Dress Code and What to Wear to Prescott Frontier Days

Embracing the rich tapestry of Western culture, Prescott Frontier Days offers an opportunity to step into a world where cowboy hats and boots are more than mere fashion—they’re a nod to a storied heritage.

As we gear up for the “World’s Oldest Rodeo,” understanding the dress code is essential to fully immerse oneself in the festivities. This guide serves as your compass through the sartorial traditions of the event, ensuring you blend in with seasoned attendees while also staying comfortable and enjoying the festivities to the fullest.


Whether you’re a first-timer or a Frontier Days veteran, dressing the part is a ritual that enhances the rodeo experience, making every cheer, ride, and dance more memorable.

Understanding Prescott Frontier Days

Prescott Frontier Days holds the prestigious title of the “World’s Oldest Rodeo,” with roots stretching back to 1888. This event isn’t just a highlight of the calendar for rodeo enthusiasts; it’s a pivotal part of Prescott’s identity, embodying the historical significance and spirit of the Old West.

The atmosphere here is electric, alive with the sounds of boots on dusty grounds, the thrill of competition, and the warmth of communal celebration. Dressing for the occasion goes beyond the physical attire—it’s a nod to the cowboys and cowgirls who etched their stories into the history books.

The History and Significance of the Event

Immersing oneself in the traditions of Prescott Frontier Days is akin to stepping back in time. Here, history is not just remembered; it’s relived.

The event honors the cowboy culture that has shaped much of America’s folklore and directly influences the dress code that is both expected and revered at the rodeo.

The Atmosphere and Culture

A tapestry of cowboy hats, the gleam of belt buckles, and the swish of denim – the dress at Prescott Frontier Days is as much a part of the event as the bull riding and barrel racing.

It’s a blend of fashion, function, and symbolism that unites visitors and participants in a shared cultural experience.

Decoding the Dress Code

Decoding the dress code for Prescott Frontier Days isn’t just about adhering to a set of fashion norms—it’s about stepping into the role of a participant in a historic cultural event. It requires an understanding that Western attire isn’t a costume but a celebration of a rich, enduring heritage.

For the uninitiated, this means selecting pieces that speak to the Western heart: jeans that can handle the dust of the arena, boots ready for the dance floor, and hats that shade the eyes under the Arizona sun.

It’s a code that welcomes all into the fold with a shared sense of identity and pride, where each hat-tip and boot tap is a silent acknowledgment of the frontier spirit that the event keeps alive.

The Official Dress Code: Do’s and Don’ts

While there isn’t an official “dress code” per se, there are certainly do’s and don’ts that attendees should be mindful of. Respecting the unwritten rules of Western attire is essential for an authentic experience.

  • Do’s: Western boots, cowboy hats, denim jeans, plaid or button-up shirts.
  • Don’ts: Avoid attire that’s too casual like flip-flops or overly formal like business suits.

For a comprehensive guide to event-specific attire, consider reviewing the Prescott Frontier Days’ daily event schedule, which can offer further insight into how to dress for each occasion.

Functional Attire: Comfort Meets Tradition

Choosing the right materials for your Frontier Days wardrobe is not only about authenticity—it’s about staying comfortable. Light, breathable fabrics like cotton can be perfect for the daytime, while layers are advisable for cooler evenings.

Weather considerations are crucial when planning what to wear to this outdoor event. Prescott’s late June and early July climate can be quite warm, so dressing in light colors and breathable fabrics is advisable. It’s always smart to check the local weather on sites like Weather.com before attending.

Men’s Dress Guide

The men’s dress guide for Prescott Frontier Days leans into the rugged elegance of Western tradition. It calls for sturdy denim, crisp button-up shirts, and a pair of polished cowboy boots that speak of both functionality and style.

A well-fitted hat not only provides protection from the Arizona sun but also serves as the crowning piece of the ensemble. Accessories like a leather belt with a statement buckle can add a personal touch, encapsulating the rugged spirit of the rodeo.

Whether participating in the events or simply soaking in the ambiance, a man’s attire at Frontier Days is a respectful nod to the cowboys of yore, blended with the ease and wearability demanded by the modern frontier.

Traditional Western Attire

The quintessential cowboy hat not only serves as protection from the sun but also as a symbol of Western pride. Styles range from the wide-brimmed Stetson to the more streamlined Resistol. Fit is crucial, and many local outfitters can help you find the right shape for your face and head.

The Western shirt is another staple, with classic brands like Wrangler and Pendleton offering a range of options that balance style with rodeo-ready durability.

Bottoms Up: Jeans and Trousers

Jeans are the unofficial uniform of the rodeo, but not just any denim will do. Opt for a pair that’s comfortable and rugged, ideally with a mid to dark wash, which is not only stylish but practical for the dusty environment.

For a break from traditional denim, consider trousers in materials like canvas or chambray that offer a similar aesthetic without sacrificing comfort or style.

Footwear and Accessories

Cowboy boots are perhaps the most personal piece of Western wear you’ll choose. It’s important to find a pair that’s well-fitted and comfortable—after all, you might be on your feet all day. Local shops like Boot Barn provide a wide selection, and staff can help ensure you find the right fit.

When it comes to accessories, a well-chosen belt and buckle can make an outfit. It’s not just about holding your jeans up; it’s about making a statement. Buckles often tell a story, be it one of personal achievement, heritage, or simply fashion sense.

Women’s Dress Guide

For the women attending Prescott Frontier Days, the dress guide marries traditional Western flair with contemporary style. It’s all about finding that perfect balance between comfort and fashion—flowy skirts paired with fitted denim jackets, or perhaps elegant dresses tinged with Southwestern patterns.

The key is in the details: turquoise jewelry, embellished belts, and stylish yet sturdy boots that can withstand a day of festivities. Whether you’re taking part in the grandstand or swaying to country tunes at the dance, a well-considered ensemble can help any woman feel confidently in step with the rodeo’s vibrant spirit.

Western Fashion for Women

Dresses and skirts with a Western flair offer both femininity and function. Brands like Honey Creek cater to those looking for something with a bit of flair that’s still comfortable and appropriate for rodeo activities.

For a more classic look, women’s Western shirts provide an equal share of style and tradition. Tailored to fit and often embellished with snaps, embroidery, or even a little bling, these tops pair perfectly with jeans or skirts.

Pants and Denim

Jeans are as crucial in women’s Western wear as they are for men. A good pair of jeans hug the right places and offer the freedom to move, sit, and enjoy the festivities. Boot-cut styles are particularly popular, as they accommodate Western boots without bunching.

For those looking for something different, consider trousers with a Western cut or embellishments. They can be a stylish alternative to traditional denim and offer a unique twist to rodeo attire.

Boots and Accessories

Western boots for women come in a dizzying array of styles, from traditional to modern, with embellishments that can include everything from intricate stitching to bold colors and patterns. Brands like Ariat provide options for every taste and activity level.

Jewelry and accessories can add a personal touch to any outfit. Turquoise is a classic gemstone that resonates with Western heritage, while silver pieces can reflect the spirit of the frontier. Local artisans often have booths at the event, selling one-of-a-kind pieces that can add that special touch to your look.

Children’s Attire

When it comes to children’s attire for Prescott Frontier Days, think miniature Western chic meets playground-ready durability. Little ones can embrace their inner cowboy or cowgirl with pint-sized boots, denim with forgiving stretch, and flannel shirts that mirror the grown-up rodeo style.

It’s important that their outfits are not just adorable but also comfortable enough to allow for all the day’s activities, from watching the bull riding to joining in on the petting zoo fun.

Ensuring their gear is both practical and authentic allows the youngest attendees to feel a part of the action, all while making for the cutest photo ops against the backdrop of this storied celebration of Western heritage.

Outfitting the Young Cowboys and Cowgirls

Children’s Western wear should be both adorable and practical. Outfits that are easy to move in and can handle a little dirt are perfect for the rodeo environment. Local stores, and even some online retailers like Cavender’s, offer children’s Western wear that’s both authentic and child-friendly.

Safety is paramount when it comes to children’s attire. Ensure that hats and boots fit properly to avoid trips and falls, and remember to apply sunscreen to little ones before heading out for the day.

Hats and Boots for the Youngsters

A cowboy hat for a child isn’t just a cute accessory—it’s also protection from the sun. Make sure it fits snugly but isn’t too tight. As for boots, they should be comfortable and easy for children to walk in.

Kids’ accessories should be fun but functional. Consider a small, child-sized bolo tie or a belt with a fun buckle that they’ll be excited to wear.

Thematic Days and Special Events

Prescott Frontier Days is not just about the rodeo; it’s also about celebrating community and heritage. Thematic days and special events pepper the calendar, offering attendees the chance to engage with the event on a different level.

Dressing for these occasions is not just about tradition—it’s a chance to be part of a collective expression of pride and celebration.

Themed Attire: Patriotic Day, Family Day, Etc.

Patriotic Day, for instance, is a time when red, white, and blue dominate the scene. It’s a chance to celebrate the American spirit with apparel that reflects national pride. Families can coordinate outfits, donning stars and stripes or matching in color schemes, making for excellent photo opportunities and creating lasting memories.

Family Day encourages a more unified look among family members. This might mean matching shirts or hats that symbolize a family’s shared love for the rodeo lifestyle. Themed attire can also serve as a conversation starter, bridging connections with other families and attendees, and fostering a sense of community within the event.

Navigating Dress for Evening Events

When the sun sets and the evening events begin, the attire often shifts to reflect the more subdued atmosphere. While the essence of Western wear remains, there is room for a little more sophistication. For the cowboys, a crisp shirt might replace the daytime plaid, and for the cowgirls, a flowy skirt or dress might take the place of jeans.

These events are an opportunity to showcase the versatility of Western fashion. The elegance of a well-chosen piece of turquoise jewelry or the shine of a polished boot can elevate an outfit from daywear to evening attire without losing the authentic Western feel. It’s a nod to the roots of cowboy culture while acknowledging the diverse ways in which it can be celebrated.

Where to Shop

The adventure of dressing for Prescott Frontier Days isn’t complete without the experience of finding the perfect attire.

Whether through the doors of local Western stores or via the digital aisles of online retailers, shopping for Western wear is an integral part of the rodeo experience.

Local Western Stores and Boutiques

Local Western stores are treasure troves of authentic attire, offering not just clothing but a slice of Prescott’s rich history and culture. These boutiques often feature handcrafted items, imbuing them with a personal touch that’s hard to find elsewhere.

Stepping into such a store, you’re likely to be greeted with the scent of leather and the warm smiles of people who share a deep appreciation for Western tradition.

They offer a range of products from rugged jeans to delicate lace dresses, ensuring that you’ll find something that not only fits the occasion but also resonates with your personal style.

Moreover, local shops typically have knowledgeable staff on hand. These are individuals well-versed in the nuances of Western fashion, who can help guide you to the perfect outfit, ensuring that everything from your hat to your boots is event-appropriate and a good fit—literally and figuratively.

Shopping locally also contributes to the local economy, and it allows you to pick up unique pieces that you might not find anywhere else, ensuring your Prescott Frontier Days experience is truly one of a kind.

Online Shopping Tips

For those who cannot make it to the local stores, or prefer the convenience of shopping from home, online retailers offer an extensive selection of Western wear suitable for all ages and sizes.

Websites dedicated to cowboy fashion can provide a vast array of options, and often at competitive prices. However, shopping online requires a bit of extra homework to ensure that what you see on the screen is what you get in person.

Always check the sizing charts provided, as sizes can vary significantly between brands. Customer reviews can be a goldmine of information, offering insights into the fit, quality, and appearance of the clothing.

Additionally, look for retailers with favorable return policies, as this will provide peace of mind if your selections don’t fit as expected upon arrival. Remember to order well in advance of the event to account for potential shipping delays and to give yourself enough time for any necessary exchanges.

In summary, whether you choose to embrace the personal service and local flavor of Prescott’s boutiques or opt for the convenience of online shopping, there are plentiful options for gearing up in style for Prescott Frontier Days.

With the right attire, you’ll not only look the part but also enhance your experience of the world’s oldest rodeo, fully immersing yourself in the spirit of the event.


In this section, we will be delving into some of the most common inquiries and curiosities that surround our topic.

What should I wear if I’m attending Prescott Frontier Days for the first time?

Opt for comfortable Western wear such as jeans, a collared shirt, and boots. Don’t forget a cowboy hat for sun protection!

Are there any specific dress codes for the evening events during Prescott Frontier Days?

Evening events tend to be a little dressier. Men might wear a crisp shirt, and women might choose a Western-style dress, though full Western attire is always acceptable.

Can I purchase Western wear at Prescott Frontier Days, or should I buy before I arrive?

While there are vendors at the event, it’s a good idea to purchase some items beforehand, especially essentials like boots and hats, to ensure proper fit and comfort.

Conclusion: Dress Code and What to Wear to Prescott Frontier Days

Dressing for Prescott Frontier Days is about more than just fashion; it’s about participating in a storied tradition that honors the past while celebrating the present. Whether you’re a man, woman, child, local, or visitor, there’s a joy in selecting attire that reflects the Western spirit.

From the practical aspects of comfort and safety to the excitement of themed events and evening celebrations, the right outfit can greatly enhance your experience.

By taking the time to carefully choose each piece of your ensemble, you not only prepare yourself for the event but also pay homage to the cowboy culture that has shaped Prescott into the vibrant community it is today.

So don your hat, pull on your boots, and get ready to step out in style for a truly authentic Frontier Days experience.

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About the author

Hi, I'm Teri Franks, the voice behind Prescott Voice. I've spent years immersing myself in all that Prescott has to offer, and I love sharing the unique stories and experiences I've discovered. When I'm not writing, you'll find me exploring Prescott's trails or tasting our local cuisine. I believe that the vibrant lifestyle here in Prescott inspires us to live a healthier, happier life. Come join me on this exciting journey as we explore Prescott together.

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