I’ve always had a weakness for cowboy fashion, and when we visit Saskatchewan, we always drop by the big Cowtown store in Regina to do our bit for the Prairie economy, not that it needs it what with grains and potash and petroleum all booming.
The store is pretty big, but it’s the smallest of the buildings clustered around the Masterfeeds parking lot.
Masterfeeds actually owns & operates Cowtown, and downstairs there’s more animal food than anything else, along with a weird assortment of exotic pets; you can pick up a tarantula or chameleon along with your horse chow.
Upstairs though, it’s Western Wear.
I like denim and checks and plaids and, and I’ve never understood why you’d want buttons on a shirt when you can have pearl- or black-fronted snaps.
Jeans · There’s a rule somewhere that says programmers should wear black jeans and I guess cowboys can too, because Cowtown’s got almost as much black as blue. Shopping for jeans is a powerful illustration of the virtue of standards. A jean’s core size is defined by a pair of numbers, given in inches: waist leg. A good men’s jean store will have a huge number of combinations ranging from a beanpole 28-40 to a fireplug 48-28, repeated across two or three “cuts”, from two or three manufacturers. If you know your size, all you have to do is try on this year’s cuts and see what works.
Prices were down a bit this year, C$38, which really isn’t bad for a good pair of jeans offered in a wide selection of sizes and shapes.
Shirts · You’ll often spot some genuine cowpokes at Cowtown, and on average they’re not much bigger than me, which makes me wonder why they have multiple racks of XL and XXL and 3XL shirts, one rack of L (usually LT where T is for “tall”), and a few M here and there. I’m pretty medium but can manage a T, a LT even if I don’t mind the shirt-tails reaching for my knees. Still, it’s a mystery.
There was an initially nifty-looking line of mostly-pink styles, with advertising featuring manly cowboys and the tag-line “Tough enough to wear pink.” I like pink, so I was interested. The shirts also had a little pink-ribbon breast-cancer badge, which was good; but then also a big lurid Wrangler logo; pfui.
Wrangler · Speaking of which, Cowtown had lots of brands, but the two pairs of jeans (cowboy cut, slim-fit variation) and three shirts I bought were all from Wrangler. Doubtless supporting some Chinese sweatshop with my Western-Wear dollars.