The Beginner's Guide to Western Style Dress Shirts

The Beginner's Guide to Western Style Dress Shirts

Men's dress shirts are available in different styles. You can find them in basic and modern styles, and you can find them in bold styles, such as western. Western style dress shirts offer a unique alternative. While available in many of the same materials as their modern counterparts, western style dress shirts stand out.

What Is a Western Style Dress Shirt?

A western style dress shirt is a type of men's dress shirt that's synonymous with western wear. Western wear encompasses a variety of fashion trends that emerged in the 19th-century Wild West.

Some of these fashion trends have faded over the years. Others, however, have remained. Western style dress shirts are one of several Wild West fashion trends that are still around. Whether you live on the east coast or west coast, you've probably seen them. They are high-quality men's dress shirts that mimic the characteristics of shirts worn during the 19th-century Wild West.

Common types of western wear include the following:

  • Western style dress shirts
  • Fringe leather jackets
  • Frock coats
  • Ponchos
  • Bowler hats
  • Leather chaps
  • Bolo dies

Lightweight Construction

You might be wondering how western style dress shirts differ from other types of men's dress shirts. For starters, they feature a lightweight construction. Most western wear garments and accessories feature a lightweight construction -- and western style dress shirts are no exception.

The European Linen Western Style Shirt sold here at StudioSuits is made entirely of linen. Linen is an organic material that's derived from the flax plant. In addition to being strong and durable, it's lightweight. The lightweight properties of linen make it particularly useful in western wear garments and accessories.

Western style dress shirts are often made of linen. By choosing a 100% linen western dress shirt, you can rest assured knowing that it won't weigh you down. It will fit comfortably while projecting a western appearance.

Short Sleeve

Most western style dress shirts are short sleeve. Back in the 19th-century Wild West, of course, there wasn't air conditioning. Air conditioning wasn't invented until the turn of the 20th century. And even then, it took several decades for home builders to adopt the technology. Without air conditioning, most men preferred short-sleeve shirts over long-sleeve shirts.

If you're looking to buy a long-sleeve shirt, you may want to opt for a different style. Regardless of the material, western style dress shirts are short sleeve. You won't find many long-sleeve western dress shirts.

Flap Pockets

Flap pockets are a defining characteristic of western style dress shirts. Other types of dress shirts may feature pockets as well. Rather than flap pockets, though, they typically feature traditional button-based pockets. You can open these traditional pockets by unfastening a button, and you can close the pockets by fastening this same button.

Flap pockets are rectangular-shaped welt pockets. They are known as "flap pockets" because they have a flap of material on top that hangs over the rest of the pockets.

Most western style dress shirts feature two flap pockets. You can find them on the breast area. There's a flap pocket on the right breast area, and there's another flap pocket on the left breast area. You may also discover that the flap pockets on western style dress shirts use snap buttons. Snap buttons are fasteners that snap into place. You can push a snap button to close the flap pocket, or you can pull a snap button to open the flap pocket.

Premium Collar

Western style dress shirts feature a premium collar. The collar is the uppermost part of a shirt that wraps around your neck. All dress shirts feature a collar. Western style dress shirts, though, feature a premium collar.

Premium collars such as those found on western style dress shirts are more durable than other collars. During the 19th-century Wild West, men required strong and durable apparel. This led to dress shirts being created with ultra-strong, premium collars. Even today, many western style dress shirts feature these same premium collars.

Yoke vs No Yoke

There are western style dress shirts with and without a yoke. What is a yoke exactly, and why do some western style dress shirts have one?

A yoke is a band of material near the top of a shirt. It's located just under the collar while wrapping completely around the shirt. Many western style dress shirts have a yoke. The yoke may feature a different color than the rest of the shirt, or it may feature a unique design or pattern. Regardless, the yoke is distinguished from the rest of the shirt. 

Tips on Choosing a Western Style Dress Shirt

If you're going to buy a western style dress shirt, you should choose an appropriate color. Most western style dress shirts are made of linen. As previously mentioned, linen is a lightweight organic material, thus making it ideal for use in western style dress shirts. But you can still find western style dress shirts in different colors.

You can't go wrong with a white western style dress shirt. White is a clean universal color that matches all other colors with which it's worn. Alternatively, you may want to choose a light blue color. Here at StudioSuits, we offer western style dress shirts in dozens of colors including European Blue Mist, European Jordy Blue Linen, European Sky Blue and European Blue Linen.

Something else to consider when shopping for a western style dress shirt is the size. You probably won't wear a western style dress shirt very often if it's too big or too small. To take full advantage of this classic garment, you need to choose the right size.

Western style dress shirts are available in standard sizes and made to measure. Made to measure means you can specify your own body measurements. You won't be limited to choosing a fixed, generic size. With made to measure, you can enter your own body measurements to ensure the perfect fit.