• Home
  • News
  • Fashion
  • Item of the week: the cowboy shirt

Item of the week: the cowboy shirt

By Rachel Douglass



(From left) Image: Nudie Jeans, Superdry, Scotch & Soda

What it is:

The cowboy shirt is a notable staple that comes with a long, complex background. While many reference the shirt to originate from ‘Western’ cowboys, mostly seen in films and television, the shirt is actually the result of a cultural mix, mostly inspired by traditional Mexican shirts worn by livestock herders. Adaptation over time, specifically in the 1990s, has brought a new meaning to the shirt, as tailors began updating the shirt’s signature details, such as its pointed yoke and snap button fastenings. Hollywood’s use of the style has also had a considerable impact, with many films created during the late 90s also contributing to its popularity.

Image: The Kooples

Why you’ll want it:

The cowboy shirt is a fun addition to a wardrobe and allows the wearer to experiment with their style in a safe way. Brands have adapted the look through the use of varying materials, most notably denim or a satin-like fabric, meaning that there are a wide number of variations depending on the customer group. For men, the piece can give a fresh option to what they may usually wear, allowing them to explore a new style and express themselves in new ways. The shirt is also a staple piece that continues to regularly come back into the forefront of fashion, often with new adaptations to make it relevant for the constantly changing consumer.

Image: Y'vette Libby N'guyen Paris

Where we’ve seen it:

The cowboy aesthetic was represented in a variety of ways on the men’s SS23 runways. While some brands were a little more subtle in their approach to the trend, such as Ami which stuck with bandanas and neck scarves, others took the Western aesthetic very literally. Casablanca arguably led the trend with its matador-inspired collection, displaying obvious references to the cowboy look seen in panelled shirts and piped jackets. Similarly, Dries van Noten also adopted the Western trend literally, offering up silken cowboy shirts with typical embroidery. MSGM’s take involved alternative sewing techniques and tied neckline details, while Thom Browne’s interpretation involved heavily embellished denim and revealing matching trousers.

Image: Polo Ralph Lauren

How to style it:

The cowboy shirt can be a statement wardrobe item, with eye-catching colours and cuts that instantly are noticeable. To avoid the shirt coming across as too costume-y, pair it with tailored trousers or denim jeans, tucked in with a simple belt to tie it together. To complete the look, opt for smart shoes for an elevated finish. If you are aiming for an all-around cowboy aesthetic, don’t be shy to add a pair of cowboy boots and a hat, possibly matching the colourings of the shirt to bring the look together.

Image: Jack&Jones
The cowboy shirt is a fun wardrobe alternative that doesn’t need a special occasion to be worn. New adaptations of the design have made it relevant for the younger consumer, while still keeping its traditional look and signature markings that have made it famous for decades.

Image: Madewell

Similar items available for (pre)order can be found in the FashionUnited Marketplace. You can find them by clicking on this link.

Item of the Week
Scroll down to read more