Inspired by the American Wild West, the western style has been in the fashion scene’s spotlight since the 1950s. But when we mention fashion from the Wild West, the first thing that probably pops up in your mind is a bad cowboy walking around in their pointy boots while smoking tobacco.
News flash, western style isn’t only about cowboy boots and fringe vests. In fact, this style features vast opportunities for combining different clothing pieces while still looking ultimately stylish. Talking about fashionable, yet western casual attire, we gathered a list of some essential clothing items every modern-day cowboy should own.
Get a Leather Western Jacket
For truth’s sake, you probably know that you can’t be a real cowboy without the authentic western jacket. And when we say jacket for cowboys, we definitely think about edgy leather models.
In fact, there’s a huge reason why leather jackets are one of the essential casual western wear items. Throughout history, cowboys wore sturdy vests and jackets to protect them from accidental falls and injuries while riding their horses. Over time, these sturdy designs were inherited by bikers for the same reason, and thick and heavy leathers were one of the most protective options.
Leather jackets for motorcyclists were usually waist-short, had authentic skew zippers running from the left hip to the right shoulder, large chest pockets to put their roadmaps inside and belts at the bottoms. But even though nowadays the typical leather jacket has evolved, you can still find authentic biker models to give you a little bit of rebellious spirit and make you appear bold and edgy.
Stock Yourself with Western Shirts
Even if you choose the most authentic leather jacket, the top you wear underneath can truly make or break your western-styled outfit. For this purpose, make sure you visit a casual western wear store and provide yourself with some well-fitting and stylish western shirts.
Traditionally, western shirts were designed with yokes so they can provide sufficient support for the looser parts around the chest and the shoulder area. Such shirts were also embroidered and decorated so everyone could distinguish rodeo riders from other people in contests.
Nowadays, every man that adopted the western style can be spotted wearing shirts in subtle colours such as sea green, dirty blue or rust shades. And talking about subtle designs, embroidery is still present in the western fashion scene.
On the other hand, denim flannels also make for a great choice, just don’t forget to tuck them in instead of wearing them untucked with a basic white shirt. To prevent these shirts from pulling loose from your pants, we recommend going for long-cut designs.
Choose Stylish Cowboy Jeans
When it comes to bottom wear, know that denim jeans are your best ally. But if you’re wondering about the origins of wearing jeans to look western, it’s because, throughout history, cowboys acquired them as the most durable, yet comfy and casual equestrian clothing piece for riding their horses and performing ranch work.
However, when it comes to choosing a pair of western jeans, don’t go for anything that doesn’t seem western. Chances to achieve a western look in a pair of slim-fit ripped jeans are zero while wearing slacks will only make you look “like a duck in a tuxedo”.
When we’re talking about the ultimate western style jeans, we for sure mean about the “workwear” starched and loose jeans. Also, instead of cuffing or tucking them in like some other fashion trends require, remember that cowboys always wore their jeans over their boots.
It’s All About the Boots
Cowboy boots being mentioned, an outfit won’t be western-styled without a proper pair of boots. But did you know that the original cowboy boots have a very rich history and evolved a lot throughout it?
In fact, when they were invented in the 18th century, cowboy boots featured tall shafts to protect cowboys’ feet while riding and angled heels to keep them stable and prevent their legs from getting trapped in a case of an accident. Later, same as the authentic leather jacket, cowboy boots were obtained by motorcyclists and adapted to fit their needs. Such biker boots were made from heavy leather and featured low heels and a lot of padding that served as protection.
Nowadays, the typical western boot will also be made from leather and feature interesting details such as leather straps or decorative embellishments and embroideries. Except for making you appear as the ultimate bad cowboy, a pair of these boots will also keep your feet warm, dry and comfortable, especially during the cold winter season.
Don’t Forget to Accessorize
As a fashionable urban man, you probably know that no outfit can be imagined without suitable accessories. Western-styled outfits aren’t an exception at all, as a couple of accessories can truly make or break your outfit of the day.
When it comes to accessorizing western outfits, you can’t go wrong by choosing leather accessories such as the classic leather belt. As a bonus, you can go for a model that features a unique statement-making buckle that goes well with any other accent detail of your outfit. For instance, basic belt designs featuring subtle western patterns go perfectly well with embroidered western shirts. But if you still feel sceptical about the details, feel free to skip any patterns, or go for a more basic shirt design.
Another stylish accessory that screams “western” is bandanas. And not only are they perfect to give your basic black leather or denim outfits an interesting pop of colours or patterns, but bandanas also make for a great replacement for the protective surgical masks we all wear nowadays, which is a great bonus. So, make sure you provide yourself with a couple of interesting designs- from the spicy red ones that make any leather-dominating outfit appear even bolder to the dark blue ones that go perfectly well with denim shirts and jeans.
Now that you have an idea of how to dress western, it’s time to visit your favourite casual country clothing store and provide yourself with stylish western pieces.