Orville Peck chimes in on why cowboys wear chaps

Want to know why cowboys wear chaps? Orville Peck has the answer.

Country music is having a renaissance indeed. While Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter stays on rotation, more Black, Brown, and queer folks are are finding themselves more represented in the genre. And with new country music, comes updated fashion as well.

While some may add rhinestones to their cowboy hats and don a fringe, leather jacket, others are reaching for their favorite pair of chaps. But before you channel a Strange Way of Life at the next rodeo, there’s a question that one TikToker needs answered. Thankfully, country star Orville Peck came to the rescue.

TikToker @peachaura posted a video with a simple question “Is there a straight reason why chaps are designed the way they are?”

To which Peck simply replied with a lip sync to the lyrics “Cowboys are frequently secretly fond of each other. What did you think all them saddles and boots was about?”

Case closed, right? While Peck’s lyrics from his new song “Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond Of Each Other” could be the Brokeback Mountain-esque reason others were looking for, there’s another reason as to why cowboys wear such homoerotic attire. So let’s dive in.

Chaps, short for the Spanish word chaparajos were named after the thick, thorny low brush called chaparral. These leathery, protective garments were originally designed to guard your legs from brushy while you ride on horseback. Their origins hail from the south of Spain, which were then passed on to Mexico, and later adopted into Western cowboy culture in the United States.

While they still are used for their original purposes, you’ll also find them in hunting attire, worn by bikers as part of motorcycle safety, and as popular fetish attire within the leather community, paired with either jeans or a codpiece. If you haven’t seen this fashion staple at your local leather bar, we’re sure you’ll see them at the rodeo. If not, maybe at Beyoncé’s next tour.

So is there a straight reason why chaps are designed the way they are? Yes, but there’s also a gay reason too.

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