December 1988 | Volume 39, Issue 8
Buffalo Bill is the source for all our ideas of what to wear in our own wilderness. His clothes show how to encompass what the Indians and the Mexicans knew and to exercise our Yankee style in harmony with theirs. The leather fringes blend with the quasi-military boots and big belt, the firearms with the silver embroidery; the cowboy hat crowns the assemblage. Chaps or a bandanna might be added, or the boots modified; but in all its versions, the American Western image was stamped on the national consciousness by William Cody, seen at left in 1909 with two colleagues from his Wild West show.