If you’re interested in putting together a basic western outfit for yourself and you want to get right to business, check out this quick guide on what you need to put together for an outfit to really be western. Keep in mind that if you are dressing for showmanship or a specific competition, there may be specific requirements for what you have to wear. This is just intended for stylistic purposes – if you have at minimum the following items of mens western wear as a part of your ensemble, it can be said to be a western outfit.
The Western Shirt
Today, a western shirt is more or less a hallmark of fashion, but the original western shirts were made with nothing more than function in mind. However, some of these original features have remained in the fashion of today’s men’s western shirts.
Typically a western shirt will be made of hard-use cotton fabric, like chambray or denim. They tend to be button-down shirts with sharply defined, open collars. This feature was originally to allow heat to escape from the body of the shirt. Western shirts also have a traditional western yoke on the back.
Some western shirts have room bodies and sleeves with long shirttails so that they will remain tucked when a person moves around, while still affording the wearer a great range of motion.
Stylistically, western shirts are sometimes decorated with fringes, piping, or embroidery. Colors such as turquoise, red, and orange are common as well.
A good pair of western jeans or show pants is next on the list of this guide to essential mens western wear. Typically, western pants are jeans made of denim that is very durable while still allowing the garment to breathe. Popular names include Levis and Wrangler; sometimes jeans are paired with chaps. Originally chaps were worn for protection while a rider moved about through scrub and brush, today, chaps are sometimes worn for aesthetic reasons.
A cowboy can be known by cowboy boots if by nothing else. Much like all of the other western wear in this article, the original western boots were designed to make it easy for the rider to mount and ride a horse.
They were designed to be laceless to protect the rider from becoming tangled, with thick, high shafts to protect the foot and lower shin. They also had pointed toes and smooth leather soles that made it easy to get into the stirrup, paired with sharply stacked heels that gave the rider a good grip without sliding too far forward.
Today’s cowboy boots retain these features and are often elaborately decorated with stitching patterns or embroidery.
If the boots don’t make the cowboy, then the cowboy hat does. Again, the hat is rooted in function. The original cowboy hat was designed by Stetson and styled as the Boss of the Plains.
Made from thick felted wool, it was waterproof and had a wide, circular brim to keep the sun out of the wearer’s eyes. Today’s cowboy hats have the same features – many are still made from wool, but some others are made from leather or straw.
In addition to these essential categories of western wear for men, some collections of cowboy clothing also contain decorative belt buckles, gloves, bolo ties, and other accents that you might choose to add to your repertoire.
Looking for your favorite brands in western wear for men, women, and kids? Visit Jackson’s English & Western Store at JacksonsWestern.com. There you can find all of these categories of western wear and many others, for men and women, along with work boots, belts, and other essentials. Their customer service is great, too, so if you have other questions, you can get in touch with them at 269-792-2550.