Now that Americans have to tighten belts, a small but important accessory becomes ever more integral to the psyche of the modern-day cowboy. Whether you seek utility or bling, you still have to be able to be able to keep your damn britches on. Buckaroos and Buckarettes, may I re-introduce…the belt buckle.
The Cowboy of the collective imagination tends toward the spare. A simple square or rectangle of metal cinches the belt tight. For those western fetishists out there, you will want to accessorize with holster belt and bullets–crisscross the belts for a playful yet rugged look that will also allow you to hunt for food in the days to come.
As TV shows appropriated cowboy heroes and elevated them to pop star status, the buckles became more ornate. An interesting touch from the star of TV’s Maverick, one that showcases the gambler in all of us. Neat and utilitarian, this buckle goes a step further; its gold filigreed scrollwork points toward the upside of this downward spiraling economy–we can still have our dreams of glory.
For the real mavericks out there–those who want to have their beefcake and eat it too–Randy Jones of the Village People does a bang-up job with his own take on the buckle. Why wear one at all? Sex is the cheapest pleasure we have.
And last but not least, we have the showpiece of champions, or those who want to look like them. Gold, silver, bucking bulls, rearing horses…whatever your fancy, the platter-sized rodeo buckle adds the metallic gleam that is missing in your wallet. Real champions have to work hard for theirs–bone-breaking labor and long hours on the road. Nouveau champions, especially those of the hedge fund variety, may find that their faux flash will make them itch.
Which brings us back to some little-known Cowboy Facts.
19. Real cowboys don’t get their panties in a twist; they wear their belt-buckle identities a little loose on their hips.
18. Whether the belt buckle is for show or for real, it still has to have a core, decent, family value: hold the britches up, please.
17. A real cowboy knows that the most important aspect of the belt buckle is ease in taking it off. In preparation for the outhouse or for bedding your pard, the simpler the buckle’s action, the better.
P.S. A special thanks to a great site that has belt buckles up the wazoo: Gold Mountain Mining. Their stunning buckles included the two rodeo beauties above. God bless ’em.