Wrangler's Western Shirt Is a Classic You'll Turn to For Years to Come
Earlier this summer, I got bit by the craft bug. I'm not really a DIY guy, unless you count cutting the scratchy tags off of shirts, but for some reason I wanted to take on a project. My grand plan was to buy a denim shirt, and a bunch of patches off of Etsy, and iron them on all over the place. Because I'm not a DIY guy, it ended up just being two yellow flower patches on the shoulder of the shirt. I like it! But what I really got out of the project was an appreciation for the canvas.
The shirt I bought for this project was a snap-button Western shirt from the granddaddy of all snap-button Western shirtmakers, Wrangler. Just say that out loud. "Wrangler." Don't you kind of feel like you know how to ride a horse all of a sudden? Anyway, I've suddenly found myself reaching for it multiple times a week—as I have, in the reality of the past two years, become accustomed to wearing the same thing twice in a week. (Don't worry, I'm still showering.)
The best part about it is, my new weekly routine of wearing the shirt doesn't have to end when summer does, because it's tailor-made for fall, too. All-in, it's one of the best purchases I've made in recent years (especially considering said purchase was only $25). Here's why.
It's a good spin on a classic.
The union of spandex and denim is a divisive one. I'll admit I've grown out of wanting my jeans to have any stretch in them. Purists would say the same about their denim shirts. But the 2% of spandex in this particular shirt is hardly noticeable. On the surface, and to anyone lookin' at ya, it's a bona fide classic. But that little bit of stretch comes in handy when I move from my desk to the couch around 7 p.m. and go almost fully horizontal. Because yes, this shirt is comfortable enough to lounge in.
It's good to go for a while. Like, a long while.
Straight-up, you will never exist in an era where a solid denim Western shirt isn't a good idea. You can quote me on that. The longevity of this bad boy, in regard to what's "in" and what's "out," is infinite. In the short-term, though, it's equipped for all seasons. Right now, in the dog days of summer, you can wear it over a breezy tee or nothing at all with mesh shorts and slides. When it cools down a bit, trade the shorts for pants and the slides for sneakers. And when it cools down a lot you can layer it under your chunkiest of knits. (This one's a bit too bulky itself to throw under your thinner knitwear.)
It can be a blank canvas.
You won't be the only guy out there in the wild sporting this type of shirt, so if you want to take a page out of my lazy-DIY-guy handbook, it's the kind of shirt that's ripe for customization, whether that be iron-on (or sew-on, if you're serious) patches or adding a few extra ornamental stitches somewhere. Hell, you may even feel inclined to channel your inner millennial country music star and cut the damn sleeves off. I won't discourage it. Beyond getting your craft on, though, like your favorite dark-wash denim, you can build almost any fit you want with it as the anchor. It really is a blank canvas. And for only $25, it's a canvas you can afford to stock up on, again and again. Trust me: you'll want to.
Photography by Timothy Mulcare; prop styling by Miako Katoh.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.