles reminds you of home and shows off your Texas pride.
Nothing says Texas or cowboy style like a big, bold western belt buckle. Go out on the town or show off at the next rodeo with one of our men’s western buckles. You can even wear them for everyday carry! Our patented belt buckles will grab everyone’s attention and let them know you mean business.
That belt was presented in Detroit in 1949 to Jake LaMotta, who was immortalized in the film Raging Bull. After that, the Hickoks decided to move beyond boxing and present a belt to the top pro athlete in all of sports, and the Rochester ceremony was born.Football star Ken Stabler received the last Hickok Belt award in 1977 at a dinner in Washington, D.C. Tandy soon announced the award was being discontinued, and within a few years, the Hickok company also was shut down.
The Hickok Belt award is best remembered for its run from the 1950s to 1976, during which the ceremony was held here all but the final years. But there also were other, lesser-known presentations.By the early 1970s, the Hickoks sold the family company to a holding company which in turn sold it to the Texas-based Tandy Corporation. The 1970 ceremony was at the War Memorial and drew a record crowd of more than 1,000. The head table included icons like Jesse Owens and Joe Louis.
The award was presented annually to the top athlete in sports in a presentation that became known as the “Academy Awards of Sports.” Unlike, say, the Heisman Trophy award, which recognizes the best in college football, the Hickok Belt covered all sports.
Sportswriters and sportscasters from throughout the United States voted on the award. The first presentation was in January, 1951 at the old Seneca Hotel downtown. More than 700 people turned out, “dressed to the nines” as Pitoniak noted. New York Yankees shortstop Phil Rizzuto was the winner, finishing above finalists like boxer Sugar Ray Robinson and NBA star George Mikan.Among the legendary athletes who came to town for the ceremony were Mickey Mantle, Arnold Palmer, Jim Brown, Rocky Marciano and Willie Mays. The Hickok Manufacturing Co., a Rochester firm that made belts, wallets and other accessories for men, created the distinctive award, a gem-studded, solid gold belt buckle on an alligator-skinned belt.
Do real cowboys wear big belt buckles?
Cowboys didn’t actually wear belt buckles before the 1920’s. They wore suspenders because they were more practical. It wasn’t until after the 1920’s that Hollywood popularized belt buckles as one of the essential must-have items for a cowboy.
Even then, there was talk of moving the ceremony to a bigger city, but the Hickoks insisted on holding it in Rochester. Most of the sports superstars made it here over the years. When golfer Ben Hogan won the award but couldn’t make it to the 1954 banquet, it was accepted on his behalf by Sam Urzetta of East Rochester, who won the U.S. National Amateur championship four years earlier. Ray Hickok made arrangements for comedian Bob Hope to present the belt to Hogan in California.
The last Hickok Belt awards ceremony in Rochester was in January, 1972. Later that year, Tandy announced that the 1973 event would be in Chicago. Pitoniak quoted a promoter long involved with the Hickok Belt saying that the move changed the feel, that the award ceremony “lost its personal touch.” Later ceremonies were held in New York City and elsewhere.
The ceremony was held as part of the Rochester Press-Radio Club’s annual charity dinner during the winter at various Rochester hotels and other venues. The Hickok award, phased out a few years after the Hickok company was bought by an out-of-state firm, has undergone a recent revival although the glory days have long since passed – at least, for now.
So that was it – until Tony Liccione Sr. of Hamlin, the former president of the Rochester Boxing Hall of Fame, secured the rights to the Hickok Belt award in 2008 with hopes of reviving the tradition. Monthly and annual winners have been announced since 2012, but except for a 2011 “comeback dinner” at St. John Fisher College, there have been no events and no belt presentations.
One belt was awarded in 1927 to a local fighter named Mike Conroy. That was the only one of its era. When company founder Stephen Rae Hickok died unexpectedly in 1945, his sons, Ray and Alan, took over the business and decided to award a belt in their father’s name to the middleweight boxing champion.Local boxing legend Carmen Basilio was honored at the 1958 ceremony and the crowd went nuts. Basilio managed to say a few words but couldn’t continue his speech, overcome with emotion. The crowd gave him another standing ovation and cheered enthusiastically, Pitoniak noted. In his wonderful book, “Jewel of the Sports World/The Story of the Hickok Belt Award,” Scott Pitoniak called it “the most coveted and respected individual award in all of sports” as well as “the most revered in American sports, the granddaddy of them all.” Subsequent dinners were held at places including the Powers Hotel, the Hotel Manger and Midtown Plaza. The 1968 banquet included the introduction of the Golden Link Award, which honored sports legends whose careers were before the Hickok Belt award. The first such recipient, boxer Jack Dempsey, jokingly told the crowd, “I can’t sing, dance or talk. But I’ll fight anyone in the house.”A buckle is the centerpiece of any men’s or women’s Western belt; it can draw attention or create a subtle highlight. Belt buckles come in a variety of materials, shapes, styles, and sizes so you choose how much or how little you want to stand out. Before you choose a new Western buckle for your belt, explore our helpful guide to discover which style works best for you.Though not set in stone, a general recommendation is to match your jewelry and accessories with the metal of your belt buckle. A silver, brass, or gold-toned buckle should complement your necklace, cufflinks, bolo tie, or watch. The exception to this rule is your wedding band, which does not need to match your metal accessories.
Belt buckles come in different shapes and sizes, ranging from small and thin to large and intricate. Belt buckle shape has less to do with strength or durability and instead allows you to customize a belt with a detachable buckle to suit your style preferences.
Cowboys and cowgirls who work and play hard need a belt buckle that can keep up with activities from ranching to riding. Western belt buckles can be made from just about any material, but the strongest buckles are metal. The most popular belt buckle metals are those that can stand up to a long day at work and retain their good looks for a night out.
Why do cowboys wear big belt buckles?
For some cowboys and cowgirls, belt buckle style means more than the material or frame type—it’s about honoring history. Large plate-style belt buckles were first worn by American Civil War soldiers, then by members of the U.S. Army Cavalry, Texas Rangers, and Western movie stars including Tom Mix and Gene Autry.
A plate-style Western belt buckle offers enough surface area for scrollwork, pinpoints, rope edges, lettering, and, of course, expressive artwork. Plate-style cowgirl and cowboy belt buckles come in assorted themes, designs, and slogans on the front that proudly show where you stand, how you think, and what’s important to you. As with the rest of your Western wardrobe, a statement-making belt buckle is meant to stand out, so wear it proudly no matter the occasion. Generally, you’d wear a thin, classic buckle with a suit or formal attire and a larger buckle with casual wear. A big, Western plate-style buckle looks best with jeans, but can be worn with khakis or trousers for a business-casual event. Generally, men’s belts are worn from right to left, with the end of the belt passing through the buckle on the left side of the zipper. Women’s belts are designed the opposite: left to right with the strap threading the buckle on the right side. But, you may prefer to thread your belt based on your dominant hand. Wear your belt whichever way is the most comfortable for you.
A Western belt with a removable buckle usually has snaps on the underside for a quick, easy swap and can accommodate most buckle styles: A plate, frame, or ring style works best on a leather belt with a detachable buckle. A webbed belt or other style without holes works best with a box frame buckle.
To find the right belt buckle size, ensure the buckle is the same width as your belt: if your belt is 1½ inches wide, pick a 1½ inch buckle for a comfortable fit. If the belt is wider than the buckle, it won’t slide on; if the buckle is wider than the belt, it will go on, but may shift around uncomfortably.
You can match a new buckle with almost any type of belt strap, from leather to canvas. This gives you plenty of options without buying a new belt for every occasion. These belt buckle fashion tips help you create a look to suit your preferences.
For some cowboys and cowgirls, belt buckle style means more than the material or frame type—it’s about honoring history. Large plate-style belt buckles were first worn by American Civil War soldiers, then by members of the U.S. Army Cavalry, Texas Rangers, and Western movie stars including Tom Mix and Gene Autry. Plate-style Western belt buckles have been synonymous with cowboys and cowgirls ever since they were first awarded to rodeo cowboys in the 1920s.Tightening the belt. A notch in someone’s belt. To belt someone. Hitting below the belt. These contemporary idioms involving belts all reflect a certain negative association with belts. However, in the Middle Ages, belts had vastly different implications. Across Europe, they were symbols of nobility and authority, a symbol that had its origins in practicality. Belts – large, long and elaborately worked – were essential wear for a knight, enabling him to keep his sword close at hand and at the ready, strapped to his side. When the sword was removed, the belt would stay in place around the wearer’s waist until they disrobed. As swords and the other accoutrements of knighthood became more elaborate, belts did too. They soon became an exquisite sartorial option in their own right. By giving the gift of a belt, the donor is acknowledging the recipient’s nobility, while at the same time the donor also subtly references his own nobility.