The cowboys have long immortalized the mens western shirts. A symbol of mental strength and cold boldness, the western shirt gave cowboy some character. The mens western shirt worn by ranchmen, cattlemen, sheep herders, outlaws and lawmen served both practical and image purposes. Indeed the mens western shirt was an integral part of the cowboy’s image.

in style cowboy plaid cross applique western shirt

Western Shirt – An insight


The primary striking element of a western shirt is yoke on the front and back. A yoke is a cloth piece, fitted around the shoulders or neckpiece of the shirt. It’s usually in contrast and supports the lower part of the shirt. They served practical and image purposes. Cowboys and ranchmen carried heavy and rough material like ropes on their shoulders and a yoke made of tough denim was ideal to withstand the wear and tear. It also accentuates the shoulders making them look broad and enhances ones personality. Yokes can be straight, scalloped, curved, printed or plain.


Made for practical purposes, this became the style element in mens western shirts. This pioneering accessory was created as it is easier to snap open especially when caught in wire or cow horns. Also ranchmen and cowboys didn’t have the time to sew buttons. Mens western shirts with snaps became a distinguishing factor of a cowboy from his big city counterpart. Popular material used to make snaps is pearls, nickel or copper. Urbanization of western wear has seen this fashion fade away, but it’s still a favorite amongst mens vintage western shirts collectors.


Embroidery is a key element and brings art into mens western shirts. Decorative stitching, embellishments and appliqué work is also commonly found on mens western dress shirts. Fringes are also a popular design variation in western shirts. There around the cuffs and yoke borders and are made of various materials.


Gabardine was a popular fabric used in western wear from its inception. Over the years other fabric like rayon, nylon, satin and polyester have been used in manufacturing. However today cotton/poly cotton and denim remain the most popular of fabrics used in manufacturing. Cost has been the primary factor in this shift of fabric.


Western shirts were primarily fitted in nature. They were sort of a unique selling point of these shirts. The more fit the shirts were the lesser chances of snag. However with wholesale production taking over, relaxed fit is now the name of the game.

History Mens Western Shirts

Historically the mens western shirts have been adopted mostly by cowboys, ranchmen and cattle herders. Hollywood stars like John Wayne and Paul Newman were literally brand ambassadors of this style and they are commonly seen wearing cinch shirts. But over the years the concept of the ‘urban cowboy‘ has helped bring western wear to modern fashion territory. Today it is being adopted by its city counterparts although not in their traditional essence.

modern style western shirt

Top Brands of Mens Western Shirts

  • Wrangler
  • Ariat
  • Levis Strauss
  • Lee

A legendary brand amongst collectors is the Rockmount Ranch Wear which pioneered many designs and concepts in mens western shirts. The character and strength oozing out of a western shirt propels a man’s personality.