Wednesday, February 15, 2006


One of the important facets of CAS is the dress code. It doesn’t take much, but even a little effort in this department can go a long way. If you don’t have much money (and who does after buying 4 guns) and you aren’t into the whole dress up thing then here is the way to get outfitted from head to toe.

Cowboy Hat: You must have one and the goods ones cost some money. For about 25 to 35 dollars you can get a Bailey or Straw hat at any local western wear store.

Shirt: Any plain white button down shirt will do. If you’ve got a Goodwill store nearby stop in the collarless shirts are more authentic and usually you ca find bunches of them at Goodwill stores. Shouldn’t have to spend more then 20 bucks on this, and you probably already have something that will work.

Pants: Blue jeans will work just fine if they don’t have any designer tags on them. Levi’s and Wranglers work the best. Again you should already have a pair and if you don’t you can pick some Wranglers up for under 25 bucks

Boots: Cowboy boots are also required and expensive, so if you already have a pair (even if they are funny colored and from the 80’s) go ahead and use them. If you don’t have a pair, then pick you up some Justin Ropers they can be had for about 75 bucks.

There you have it. That is all you need to start shooting, but Costuming in CAS is just as important to some people as shooting so if you are looking for more authentic duds then here is where you start looking.

If you live in Arizona take a run into Phoenix and go to Wild West Mercantile. They have everything you need to get started. It’s a great place and they also do a bang up business through the internet. If you are in Indiana then you have to go to Tonto Rim. They are the Midwest version of Wild West Mercantile, except they also specialize in custom cowboy hats. In Iowa you’ve got River Junction Trade Company who carries tons of authentic gear. The internet is full of stuff and you may want more then one outfit if you plan on attending State shoots and above. I find that 3 outfits are about right for the multiple day shoots. You might also want fancy duds for the cowboy balls and the cowboy churches. So here are the basics for someone wanting to put some time into their outfits.

Cowboy Hat: You will probably want a felt or beaver hat; they cost money, but look great. Check out Tonto Rim first, but River Junction Trading Company and B Bar 10 also have a load of choices.

Shirt: The first question you need to ask yourself is; what is my character going to be? If you are going to be a townie then you will need a dress type shirt, frontiersman will want a different kind of shirt and a cowboy still another shirt. Actually going with a character concept is important to all of you clothing choices, so get a clear idea first then look for appropriate clothing. Wahmaker makes a shirt for everybody so start there.

Vest/Coat: you will probably want a vest since they were so common in the Victorian era. Wahmaker has you covered on here. A coat may be necessary if you are really dressing up or are shooting where it gets cold. You will want to do some serious shopping on this one since the styles and weight very so much.

Pants: Wahmaker, nuff said.

Boots: Custom boots can run you around 400 to 500 bucks so unless you are made of money I would stay away from them. Good period correct boots will go for about 250 and you can find them almost anyway. Look for a Boot World near you, or check out the many Civil War Reenactment pages for authentic Cavalry and Infantry boots.

Have fun with the costuming. It helps you get into the whole CAS thing. Nothing sucks more then being on a posse with a guy shooting in Combat Boots and a Baseball Cap...OK, other things suck more, I just don't like it.

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