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Clothes Worn By Texas Rangers

Those single action shooters wanting to dress like early Texas Rangers can look at a large number of photos taken in the old west in putting together their costume. Photographers in the 1800s frequently took pictures of Rangers (as well as lawmen and other gunmen) to accompany stories in newspapers and other publications and easily found willing subjects for their photographs.

Much of the material for this story was taken from a website article by Curt Rich of Houston. Readers interested in more information on Ranger clothing are encouraged to read his story, The Texas Ranger Costume. The website of the "Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum is another good source of photos.

There was no uniform for Texas Rangers and the clothes they wore were those of the working cowboy. With many exceptions, Rangers generally wore a plain shirt, vest (to hold a watch, smoking materials, and other range items), and tie or kerchief. Canvas duck or wool trousers with suspenders, boots with spurs, and a hat with a 4" crown and 4" brim rounded out their clothing with a long riding coat or duster for rainy or cold weather. Other stories in this website describe the weapons carried by Rangers in more detail (see Stories link at top of this page.)

As pictures are worth a thousand words, the photos below provide a good sampling of the clothes worn by early Texas Rangers (all three of the photos below were copyrighted in 1999 by the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and are used with their permission.) The first photo is that of Ranger Company B taken about 1880. The second shows two Rangers, George Black and J. M. Britton, in a photo taken about 1895 in which they are not wearing suspenders, vests, or ties. Note the addition of gauntlet gloves, however.

Both of the above photos are posed and, as Curt Rich notes in his article, photographers frequently asked their subjects to push their hats back so you could see their faces. The photo below is a more informal photo taken of Captain D. W. Roberts' Ranger Company about 1878. In addition to providing another sample of clothing worn by Rangers, I also like the unposed camp life scene.