Dandy & Rose

Bespoke Western Shirts, Handmade in England

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Banjos and quarterhorses

Earlier today, a friend drew my attention to the shirt that the banjo whizz Jim Mills is wearing in this photo. She asked me if the pocket treatment has a special name.
It does! I got out one of my favourite books, ‘Western Shirts: A classic American Fashion’, written by Steven G Weil, grandson of Jack A. Weil, who founded the famous Rockmount western shirt brand. I love to browse this book, which I bought in the fantastic treasure trove that is the museum shop at The Aurty Center, Los Angeles, when I went there last year to research the archive of Nudie’s the Rodeo Tailor.
Rockmount claim all sorts of innovations on behalf of Jack A. – yokes, snaps, pocket flaps -they say he more or less invented the western shirt. He died aged 107 in 2008 and set up Rockmount Ranch Wear in 1946. He was certainly an early populariser and mass producer of the western style, but I’m not so sure on the invention thing… I’ll let you know if I ever track that down!
Anyway, Rockmount attribute this style of pocket flap, and the matching yoke, to Jack A, and the call it the ‘Quarterhorse’. The book shows a number of examples from the 1940s onwards – and they are still shirts with quarterhorse yokes and pocket flaps today.
I think Jim’s shirt is very stylish!
Photo by Tom Dunning http://www.bluegrasstoday.com