Let’s face it, somewhere, deep inside every guy, there’s a cowboy struggling to get out (unless you really are a cowboy, in which case…I got nothin’). Depending on your culture or country of origin, that cowboy may not be the literal stuff of Hollywood legend, but somewhere inside there’s a longing for the great outdoors, to be a maverick, to be a little tougher, and a little more…free.
So, since most of us will be giving our best Burt Reynolds eulogies from behind a desk, let’s get real about the one piece of Western wear that looks great on anybody: the classic denim shirt. It’s indigo hues flatter all skin tones, and it’s soft, broken-in feeling is, quite literally, like your favorite pair of jeans that become more and more “you” every time you wear them. Depending on the weight, a denim shirt can be warm enough to throw on as an overshirt with a graphic T-shirt, or light enough to be paired with a blazer and knit tie for a classic, “creative professional” vibe.
These days, it seems, you can even brave the “Canadian tuxedo” (wearing a denim jacket or shirt with a pair of jeans), without reprisal. And what may be best of all, the classic denim shirt is available at a wide enough range of prices to make it truly both egalitarian and highfalutin’ at the same time. Grab one now for the perfect piece to wear as summer turns to fall and temperatures oscillate.
Although it says Bone Button, those are actually “burnt cow bone” snaps on the front of this authentically Western take on the denim shirt from Huckberry’s Flint & Tinder. It’s Made in USA for an added level of bona fides. In stonewashed denim with a yoke and flap pockets, it’s practically ready to rope the steer without your help.
The Gap’s Denim Shirt embodies two classic style archetypes, both Western and Preppy. The tinted indigo wash and 100 percent cotton fabric will fade and age with time (just avoid lightly-colored furniture or clothing until you’re sure it’s broken-in). The button-down collar pairs perfectly with a rep tie or this fall’s fuzzy sweaters.
Wrangler has a true heritage of dressing real cowboys, lending an iconic status to this denim shirt with a signature “W” stitched on it’s flap pockets. It’s back yolk detail adds a subtle rodeo flair, without crying “Yippee ki-yay.”
We can’t get much more authentic than good old Levi Strauss for the ultimate expression of rugged Western culture. Levi’s slim-fit (which it should be) Barstow shirt features all authentic details and is available in six washes to boot.
Treasure & Bond introduces us to a more faded companion in a blue, light vintage wash. Its soft, tactile, instant appeal makes it perfect for rolling up the sleeves and getting down to the business of a serious weekend relaxing with old friends.
Leave it to Bonobos to perfect the classic, and then add just the right amount of variety. The brand’s denim shirt is soft enough to tuck into a tweedy pair of dress pants or sleek black modern chinos. And, with several wash options and button combinations (including one with a banded collar) there are plenty of options to express your brand of cowboy.
Diesel doses this denim shirt with international attitude, while providing two shirts in one. Perfect for autumn weekend getaways or just every day in the city, the D-Wear-C shirt flips from an urbane black denim to a punk-meets-outdoorsman black-and-red tartan. We love anything that does double duty, especially denim.
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