An item of clothing that will no doubt make you think of cowboy boots and buckled belts is the Texan shirt, which aptly straddles the good, the bad and the ugly of the American dream, as depicted in early Hollywood films directed by the likes of Bart Lancaster, Gary Cooper, and Clint Eastwood. What we know for sure is that this particular look has been successfully reinvented on countless men's and women's catwalks, thanks primarily to the allure of its links to the movie industry, which has rendered it a true icon of the American myth.
The western shirt – with its characteristic yoke and press studs – continues to reign supreme in both men’s and women's wardrobes in denim, flannel and even velvet versions, and in a range of colours and shades, such as the faded tones seen on this model.
This contemporary new spin on the famed cowboy shirt sits somewhere between a pared down version and more flashy interpretation, perhaps featuring embroidery, studs, and paired with sparkly cowboy boots, a leather belt, and a colourful bandana.
Legend has it that the genius behind this lucky shirt is a rather unlikely fellow from the US ranching world who went by the name of Ben, AKA The Rodeo Tailor from Philadelphia.
In his youth, Ben often sourced fabrics from various companies and sold them on. One day, a local merchant was expecting a visit from a rodeo and put in an order with Ben for some brightly coloured fabric. Being the enterprising and creative young man that he was, Ben went above and beyond, offering to make the costumes himself. And the rest is history. In 1930, he opened his first shop and by 1933 he had designed his very first shirt featuring press studs thanks to a moment of ingenuity.
The story goes that Ben once saw a cowboy get his shirt button caught in his saddle during a rodeo. It was in this exact moment that Ben had the idea to use the press studs usually found on gloves on his shirts. His very first press studs were made of metal but were soon perfected following a partnership with the Rau Fastener Company, which designed mother-of-pearl press studs, just like the ones seen on most cowboy shirts today.
And the award for the Hollywood star best able to pull off the Texan look goes to… the one and only Matthew McConaughey, who perfectly embodies the myth of the golden age and heroes on horseback in action films such as Mud, Dallas Buyers Club, Gold, and Bernie, with his classic outfits featuring shirts with pointed collars, elaborate embroidery, and western yokes, coupled with a pair of boots and a cowboy hat.
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