steppin-out.Western Wear—not just a wardrobe, but an attitude; not just clothing, but a lifestyle. Kicking back in jeans and boots isn’t merely a preference, it’s a necessity. It’s about who we are, and who we want to be.

Welcome to the one place in True West where we can strip the truth naked about putting on the style—Western, that is. Month after month we’ll take you into the world of ranchwear, competition wear, vintage clothing and more. We’ll tackle Western haute couture and collectible designers as well as cutting edge technology for the ranch hand, the wanna-be, the superstar and your basic urban cowboy (or girl).

Trends, New Releases & New Ideas

Today’s Western wear market is huge. Over 5,000 retailers across the U.S. bank their lives on it, fueling a growing industry tied to the increase in leisure horsemanship, amateur and professional rodeo and aging yuppies. Yes, True Believers, the older we get, the more we return to the values of our youth. But did you ever wonder what’s really behind the hype, endorsements,  brand names, magic and mystique?

While you’re reading this, someone somewhere is perfecting lariats that reflect light—great for twilight roundups or ropers doing their thing in poorly lit arenas. (Yes it’s true! The brand new Twenty-X by Wrangler Rope!) And someone else is using sports technology from basketball sneakers to make comfortable cowboy boots. (Ariat—the bootmakers who took the pain out of horsemanship.) Jean makers are weaving spandex with denim (OK, it’s an option), and shirtmakers are reviving the nostalgic plaids of the 1950s, just the way our dads wore ’em. (Rockmount Ranch Wear—vintage is definitely back.)

Speaking of shirts, Wrangler has broken new ground. Unlike the heavy wool gabardines of yesteryear or the starched cotton shirting that followed, this spring America’s Western wear leader will make history. Watch for a shirt collection that defies nature, making the heat work for you, not against you. It’s called Cool Lock by Wrangler, and it’s an innovative shirt collection where high-tech meets the range. Cool Lock, the trade name for a revolutionary new fabric that wicks away heat when the temperatures swelter, may be to the working cowboy what Gore-tex was to the mountain climber. Won’t make the bronc buck higher or the work any easier, but it’ll keep the cowboy looking drier and smiling longer. And comfort’s a major part of the game—no sweat!

So ride the fashion range with your inside tracker and get all the news you can use.

This is where Western wear is at.

Happy Trails.


C.J. Brown is a native Coloradan, Western author, fashion writer for Western & English Today and a staff writer for Persimmon Hill at the National Cowboy Museum & Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City.

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