For more formal occasions inhabitants of the West might opt for a suit with "smile" pockets, a half-belt at the rear, piping and a yoke similar to that on the Western shirts. This can take the form of an Ike jacket, Leisure suit or three-button sportcoat. Country and Western singer Johnny Cash was known to wear an all-black Western suit, in contrast to the elaborate Nudie suits worn by stars like Elvis and Porter Waggoner. The most elaborate western wear is the custom work created by rodeo tailors such as Nudie Cohn and Manuel, which is characterized by elaborate embroidery and rhinestone decoration. (See also Nudie suit.) This type of western wear, popularized by country music performers, is the origin of the phrase rhinestone cowboy.
In the early days of the Wild West trousers were made out of wool. In summer canvas was sometimes used. This changed during the Gold Rush of the 1840s when denim overalls became popular among miners for their cheapness and breathability. Levi Strauss improved the design by adding copper rivets and by the 1870s this design was adopted by ranchers and cowboys. The original Levi's jeans were soon followed by other makers including Wrangler jeans and Lee Cooper. These were frequently accessorised with kippy belts featuring metal conchos and large belt buckles
Leather chaps were often worn to protect the cowboy's legs from cactus spines and prevent the fabric from wearing out. Two common types include the skintight shotgun chaps and wide batwing chaps. The latter were sometimes made from hides retaining their hair (known as "woolies") rather than tanned leather. They appeared on the Great Plains somewhere around 1887.
Women wore knee-length prairie skirts, red or blue gingham dresses or suede fringed skirts derived from Native American dress. Saloon girls wore short red dresses with corsets, garter belts and stockings. After World War II, many women, returning to the home after working in the fields or factories while the men were overseas, began to wear jeans like the men.
During the Victorian era, gentlemen would wear silk cravats or neckties to add color to their otherwise sober black or grey attire. These continued to be worn by respectable Westerners until the early 20th century. Following the Civil War it became common practise among working class veterans to loosely tie a bandana around their necks to absorb sweat and keep the dust out of their faces. This practise originated in the Mexican War era regular army when troops threw away the hated leather stocks (a type of collar issued to soldiers) and replaced them with cheap paisley kerchiefs.
Another well-known Western accessory, the bolo tie, was a pioneer invention reputedly made from an expensive hatband. This was a favorite for gamblers and was quickly adopted by Mexican charros, together with the slim "Kentucky" style bowtie commonly seen on stereotypical Southern gentlemen like Colonel Sanders or Boss Hogg. In modern times it serves as formal wear in many western states, notably Montana, New Mexico and Texas.