New Western Style

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New Western Style (NWS)




What's it all about?

The typical American business style is defined by an east or west coast view of what looks stylish and dignified on a gentleman.  This style usually includes a suit and tie for business dress, a sport coat with or without tie for business casual, and a collared polo shirt with slacks for more informal gatherings.  Footwear is generally oxfords for more formal dress to topsiders for less formal occasions.  I propose that we in the Midwest and especially in the near West (Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Nebraska, and New Mexico), develop our own style. 

The style I am proposing uses our basic wardrobe but adds a couple of touches that tell everyone we have our own western style.  Additionally, it will strike a western association in everyone who sees it.  First, the style must use what we have--we don't need to throw out our suits.  Second, it must be distinctive but simple and elegant.  Third, it must tell the world we come from the rough and tough world of the West.  It must reveal how we view and shape our world.  Fourth, it must get rid of the tie.  Western ties are okay, but the time is now for real men to dump ties.  No one uses them for their original purpose--wipe your nose and your hands.  They just look silly especially on a man from the real West.  


What is the style?


1)  Banded collar shirt - this shirt looks like the kind of shirt Wild Bill, Marshal Billy Nix, and Bat Masterson would have worn.  This is the main focus piece of New Western Style (NWS).  If you are wearing a banded collar shirt, you are expressing NWS.  For informal occasions, wear your collar open.  For a little more formality, button the collar.  To make your banded collar shirt business wear, times when you would normally wear a tie, put a button cover on the buttoned top button.

2)  Button cover - necessary to use the banded collar shirt in a business environment.

3)  Boots - throw away your oxfords and the rest of those silly east and west coast sissy shoes.  When you would usually wear a nice shoe, put on boots.  You can still keep your topsiders and similar informal shoes for the usual times you would wear them.

4)  Belt - we need to have the western belts thinned a little or get slack manufacturers to widen the belt loops.  For full NWS, put on a western belt with a large buckle.  If you can't fit the belt through the loops, use a normal belt.  A normal belt is always acceptable in NWS especially if you are wearing a button cover.  If you are wearing informal slacks or have an open collar, put on a western belt with the largest buckle you can find.  It is appropriate in NWS to change your buckle to match the event and circumstance.

5)  Slacks - you don't need to make any changes in the pants you wear.  You can even wear your suit in NWS.  Just remember to balance the slacks based on the formality of the event and time.  If you are really informal, throw on your jeans.

6)  Sport coat, jacket, suit coat - Use the ones you have and match your wear to the formality of the event.

7)  Combinations and color schemes - One of the key aspects of NWS is to put together eye-catching combinations that promote strength.  This is the reason suits are acceptable, but discouraged.  You can make very strong combinations by matching and contrasting slacks and jackets.  You want the shirts to contrast and complement.  Some examples, black shirt with black slacks and a cream jacket; red shirt, black slacks, black jacket; yellow shirt, dark blue pants, light blue jacket; blue shirt, brown slacks, light brown or beige jacket.  These are examples, but many combinations can be developed with just a few jackets, slacks, and shirts.  Your shirts should start with two white, one red, one black, and one blue.  Match your slacks and jackets to your shirts and each other.  Remember complementing contrast is better than color matching.  The most subtle combination in NWS is white shirt, with a suit.  A better subtle combination is white shirt, dark blue slacks, and light blue jacket.     

8)  Hats - every Kansan should own a winter and a summer cowboy hat.  These are generally optional wear today, but required at some formal and informal events.




Maroon banded collar shirt

Gold and black collar button cover

Light grey jacket

Black slacks

Brown western belt and Kansas buckle

Red brown western boots


Photo by Tim Davis Photography

  More examples in the future.

Where to acquire your NWS clothing?



Banded Collar Shirts

     J.C. Penney



     Holly Vogue



     Travel Smith


Button Covers

     Tux Gear




  L.D. Alford is the author of 41 technical papers published in international journals on flight test, military policy, flight safety, space, and cyberwar.  Technical Writing
  L.D. Alford has been a professional aviator for 27 years.  Aviation Writing

L.D. Alford Aviation Writing Technical Writing Unpublished Novels Writing Links Engineer


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