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Santa Fe Clothing & Dressing Style

Another unique quality of Santa Fe, New Mexico is the style of dress. This includes both men and women and can be seen in shop owners and many people working in the high end hotels or restaurants, but not with the typical Santa Fean on a workday.

It is a style that you see mostly for special occasions. You will see the vibrant colors and textiles on men and women that are reminiscent of Mexican weavings and embroidery.

The cowboy boots, denim and buckles of the American West are also very often seen in Santa Fe. The silver and turquoise of course is everywhere in jewelry, clothing, belts and accessories. This is of course is the Pueblo Indian influence. The more Provincial Spanish influence in the clothing can be seen in the ruffles of the skirts, blouses and hair accessories.

What you see most is a real combination of all these influences just as you see it in the architecture, food, and customs in Santa Fe.

In the mid 1500’s the Spanish were in charge in Santa Fe and brought their style with them. Women in high society would wear the finest of their jewelry and dress in multiple layers made of the finest textiles and laces of the time. A shaw or “Chal” as it was called was sure to be found around a women’s shoulder. This item would be the accent piece of the outfit. That influence can be seen in some of the shops in Santa Fe today. Spirit of the Earth and Nomads are two shops in town to see these styles. Men were more inclined to be from the military and dressed in uniform. Although some of the silver in their cuff links, ties and pins can still be seen in today’s designs in Santa Fe. Stores such as Luchesse Boots and Ortegas have these styles.

In the late 1600’s the Pueblo Indians conquered the Spanish and had rule of Santa Fe. Their turquoise jewelry, women’s beaded or embroidered accessories, and hair pieces can be found in today’s style as well. Silver Sun has a very impressive selection of pure turquoise, silver and Pueblo style accessories as do the Museum of New Mexico gift shops and Packards.

1837 and a few years beyond the Mexican government ruled the City Different and their style and flair can be seen in more than the food and the customs. The vibrant colors, weavings and men’s bolo ties are all a part of this flair. They can be seen in the clothing and accessories at Kristins and Tom Taylor.

After 1912 when the Mexican American War was over the influence of the American West came into Santa Fe. Here is where you will see the cowboy styles in the boots, hats and denim. Some of the most spectacular hats can be handmade for you at Montecrisi Custom Hat Works. Custom made and one of a kind boots can be found at Back at the Ranch and Desert Son has stunning boots belts and western “Santa Fe Style” clothing.

This clothing history lesson is over about Santa Fe. I hope you learned a little, and on your next visit to Santa Fe check out the myriad of styles that is the "Santa Fe Style”.

Eileen Richardson

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