The word “essential” gets thrown around a lot, but when winter sets in, having a big, warm coat in your closet is exactly that. And since it’s likely to be a wardrobe staple for a few months running, you’ll want one you won’t get tired of anytime soon.
The first entry of the season comes from Pendleton’s newly unveiled Portland Collection. It’s their stab at the perfect Western overcoat, the kind of thing you might see on an Alaskan oil baron. (He might also be wearing a bolo tie.) And since the wool is the same thing that’s been going into their blankets for the last century-plus, it should be plenty warm.
The only downside is, you’ll have to trek out to Austin to pick it up. But you’d never let a road trip stop you.
For the past few years, high-end belts have been in an authenticity arms race, to the point that our favorite belts have been undyed straps of leather with as little finish as possible. To be fair, they look great over raw denim, but it’s time the world’s leatherworkers got a little more creative.
This hand-tooled Tanner Goods belt is the perfect example. Granted, it’s throwing off bolo-tie levels of theatrical Western-ness, but paired with the right denim jacket, it could be brilliant. Mostly, we’re glad to see belts getting a little bit louder than the unmarked leather strap. Now all you need is some kind of buckle…
In honor of today’s Context flash sale, we’re playing buy/sell/hold with some of the more intriguing items. (For those unversed in market lingo, “buy” means buy, “sell” means don’t buy, and “hold” means only if you want to.) The stock ranges from Woolrich flannels to Nigel Cabourn’s loudest trench coat, and we’re tackling it without pity.
It looks like Billy the Kid is up for a belated pardon from New Mexico, but it’s being held up by the descendents of Sheriff Pat Garrett, the man who killed him. It’s a rehashing of one of the great showdowns of the west—a shopkeep-turned-sheriff hunting down an old friend as the West turned slowly into civilization. It’s also the basis for one of the best Westerns ever made, Sam Peckinpah’s Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, which is as good a place to pick up the backstory as any. For what it’s worth, we’re not sure the Kid needs a pardon.
This advance still from the Coen Brothers’ True Grit shows Jeff Bridges pulling off three exceedingly difficult sartorial moves simultaneously: the wide-brim hat, the neckerchief and the eye-patch. Well done, dude.
On the heels of enlisting the photographer behind the Marlboro Man for his fashion week presentation, Adam Kimmel managed to sneak this tie into shops. The stripes are missing, but the stars on their own do a pretty good job of signaling an Americana vibe that appears to be Mr. Kimmel’s new stock-in-trade.
It’s all the more impressive because this is still a skinny tie—hardly a cowboy staple. Think of it as a well-timed cross-cultural purée.
The Navajo look has been building steam for a while now, even if you won’t be able to get your hands on most of it before Fall ’09. These jackets from April77 and Rogues Gallery are only the beginning.
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.