1890’s Riding Outlaw, Kateri Schneider

1890’s Outlaw, Kateri Schneider (and other Gals)

 

The Cody Gunfighters

When the Buffalo Gals were attempting to develop the Cody Wyoming Walking Tours, we hung out all day with a group of re-enactors and performers called “The Wild Bunch” (aka “Cody Gunfighters).  We had run ins with these handsome men in dusters and authentic costume many times before, but the summer of 2019, 5 of us got to really know Buffalo Bill Cody, Wyatt Earp, The Sundance Kid, and the rest of the Gang.

A few photos from hanging out with The Wild Bunch summer 2019:

Suzi with Buffalo Bill Cody just before the gunfights start at the historic Irma Hotel in downtown Cody, Wyoming
The Gals loved The Sundance Kid and his silk scarves

 

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Kateri in costume before performing the first time at the Historic Irma Hotel in downtown Cody, Wyoming
Leave the shop, we like the way the skirt moves and the fit in the back
Wearing the matching linen scarf
Outside the shop. She’s wearing a brocade medium length corset until we make the new short and flexible one, so she can’t bend at the waist so well (on purpose!)
While high fashion demanded the piled up and big “Gibson Girl” hair, an outlaw would throw her hair into a braid and go
The hat makes this very Southwestern – like New Mexico or Arizona, so we recommend she buy a FIVE Gallon stetson. She’ll have to choose black or white though! That’s all they had back then, although a cowgirl would have worn a straw hat in summer. This one is wool felt and features a silver concho and peacock feathers
Last pose before the first show

INDIVIDUAL ITEMS

Split Skirt

This was adapted from an historic pattern.  It features a drop flap center opening and quick buttons for “using the weeds”.  She’s wearing modern unders with the corset for now, but these will eventually have a matching pair of “knickers” that will somewhat duplicate the shape since women of the 1890’s did not wear panties and needed a bottommost layer that was washable.

 

 

 

Bolero Vest

Waiting for photos..!

Shirtwaist

There really are no patterns for this era for a western interpretation, so we made our own!  Starting with the Bernard type shirtwaist of the early Edwardian era, and mixing in the 1890’s sleeve that featured fullness at the shoulder, plus looking at extant photos and photos of real women, we made this as a kind of “merging” of late 19th century styles.

The priority was comfort and fit though.  This is a lovely double gauze softened lightweight linen that is very breathable, washable, and looks good ironed or wrinkled.  Kateri’s assignment was to get it dirty and sweaty and to allow sweat rings to stain it, because that’s what would happen in reality to an outlaw or cowgirl wearing this.

 

 

Note it is long sleeved with a modified high collar.  Women did not wear short sleeves.  Period.  We shortened the collar because we know Kateri doesn’t like a high one or a tight one, and we want her to be comfortable performing.

The revers in 1890 had only just become truly a separate garment, the shirtwaist, as a part of the newly created “suit” that had evolved from riding habits and was a trend spurred on by the Parisian designers who saw a big market in the new trend for women in sports and work.

The Western woman wore a type of “suit”, as “suits” of the time were really only two pieces: bodice and skirt, until the separate blousewaist was added a decade or so later.  This 3 piece ensemble is less of a fashion statement from the time than a modified replication of what men in the field in the West were wearing at the time.

It’s a “ride astride cowgirl” outfit.

 

Hidden plackets and real mother of pearl buttons are a “nod” towards the evolving Edwardian fashion, while maintaining the easy function of dressing yourself

 

The newer Edwardian sleeve cuff is great for wearing under the gauntlet glove typical of cowgirls and women who rode astride or worked cattle at the time

Scarves & Neckwear

The costume for performance will have a silk “snakeskin” scarf, but other neckwear we have in shop change the whole look.  The leather necktie would have been VERY typical of a western woman to wear from about 1910-1914.

Vest

Our outlaw took off with her basic garments before we got photos, so these are on the mannequin without a corset.  The corset gives the shape for this bolero vest.  It is made of the same fabric as the skirt, with a unique shoulder insert design that looks like a shoulder holster.

 

 

Boots & Gaiters

The ride astride woman of the 1890’s to 1910’s for the most part would not wear trousers.  This meant she also had no protection for her legs from rubbing against the horse or the horse’s tack (saddle and equipment).  In situations where a man would be wearing trousers with chaps (leggings), the woman was already stretching the rules beyond societal norms to be wearing a split skirt!  She therefore would (mostly – of course there were always exceptions) need something to protect her lower legs.

The answer was a gaiter  or legging.  Built the same as men’s leggings from the 18th century (it seems nothing is REALLY new in fashion by the 1890’s – they repeated a lot of 18th century concepts), these wrap around the lower calf to the knee.  They are worn over the boot, which makes them a bit lumpy.  This is because historic women did not wear boots like these.  The wore a short shoe with gaiters.

These boots are Oak Tree Farms modern reproduction and include 2 historically inaccuracies: hook type lacing and synthetic polyester uppers.  Since this is for theatrical production though, it’s the overall effect we’re after – and fast.  The gaiters are made of real lambskin, died to a variable medium brown to match the skirt.  Grommets are antique brass large metal with round matching lacings.

These came out to be a bit coarse in appearance, but they will look great from the distance that the audience is from the performers, plus they will be easy to put on.  The mannequin has no calves, so these will look much better on Kateri.

 

 

Scarf

This is cotton lawn “snake skin” and can be worn many ways.  It has a simple hand sewn narrow hem.  No that isn’t for COVID – that’s to rob banks, although a side benefit might be outlaws are safe from COVID because they are wearing masks…

 

 

 

Camisole

in production

Knickers

in production

Riding Corset

in production

 

coming soon!

 

 

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