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Hipsters versus cowboys: When fashion worlds collide

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When Westword staff writer Melanie Asmar called out the announcer and rodeo clown at the National Western Stock Show Rodeo yesterday for using Brokeback Mountain references to make gay jokes (personally, I'm more offended they haven't updated their material since 2005), causing the NWSS to promise never to do it again, we wondered what else they could mock in lieu of the gays. Editor Patricia Calhoun suggested "hipsters in skinny jeans (here's looking at you Jef)."

Nice one, Patty. But flawed, because cowboys also wear skinny jeans -- in fact, if you break it down, the similarities between hipster style and cowboy style are pretty striking.

This isn't a chicken-or-egg argument: cowboys have been around a lot longer than hipsters, and there's no argument that it's the hipsters copying the cowboys, not the other way around. But they're really not so different. Take a cowboy, lower the waist of his jeans, subtract the Stetson and add a pair of plastic-rim glasses and you've pretty much got a hipster. I explained this to Patty. She said, "You're cracked."

Am I, Patty? Am I? Ladies and gentlemen, Exhibit A:

The Neckerchief

Like many hallmarks of cowboy style, the neckerchief as fashion came originally from necessity -- it's dusty out there on the lonesome range, and sometimes you need to keep the dirt out of your airways. For hipsters, it's useful for mopping the sweat off your brow when you're seeing an obscure indie band you've probably never heard of. Also, get a load of that

Mustache Indeed, the mustache has long been a hallmark of cowboy style; on hipsters, it's "ironic," meaning that it's like a mustache, but not like a "serious," mustache, but still, like, a mustache. Really, pretty much all hipster styles are supposedly ironic. Hipsterdom entails doing a lot of things but not really doing them. Things, for example, like holding your pants up -- which you might do with a... Belt Buckle

In this instance, cowboys and hipsters are basically on a level playing field. The belt buckle serves basically no purpose in hipster fashion but to be ironic and look flashy, but then again, it's basically the same deal in cowboy fashion minus the irony. It holds the cowboy pants up a little higher, but you don't really need a huge buckle to accomplish that. Speaking of pants, in both cases, they tend to be

Tight Pants

Sure, hipster pants tend to ride the hips instead of the waist and tend to be a little tighter than cowboy pants, but not really that much tighter. In both cases, it's fairly surprising that either hipsters or cowboys are able to fit the pants over their

Cowboy Boots

Oh, hello, Russel Brand. What kind of boots are you wearing there underneath your ridiculously skinny jeans and zipper cardigan? Oh, you say they're cowboy boots? Hipsters love cowboy boots, and when that style of boot is so closely associated with cowboys that it's actually named after them, it's hard to deny the parallel. Coincidence? I think not, Patty, because that's not the only thing hipsters love that is named after cowboys -- try, for example, the

Cowboy Shirt

Both with cutoff sleeves, even? Ladies and gentlemen, I rest my case.

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