THE CHARRO TROUSERS  ( El Pantalón Charro )

Charro trousers fit snugly whilst allowing the charro enough mobility to carry out his daily tasks on foot or on horseback without hindering the movement of the legs. There are two styles: those which have an aleton and those which don’t both of which button up in front. The aleton is an extension of fabric of about two centimeters which runs the length of the outer seam from the pocket downwards. Another type of trouser known as tapabalazos have fallen out of use. They buttoned up behind or on the side. Trousers known as calzoneras are a type of tapabalazos which button up on both the left and right side but which are scarcely seen today. 

In order to be a good fit charro trousers ought to be made to measure in order that they be long enough to not ride up when the wearer is on horseback. The bottom of the trouser leg ought to be touching the spur at all times and to achieve this the tailor increases the length of the tiro (distance between crotch and waist) 10 or 12 centimeters so that wrinkles occur at the lower part of the calf when the charro isn’t on horseback. It is also important that the trouser leg flares slightly at the very bottom in order to accommodate the ankle boot whilst remaining sufficiently snug as to not allow the back part to touch the ground and be trodden on by the charro’s own boot heel. Charro trousers only have three belt loops wide enough to accommodate a belt two inches wide, one behind, one on the left and one on the right side each of the latter two being 15 centimeters from the belt buckle. They also have two vertical pockets in front. Having a rear pocket is today considered a breach of charreada competition rules despite having proved useful in times past as a place to carry a wallet or papers etc whilst working. 

Charro trousers are made of different materials such as: fabric (generally cashmere), coarse woolen cloth, or chamois leather. Those made of fabric are comfortable and look good when in somber colors; those made of coarse woolen cloth are more durable and hence apt for daily tasks. Without doubt the best charro trousers of all are those made of chamois leather because they are the most attractive, most durable, and look equally good in charreadas, walking on foot or even in a ceremony. The finest trousers – those used for ceremonies – have metal botonaduras of gold or silver or are embroidered with gold or silver thread. The complete botonaduras consist of between 32 and 36 metal elements running the length of the exterior of each trouser leg from the hips to the flare. The so-called medias botonaduras consist of only 3 elements on each leg, close to the pocket.

The cachiruleado trousers are the best for daily charro tasks because their patches of chamois leather make them stronger and more hardwearing. The calavera is one such patch. It protects the part which is in contact with the saddle and avoids that the trousers tear after much use as well as offering protection against grazes whilst being dragged along the ground. The cuadrilera patch runs all the way round the trousers at the hips and avoids that they break whilst the charro, on foot, is lassoing a mare. The grecas are long patches of different designs which run the length of the exterior of the trouser leg and serve only as decorative adornments. Other cachirules can be seen running along the top edge of both front pockets, around the bottom of each trouser leg, or along the complete length of the inside leg. The latter is wide enough to be seen from the front and back.
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