What shirts were popular in the Old West?

What shirts were popular in the Old West?

Katrina Allen

Linden, Arizona

Most shirts were pullovers and had buttons (or sometimes laces) only partway down the front. Many working cowboys picked up Army surplus shirts made of woven wool twill in navy blue (prior to 1881, Army shirts were gray flannel). Shirt styles were usually plain, striped or patterned. Lightweight Chambray shirts were also popular. If cowboys could afford them, silk shirts were a big hit. Wool and flannel were more popular than cotton; white cotton shirts got dirty too quickly and were rarely used by working men.

Shirts were not ready-made in a wide variety of sizes and arm lengths (shirt sleeves weren’t cut to size until 1911), so many cowboys wore arm garters to adjust the length of the sleeves.

Collars were merely a fold over of the material at the neck, and was probably why troops and cowboys wore necker-chiefs to protect their necks from the sun.

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