Vintage Western Shirts Australia


The western shirt has always been an iconic wardrobe staple, conjuring up a sense of adventure, masculine strength and courage, Hollywood movies and damn fine style. What defines a Western Shirt? It has signature pointed yokes on the front and the back, longer tails, dual chest pockets with pointed flaps, pearl snap closures down the front and pearl snapped cuffs. Western style shirt is a great option as a party and festival shirt for their cool style and attractive prints.

The prints are all so unique and interesting, and we particularly love those with Aztec and primitive culture vibes, which always go down well at a festival. Being long sleeves, they are a good choice for cooler weather. These western shirts look really good tucked in with a plain jacket over the top because the prints are so striking.

Vintage Western and Cowboy Shirts

The western shirt was created in the early nineteenth century, as American immigrants continued to expand into a western territory. Frontier outposts were very cosmopolitan, and quickly a style began to emerge that was a blend of the resplendent clothing of rich Europeans with the practical rugged work wear of the Native Americans. Western shirts Australia were first made from leather but quickly moved to lighter-weight fabrics as they became available.

The early examples of flamboyant western shirts for men were made for Hollywood movies and rodeo shows, by master tailors such as Nudie Cohen, Nathan Turk and Rodeo Ben. They were custom-made and are now highly collectable. After seeing a gap in the market, in the 1940s Rockmount Ranch Wear began replicating this style of design. They made affordable copies of the shirts for the eager public, who loved the mythology of the Wild West and wanted to emulate the look of their on-screen idols. It started out as a niche market but kept growing, with labels such as H Bar C and Karman, joining the ranks of Western wear. It’s said that in 1946, Papa Jack Wilde of Rockmount Ranch Wear designed the first western shirt with snap buttons on the front, and pocket flaps, and since then, this has become the standard. Snap buttons are a practical feature. They are less likely to get caught on things when working on the land. They don’t break like buttons that need to be stitched again, which is often not part of a Cowboy’s repertoire. Cuffs are longer and tighter than regular shirts, which also makes them less likely to get caught during active work.

A fancy Western shirt is often elaborately decorated with embroidery of bull horns, horseshoes or rose motifs, satin piping and a contrasting yoke. The yoke, first appearing in the 1800s, is a shaped piece of the garment that is situated around the neck and shoulders to provide support for the looser parts of the shirt and is sometimes defined by a contrasting colour or pattern.

These were derived from the intricately stylised Vaquero clothing, which has its roots in Spain and Portugal. In the 1950s these shirts were often worn by movie cowboys and became the commonplace uniform for cowboys at rodeo events. Buffalo Bill wore them with a buckskin fringe jacket during his Wild West TV shows and they’ve been fashionable for the bohemian crowds and rock stars since the 1970s. Originally, the fit of mens western shirts was quite different from conventional men’s shirts. They were form-fitting and flattering to a slim physique. This was for the practical reason of being less likely to snag on things while doing practical work. Today there are more relaxed fits around for the urban cowboy shirts.

Western and Cowboy Shirt Online

During the 1970s, 80s and 90s there have been a number of movies and country and Western singers who have helped propel Western Fashion. The 70’s movie Midnight Cowboy and then the 1980 movie Urban Cowboy starring John Travolta, followed with a huge surge in sales of Western shirts and clothing. Garth Brooks and Dwight Yoakam are two country and western poster boys who wore their shirts so well, that they inspired a whole new generation of designers and buyers. Garth Brooks even started his own line of Western shirts, which we see from time to time. Other people of note who have inspired us with the way they wear their Western shirts or cowboy shirt are Keith Richards, Salvador Dali, Bob Dylan, Keith Urban and of course Johnny Cash.

At Cult Bravery, you’ll always find an inspiring selection of the fascinating shirts that are vintage western shirts Australia to add to or begin your collection.