We’re seeing it everywhere: from streets to celebrities, a distinctly cowboyish style is coming back into favor. Pull out your favorite henleys and vintage pair of Levi’s, because you’ll find a more rugged look pushing its way onto the scene.
What’s the look that has every well-groomed man reaching for the mustache wax? It’s a combination of a sexy worn appeal and a slight outdoorsy flair, but we’re not just seeing it on cowboys anymore. In New York, L.A., and London, just to name a few cities, there are urban men adopting this style left and right.
Soft chambray shirts, heavy leather belts with nostalgic buckles, and crisp dark denim are back. Just take a look at one of the most popular collections this year for this hot new look: John Varvatos and his fall/winter 2007 looks. His last Dustbowl collection evoked “cowboy charm and rustic romanticism, and a weathered yet meticulous style with distinctly American bones,” as he stated to the press earlier this year. One thing almost goes without saying—Varvatos’ sportswear details bump heads with tailored effects to develop a distinctive Western touch.
Fall 2007 will bring about a natural feel, with the heavy use of sage green, deep mahogany browns, cinnamon, and various lighter earthy tones. Old-fashioned elements straight out of the Wild West are derived from pieces using battered leather, lightweight wool, and shearling in both vintage-inspired clothing and in contemporary designs.
Other collections took the same route of masculine Western styles. Jean Paul Gaultier’s Americana reference was found in the way of hairstyles, as he used handlebar mustaches and full, thick sidebars to complement next season’s collection. Travota used a very rustic corduroy and some Victorian reference to stake their claim on the Western look.
There are plenty of ways to mix in this slightly nostalgic trend with your casual summer clothing. Try lightweight leather boots for night and dark denim, white or light chambray shirt with snap closures, and two days stubble, or even a full beard if you dare.
Western style will most likely be the next “thing.” We’ve done rock, we’ve done punk. We’ve got to take a break from the much manicured, carefully tailored looks and embrace something more comfortable, less overdone, and far more romantic this time around. And better yet, the Western inspired clothing look just feels right. It has the staying power to work well with jeans, vests, and boots you already have, and most likely will stick around for seasons to follow.