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Cowboy Sartorialism: Western Wear minus the Douche

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Douchiness is hard to nail down. It’s like the Supreme Court’s definition of pornography (you know it when you see it), and lately western wear has been looking like something you wouldn’t want your mom to find in your browser history.

Country music and rodeo tend to drive a lot of what you find in stores, and so there’s generally an emphasis on really trendy, flashy stuff. It’s stuff that is designed to capture a crowds attention for a few moments. Flashy is fun, but you run the risk that it will look weird in everyday life, and look really weird a few years down the road. Sticking to classics and some basic rules that work for all clothes can help you build a wardrobe of western wear that will last longer and look better longer than whatever Jason Aldean-inspired shirt that’s hanging on a rack this season.

It’s also much easier to talk about things that work rather than pointing out things that don’t work (it’s also shorter, there’s a million ways to do something poorly).

In the next few months I’ll be covering some basic stuff: boots, jeans, and belts, among others.

For now though, here’s some pictures that explain what I mean about simple, classic stuff that doesn’t go out of style.


George on the right is beckoning to you from the far-off year of 1987.  George on the left is from last year. That’s a gap of almost 30 years. Swap heads on the pictures and you can’t really tell what picture was taken in which year. Also, he doesn’t look like he’s gonna sell you meth or roofie your drink. You could walk down the street dressed like that (depending on where you live) and not draw too much adverse attention. Classic and classy.

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Tim here on the left is posing hard in 1993. And he looks like it. Tim on the right is from last year. Both pictures look very much like their specific time and place. Both sets of clothes would look get you some funny looks walking down the street (again, depending on where you live).

Now, you can wear what you want, we’re all grownups here. When I was growing up my Dad would always tell me, “Dress like someone with a job.” I’d wear ratty jeans with ripped knees, vintage shirts that looked like they were pulled off the skeleton of an Eagles roadie, and not bother to iron anything or tuck anything in. People generally treated me like someone you couldn’t trust with simple tasks. As I got a little older, I started to feel ridiculous dressing like someone who spent every night in a dive bar (also, I stopped spending every night in dive bars).

Then a funny thing happened. Not only did people start treating me better, but they also had more confidence in me and my abilities. In turn, my life got better because more avenues were open to me. Dressing better meant I had to buy clothes less often because the things I bought retained their style and value, which meant I had a little more money to spend in slightly nicer bars. You see where this is going? Besides, the world is full of slobs, and dressing well is a good way to stand out.



About Seth

Bury my heart in West Texas.

3 responses »

  1. ..I’ve been saying this VERY THING for years..but you WAY nicer than I would have been.
    “Cheap bourbon whiskey and pearl snap shirts, are two things that stay the same”
    -Jason Boland

  2. Pingback: Fin de Semana! 6-6-14 |

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