man wearing stylish western wear

How to Harness a Bit of Wild West in Your Wardrobe No speak Americano? Why not wear it.

[Feature image by Calvin Klein]

Was it Raf Simons’s Calvin Klein show or The Ballad of Buster Scruggs that brought Western wear back into the fashion forefront?

Or, was a smidge of rugged bandit always alive in each of us?

We’re not proposing you go full-cowboy, unless you’re aiming for the “Sheriff Woody aesthetic.”

But there are plenty of fun, charming, and subtle–most importantly, subtle–ways to incorporate a little Wild West and Southwest into your wardrobe.

Table of Contents

Western Wear Basics

Essential items that make up the Americana look.

Western-Style Shirt

western wear western style shirt
Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein Men’s Dress Shirt Slim Fit Non Iron Stretch Solid

  • Slim Fit
  • Wicking: Designed to wick moisture away from the body to help you feel cool and dry.
  • Stretch: Fabric stretches and moves with you for extra comfort.

A defining characteristic of the Western-style shirt is its stylized yoke. Notice the fabric patches over the front shoulders and the V-shaped dip on the back yoke?

These details, along with double front pockets and snap buttons, make a Western wear shirt.

And they’re often constructed of thicker, malleable fabrics, such as denim or brushed flannel.

Components to notice:

  • Stylized yoke
  • Double front pockets
  • Point collar
  • Snap buttons
  • Thicker, more durable fabric
western wear western style shirts
@cristina_bedwell_stylist / @gvconte_official

Amazon Essentials Men’s Regular-Fit Long-Sleeve Denim Shirt

  • 100% Cotton
  • Easy through chest and tapered through waist
  • Soft yet durable hertiage washed cotton for a lived-in feel

If you’re easing into the rugged style, we suggest denim or chambray button-downs.

The rougher fabric adds a subtle Americana to your everyday wardrobe.

But remember: this lawless look isn’t fit for formal settings, and Western wear is not a replacement for all button-down dress shirts.

Denim Jacket

western wear denim jacket

Wrangler Men’s Cowboy Cut Western Unlined Denim Jacket

  • Western Style
  • 100% Cotton
  • Durable Materials

Jean jackets were originally designed by Levi Strauss as workwear for cowboys, miners, and railroad workers.

And considering ranch hands herded cattle and sheep, it only makes sense they’d use natural resources like leather and fleece for clothing.

Naturally, fleece linings on sturdy denim jackets are perfect for insulation.

western wear sherpa borg lined denim jacket
Wrangler / ASOS

Wrangler Men’s Cowboy Cut Western Lined Denim Jacket

  • Western Style
  • Plush Lining
  • Durable Materials
  • Straight Fit

Sherpa or Borg (faux sheepskin) jackets are fit for fall and winter.

And the jacket’s modern rendition is where Western meets street and workwear, with rappers like Yeezy sporting the look.

Cowboy Boots

western wear cowboy boots lilyaldridge, itsmemartijn.x
@LilyAldridge / @ItsMeMartijin.X

Cowboy boots should come with a label “wear with caution.” While these pointed-toed, heeled, leather boots can look totally BA, they can also look ridiculous.

If you’re going to wear cowboy boots, we suggest pairing them with denim, a simple solid-colored tee, and possibly some jewelry for that country rocker look.

And here’s a hack: brown leather and suede Chelsea boots, paired with light-wash denim, do just fine for a Western-inspired flair.

In fact, Chelsea boots, being laceless and having pointed toes, largely resemble cowboy boots from the ankle down.

western wear boots
The Frye Company / UGG

Allen Edmonds Men’s Liverpool Chelsea Boot

Iconic British chelsea boot with American attitude. Authentic ‘60s style. Dress it up or down, perfect any way you style it. Classic Fit, fits true to size.

If you’re unsure you’re ready to commit to cowboy boots, get a pair of versatile Chelsea boots instead.

Take the discovery quiz: What shoes should you wear?

Western Prints and Patterns

Many Western-style shirts have elaborate pipings and embroidered roses.

These decorations were derived from Mexican vaquero costumes and were worn at rodeos so that cowboys could be easily identifiable.

Similarly, due to the Southwest’s proximity to the Mexican border, many Western-inspired styles have incorporated indigenous Mexican patterns like Aztec print.

western wear patterns embroider and aztec
@ashlyn.evans / @kapiteinzeppos

Cowboy hats, big belts, and leather vests

We’re not here to stop you from wearing something you like, but certain items constitute as going overboard.

Large cowboy hats, big belts, and leather vests are a hard sell unless you’re going for an intentionally kitschy look.

Colored fabric patches and some light tasseling might look cool, but we suggest refraining from ostentation.

While this article provides sartorial tips on how to ride the Americana trend, it’s not a guide for winning a rodeo pageant.

What Americana styles would you venture into? Let us know in the comments below.

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