Giddy Up: Western Wear Riding High
Maybe you don’t watch Yellowstone or any of its spinoffs, but you’ve probably noticed more denim, flannel and classic workwear jackets on folks out and about.
“I can’t go to a baseball game or something and not see somebody wearing either the Yellowstone logo or the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch,” says Javier Melendez, a national account executive with Massachusetts-based distributor Walker-Clay. “I think that’s been a huge influence.”
From jean jackets and cowboy boots to fringed leather bags and plaid scarves, Western wear has become popular all over the country – and not just for the Nashville set. Gen Z fashion maven Zendaya was spotted wearing a Western-style blazer, jeans and boots in New York City this fall. We’re sure to see a surge with the Las Vegas Rodeo championships opening on December 1 (and you know what happens in Vegas in January!).
PureWow’s Roberta Fiorito describes the trend as “frontier chic” and “Western-core” but warns against going “full-blown cowgirl”:
“The trick is to not overdo it and lean more toward Western silhouettes. … Think: fringe on jackets, pointed-toe boots, a silk neckerchief and lots of natural-feeling fabrics like denim, suede, leather and wool.”
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It’s easy to marry a little Western inspiration with the denim-on-denim trend, and while keeping up with every trend isn’t practical for promo, there are a lot of fun options for brandable garments that can complement these trends.
Houston-based personal stylist Ashley Kahn – a serious RodeoHouston fan – suggests elements like a flannel shirt, denim skirt or jeans, jean jacket and fringed scarf (especially one with a southwestern-style print) to bring Western flair to any outfit.
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“Fringe is really important right now,” says Kelli Denes, director of business development with The Vernon Company, an Iowa-based distributor. “It’s not very practical to have a fringed shirt in every apparel catalog, but if you can carry that trend over in simple, versatile pieces like a scarf, then we’re back to practicality with a nice, simple, understated logo.”
Andi Goeing, trendspotter and content strategy specialist with Illinois-based supplier S&S Activewear says she sees a lot of people wearing cowboy boots for all occasions, not just to country music concerts.
“That’s just become a wardrobe staple,” Goeing says. “We’re seeing that trickle into our space, too, just because our decorators are doing the Western embellishments, with the Aztec prints on some of the bags.”
The Western trend also intersects with workwear – think about those rugged jackets the show’s working cowboys are always wearing, plus shackets, plaid flannel shirts and all those garments that look like what your grandpa would wear to go chop firewood.
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“Carhartt is big in every way, because it’s known for durability and just being rugged,” says Denes, “but now it’s really made its way into the market for women. For me it’s very practical because we’re in the Midwest, and it gets cold. … I love the Carhartt. My kids are wearing it. They go to the store and that’s what they want to spend their money on.”
Here are some brandable garments (branding iron optional) to help your clients lasso a little Western flair:
The Levi’s Original Women’s Trucker Jacket offers a practical and classic American silhouette that recipients will wear for years. Made of prewashed stretch denim, the jacket features button closures with silver hardware, double chest pockets, waist pockets and contrast stitching with tailored seams. Available in Sweet Jane Blue (shown) or Berkman Wash/black, sizes XS-XL.
Hit Promotional Products / PPAI 113910, S14 / www.hitpromo.net
Give a subtle tip of the hat to Western and workwear style with the Women’s Short-Sleeve Hudson Denim Shirt, made of 100% cotton enzyme-washed denim with polished pearl buttons and bust darts for a feminine fit. Available in denim blue (shown) or gray, sizes XS-3X.
Vantage Apparel / PPAI 113235, S10 / www.vantageapparel.com
Provide on-trend warmth with this soft acrylic Plaid Blanket Scarf with fringed edges for added flair. It’s large enough to drape around your neck or shoulders (roughly 70x25 inches) and machine washable for easy care. Available in five color combinations (shown in blue and gray).
Koozie Group / PPAI 114187, S13 / www.kooziegroup.com
The workwear-inspired Women’s North Beach Shacket features an insulated quilted design to keep you warm, front snaps for ease of use and lined handwarmer pockets. “It’s a really practical piece, but you could dress it up with a skirt, you could throw on a scarf, you could wear a fringed tank top underneath it and leave it open,” says Denes, “so it could play into so many practical uses.” Available in two plaids (black/dolphin shown) and sizes XS-2X (men’s version also available).
Stormtech USA / PPAI 260245, S4 / www.stormtechperformance.com
Make the most of the Yellowstone moment with this rugged Carhartt Duck Detroit Jacket with its signature corduroy collar, worn by warehouse workers, farmhands and ranchers for decades. Made of 100% ringspun cotton duck canvas, it’s water-repellent and wind-resistant with a blanket-lined body for warmth. Available in black or Carhartt brown (shown), sizes S-5X (tall sizes available).
SanMar / PPAI 110788, S16 / www.sanmar.com
DRI DUCK offers its own take on the heavy-duty work jacket with the (ahem) Yellowstone Power Move Canvas Jacket. The “V” yoke styling on front and back adds Western flair, and the cotton/poly/spandex construction provides stretch for comfort and ease of movement. Available in charcoal (shown) or field khaki, sizes S-4X.
DRI DUCK Traders / PPAI 318801, S5 / www.driduck.com
No Western wardrobe would be complete without a nod to the barnyard. This Printed Crosswind Quarter Zip Sweatshirt in black cow print would be a slam dunk for a dairy, creamery or ice cream shop, but interestingly, the company says they are capitalizing on a demand for animal prints, specifically among middle-aged women in Southern states. Available in seven patterns (black cow shown) and unisex sizes XXS-3X.
Charles River Apparel / PPAI 111644, S10 / www.charlesriverapparel.com