People usually use “western style” to mean nudie suits and mother-of-pearl snap buttons, but there’s a real way of life behind the phrase. For instance, the gentleman in the tintype...
Aside from the wide-brim hat—which most trail men needed for survival—the real western style meant a sense of rugged formality. Just because his shoes are dirty doesn’t mean he can’t wear a waistcoat. And while these clothes have seen a lot of sand and dust, they were made to last, and they’ll stand up under any conditions.
The sloppy scarf-tie may not have aged particularly well, we’d say the overall look has lasted better than most.
Our latest favorite selvedge shirt comes from the Tokyo label 12-bar. Normally we’d steer clear of the western look, but this shirt manages to do it exactly to the limit. There are snaps but no arrows, and the discreet white piping wisely steers clear of nudie suit territory.
The herringbone fabric gives the fabric some texture, and the denim-blue keeps everything in manageably urban territory. This is how cowboys dress in Tokyo.
Western shirts aren’t exactly on trend these days, but that mostly applies to the exaggerated cowboy version. Pendleton is too much of a heritage brand to focus on things like trends, or even much marketing for that matter.
As a result, this shirt isn’t that different from the ones they were churning out ten years ago—that is, the ones that started the trend in the first place.
The denim shirt may seem a little behind-the-curve these days, but we think it’s ripe for a comeback—especially given the trend pieces we see in the paper.
This one comes from Wrangler, with a little help from N.Hoolywood. It looks like it paid off. The stitching on the front pockets, combined with the high shoulder patches and smooth wash make this the best western shirt we’ve seen in some time.
Also, although you can’t see it in the picture, the cuffs are held together by no less than four different snap-buttons. No wonder the Selectism folks are so excited. So are we.