Honoring “La Vaquera” Through Fashion

The vaquero’s roots are derived from Mexico and the direct ancestor of the American cowboy and cowgirl we see today.  The clothing of vaqueros and vaqueras resembled their culture and tradition.  Mi Reina Mobile Boutique is #morethanfashion.  This blog is dedicated to the diverse and colorful fashion of la vaquera and the cowgirl influence.

Vaquera Fashion Brief #Herstory

Often, you would see the vaquera wearing a low-crowned hat, bolero jacket, sash and spurred boots.  This style of dress was very common in the North American Southwest, especially in states like Arizona and Texas.  Armas were an early form of chaps made of slabs of cowhide hung from the saddle and folded back to protect a vaquero’s legs from the thorny cactus. Chaparejos that fully enclosed a rider’s legs were the next practical evolution of protective gear for Mexican vaqueros. By the late sixteenth century, vaquera dress included a leather chaqueta or jacket, a sash, knee breeches called sotas that were usually made of leather, long drawers visible under the sotas, leather leggings that wrapped to the knee, and spurs attached to buckskin shoes. Vaqueras, too, changed their dress to reflect changing technology and culture. By the mid-nineteenth century, their dress consisted of wide-brimmed, low-crowned hats, short jackets, thigh-high chaparreras tied to a belt at the waist that were worn over trousers, boots and large rowelled spurs. The twenty-first century vaquero wears chaparejos that resemble those developed over 400 years ago but he wears a broad-brimmed hat with a higher crown trimmed with a fancy hatband and ready-made shirt and pants.

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Lydia Santa Cruz at the ranch, wearing chaps. (Photo courtesy of her granddaughter, Sandra Luca)
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Comadres y Vaqueras (photo courtesy of her daughter, Melissa Santa Cruz)
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Lupe Trejo on her horse! (photo courtesy of her grandson Mauro Trejo)

I love to see fashion trends come back again. I call this boomerang fashion. The western wear we style today was influnced by the vaquera.  When thinking of what fashion pieces to bring to Tucson, we hand picked every item and was influenced by the vaquera.

Mi Reina Mobile Boutique was also inspired by three constant images:

1.) The Vintage Vaquera

2.) The Pop Culture Cowgirl

3.) The Vaquera Today

Scroll down to see the images that influenced Mi Reina Mobile Boutique and our Viva Rodeo Pop-Up!

1.) The Vintage Vaquera

A truly popular art form, the glamorous paintings of Mexican calendar girls have a long and fascinating history—as advertisements, promotional gifts, and emblems of Mexican cultural heritage and pride.  I love the colors and the diversity amongst the images.

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2.) The Pop Culture Cowgirl

Popular culture or pop culture is the entirety of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, images, and other phenomena that are within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the late 20th and early 21st century.  The cowgirl image can be seen in various art forms and spectrums, especially through music.  I like to see a diverse range of cowgirls and style.  I listen to all kinds of music, from hip hop to country to tejano.   Some of the pop culture cowgirls who stood out to Mi Reina was Beyonce, Kacey Musgraves and the late, Selena, Queen of Tejano music.  All three are from Texas and were influenced by the vaquera, the cowgirl figure.  Take a look!

Beyonce

 

Kacey Musgraves

 

Selena Quintanilla – Perez

 

3.) The Vaquera Today

It was very important for us to showcase the best representation of the vaquera today.  Who else better to represent this image than a real cowgirl!  We were so proud to announce that Samantha Contreras represented as our #mireina model and was the perfect fit! Samantha, who has been riding horses since she was practically in diapers is a true cowgirl. 🐴 She competes in rodeos throughout Arizona and is also passionate about fashion and modeling.  I love Sam and her rodeo family! Thank you Samantha for being our #mobilereina model!

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Check her out, doing what she does best – rodeo! Good Luck, Samantha!

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Author: mireinaboutique

Mi Reina Mobile Boutique is the most unique and innovative way to shop for clothes and accessories in Tucson and Southern Arizona. “Mi Reina” is in the process of becoming a fully renovated vintage trailer that offers more than fashion. Mi Reina’s goal is to make every person who visits the 1961 Siesta Liner to leave away feeling like a queen, inside and out. Every reina, or queen deserves to feel beautiful. Mi Reina Mobile Boutique made its debut in Fall 2016.

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