Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.
Is there anything more satisfying than after a long day of posting about jeans on the internet, you return home and rip off your denim shirt in one swift motion Magic Mike style? No? Okay, maybe it’s just me. But if you’d like to know what that’s like, I’ll gladly lend you a shirt and my job for the day so we can compare notes.
Or, if you take my word from it, you can pick up one of the following snap button denim westerns. This is an update from my original list from about five years ago, boy how the shirts have come and gone and one has stayed the same.
1) Wrangler: Cowboy Cut Western Rigid Denim Long Sleeve
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to drive a lifted Dodge Ram and have dip can outlines on all of your clothes to wear mainline Wrangler (although it wouldn’t hurt). This shirt is cheap. Cheap enough to be asking questions, but also cheap enough to get you into a 100% cotton raw denim shirt without a second thought.
Available for $34 at Wrangler.
2) Rockmount Ranch Wear: Slim Fit Indigo Denim Shirt
The only holdover from the original list! The slim fit of the Rockmount was originally a functional feature, meaning the wearer was less likely to catch themselves on stray branches or barb wire. You can pick up the original, which is still made in USA, for a song compared to what’s to come.
Available for $96 at Rockmount.
3) Shockoe: Denim Western Shirt
Sometimes you feel like a snap, sometimes you don’t. Shockoe eschews the typical pocket flaps for a standard patch to appease those who’d rather not fuss with the extra buttons. This shirt is made in-house in Shockoe’s studio in Richmond, Virginia; which may technically make this an Eastern rather than a Western Shirt, but it’s probably the only western shirt you can buy in America that’s still sewn by the people who sell it.
Available for $225 at Shockoe.
4) Warehouse: 3001 Longhorn Denim Western Shirt
Warehouse looks to the 1940s for its Longhorn shirt, meaning it has those tilted pocket flaps with the single button that make it look angry and cross-eyed at the same time. But as the Osaka 5 representative on this list, you can rest assured it is made to the highest quality standards and with a beautiful orange ID selvedge denim…even if it does look a little confused.
Available for $198 at Corlection.
5) Iron Heart: 246 Natural Indigo 12oz. Denim Western Shirt
Most denim shirts are made out of a lighter weight fabric, something in the 8oz. range that drapes easier and lets your arms bend freely from the jump. Iron Heart ain’t having none of that. This 12oz. shirt is about the same weight as a pair of 501 shrink-to-fits. They even went the extra mile and did it in natural indigo, giving it that light and gorgeous blue hue you can only find in grown plant indigo…and in the most expensive of denim garments.
Available for $420 at Franklin & Poe.
Plus One – Fine Creek Leathers: Hank Western Shirt
Okay it’s not denim, but that’s what the Plus One is for! It’s the one we couldn’t fit into the normal list, and this leather version of the western shirt is certainly not normal. Fine Creek is most well known for horsehide, but they take that expertise to sheepskin for this 1mm thick, rayon-lined take on a snap shirt. Unlike everything else mentioned, this one is soft and pliable from the first wear, it just costs about the median monthly salary in the US.
Available for $2,300 (or $2,070 for Heddels+ Type 2 members) at Clutch Cafe.