I've been told one way to tell a real cowboy from a "dime store" cowboy is by what they wear. Cowboys often prefer to have custom, handmade items. They want something unique and that will last for many years.
Handmade spurs are a must. Antique spurs are also a hot collector item for cowboys.
No real cowboy would be caught wearing a store-bought belt buckle. Most are crafted to show what event they have won or to reflect their personal style.
Boots need to be designed to take heavy use. Handmade boots are made to endure the rigors of ranch life.
A finely crafted saddle is an absolute necessity. Saddle makers are highly skilled artists. Check out my friend Paula Gauthier's brother's saddle shop at www.boothillsaddlery.com
Do any of you have any handmade/custom items? Someday, I would like to have some boots made.