A Small History Into The Charro Outfit

A Small History Into The Charro Outfit

What is a charro outfit? 

A charro outfit is a type of suit that originated in Mexico and is most often associated with mariachi and ranchera music performers. A basic charro baptism outfit includes pants, a jacket which is also known as chaquetillas, a sombrero, a silk tie, a dress shirt, chaps, serape, and pita belt. This type of suit originated back in the seventeenth century and the men who wore it were highly skilled horse riders who represented men with national pride, family values, heritage, and honor. The charro outfit is equivalent to that of the popular cowboy of the American West. 

Where are charro outfits popular, and for what reason?

Before Mexico gained independence, only the Spanish wore charro outfits. Not everyone could become a Charro or wear a Charro outfit, they must have been born a Charro in order to wear the suit because the Spanish introduced horses to Mexico and the colonial government mandated a law not permitting indigenous Mexicans to ride horses unless a Spanish landowner allowed them to. Mexicans were not allowed to dress themselves and their horses the same way as the Spanish so that they would not be mistaken for a member of the Spanish upper class.

This restriction brought out a new style of charro outfits that was only worn by Mexican charros. Suites were often tight-fitting, made of suede, and embroidered with unique native plant designs made from cactus plant fibers. Soon enough Mexicans became highly skilled horse masters and were very valuable assets to landowners. They helped protect the land and took care of the horses. After the revolution, the charro became very important to the Mexican culture.

The president at the time had the mariachi performers adopt the charro suit for performances, which led to even more popularity. September 14th is a national holiday known as the Dia Nacional del Charro (National Day of the Charro), which celebrates and honors the cultural importance of the horsemen and women in Mexico. The charro outfit was further popularized through movies, famous actors and actresses, police officers, and more. Now, it is one of the most popular symbols recognized worldwide for Mexico and is more than often worn to show pride in the Mexican heritage.

What's typically included in a traditional charro outfit?

A charro outfit includes tight pants for men or a long skirt for women. The pants are tight-fitting to prevent snagging on any bushes or any other objects. Women's skirts reach their ankles and are wide enough to allow them to sidesaddle. The coats are normally worn short to give better access to weaponry and movement. The outfit includes pants, a coat, a dress shirt, a tie, a belt, boots, and a hat. 

Why is the Mexican charro sombrero hat so wide?

Sombrero comes from the Mexican word Sombra which means shadower and is meant to do exactly that. The climate in parts of Mexico is very hot and strong sunlight throughout the year is very common. European hats were not as effective, so Mexican workers who worked outside most of the day created what we call today the Mexican sombrero. The sombrero is made wide enough to protect the head, neck, and shoulders.

The rim of the hat is upturned to keep water off when riding and herding cattle. There are different variations of sombreros that are worn for different purposes. Farmers wear less formal sombreros made from straw, while other more prestigious sombreros are made of plush felt, with special embroidery and decorations to match the rest of their outfits. 

When is a charro outfit typically worn for kids and adults?

Charro outfits for boys are typically worn during or at their baptism party, festivals, weddings and even birthdays. White charro outfits are worn to signify purity and the washing away of the sins after the baptism ceremony. Black, beige, or other colors often work for other occasions such as performances, festivals, and parties. 

Mariachi outfit for woman

Women's mariachi outfits are usually more colorful and festive than men's. They often have embroidered flowers on their skirts and blouses. The most common colors for women's mariachi outfits are black, red, pink, purple, and green. Mariachi bands typically consist of all male members, but there are a few all-female bands, and some bands have a mix of male and female members.

What is the difference between a charro outfit and a mariachi outfit?

A charro outfit is typically more formal than a mariachi outfit. It is also more expensive because it is made with high-quality materials such as wool, silk, and satin. Charro's outfits are usually black, beige, or brown. Men's Mariachi attire such as pants/outfits are less formal and are often brightly colored. They are made with cheaper materials such as cotton and polyester.

How should I care for my charro outfit?

Charro clothing outfits should be dry cleaned or hand washed in cold water. Do not use bleach or any other harsh chemicals. To remove wrinkles, iron the outfit on the lowest setting. Do not store your charro outfit in a plastic bag, as this can cause the fabric to yellow. Instead, hang it in a cool, dry place.

How much do charro outfits for boys cost?

Charro outfits, also known as a mariachi suits for sale, can range from $50 -$1000 depending on the fabric, design, detailing, and other customizations. A good quality charro outfit for boys will cost at least $100-$250, which should include a 5-6 piece set. Anything below $100 will probably be something very simple with minimal embroidery and with less expensive fabrics. Charro costume rental prices will be lower since you are only renting it for one event and don't have to worry about storing it or taking care of it.

What is the best way to buy a charro outfit?

The best way to buy a charro outfit is to find a reputable retailer who specializes in selling them. You can also find charro outfits for sale online. Be sure to read the reviews and compare prices before making a purchase. It's also a good idea to buy an outfit that is a few sizes larger than what your child currently wears, as charro outfits tend to run small. 

Where can I purchase a quality boys' charro outfit?

Charro outfits for boys can be purchased online and at local Mexican stores near you. Details and Traditions is an online store with a fabulous variety of options.

Charro and Mariachi FAQs:

What is a charro?

A charro is a member of a traditional Mexican Folkloric dancing group. The word "charro" comes from the Spanish word for "cowboy." Charros typically wear brightly colored, intricately embroidered clothing and hats. They often perform elaborate dance routines that include equestrian feats.

What is a mariachi?

Mariachi is a traditional Mexican Folkloric musical group. Mariachi bands typically include violins, guitars, trumpets, and other instruments. The music they play is often lively and upbeat. Mariachi bands often perform at festivals and other special occasions. Some call it the mariachi uniform with an authentic charro sombrero.

What is the difference between a charro and a mariachi?

A charro is a member of a traditional Mexican Folkloric dancing group. Mariachi is a traditional Mexican Folkloric musical group. Charros typically wear brightly colored, intricately embroidered clothing and hats. They often perform elaborate dance routines that include equestrian feats. Mariachi bands typically include violins, guitars, trumpets, and other instruments wearing the authentic mariachi suit. The music they play is often lively and upbeat. Mariachi bands often perform at festivals and other special occasions.

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