"From the Gold Rush of 1848 to the last performance of Johnny Cash, the legendary "cowboy shirt" has withstood the test of time. Throughout history, pioneers have been busy breaking in and showing off these comfortable, cotton, western cut, pearl snapped shirts. Worn as both a practical work shirt and a flashy costume piece, the Vintage Western Shirt encompasses the fit and feel of the past while lending itself to the growing style of today." (I do not know where this came from. I found it some time ago on the web and did not know that I would need the source...sorry)
Some of the more popular and well known pearl snap shirt designers / companies are Eli Cattle Company, Panhandle Slim, Wrangler, and H Bar C. H Bar C was the company that brought the more elaborate embroidered shirts out of the rodeo and into the main steam by having Hollywood celebrities like John Wayne wear their shirts.
"H Bar C had it's beginnings in 1897 with Samuel Christenfeld who made English riding apparel in Brooklyn, New York. He partnered with M. Halpern in 1906 and they called the company Halpern and Christenfeld which later became H Bar C. In 1929 Halpern died and Christenfeld and his sons took over the company. In the beginning their western apparel was mainly pants and coats. In the 40's they wanted to expand to selling western shirts too. So they went to Rockmount Ranch Wear to have their first shirts made. That is why some of the early H Bar C shirts are very similar to some of the Rockmount shirts.
In 1936 they opened an office in Los Angeles and later changed the label to H bar C California Ranchwear. Seymour (Samuel's son) worked there with Nudie Cohn, the famous Rodeo Tailor. H Bar C actually produced some of Nudies production lines. There they catered to the big Hollywood stars. They made clothing for stars like John Wayne, Roy Rogers, and Gene Autry to name a few. They took embroidery and appliqué work to the limits.
In 1947 H Bar C contracted the help of Margaret and Frank (Guido) Miele. Margaret did a lot of the embroidery work herself, but later trained other people to help with the increase demand for her designs. H Bar C's designs have become highly collectible. They include embroidery & appliqué work with a large variety of designs. More designs than any other western shirt maker.
Later Margaret Miele re-released some of her western shirt designs as the Miele, Legendary Collection.
H Bar C is one of the main western shirt companies that helped to make western wear popular." From the H Bar C website.
It was not until I saw my hottie hubbie in his Pearl Snaps that they went from just "cool" to "Day'um Hot". Now we have quiet a collection in our closet. I even wear them for a casual look or if we are to go out to a C&W Club. They look very cute tied in a knot over a bustier. We prefer buying vintage or, at least, second hand, well worn Pearl Snaps....but the best is when you wear one that you have had in your own closet for years. Here are some of our favorites....
I wore this one to an event I planned for a company a few years ago. It looked very cute with an Edwardian inspired riding skirt, fancy as all heck cowboy boots (that I have LOST!!!!), black cowboy hat, and the cutest black leather with silver and rhinestones belt. Everyone said I looked like I was about to perform on the Grand Ole Opry....and that made my outfit a success, in my opinion.
Isn't the detailed embroidery beautiful? This is not really a pearl snap but I think this fits in the same category.
Even the back and the arms were very well done.
This one is actually kind of silly...so it does not leave the house very often. LOL
I love this black one with the short sleeves. Since it gets so hot here in Texas, it is nice to have the option of shorter sleeves and still being about to wear something westernish. We also have 2 white ones like it, one is long sleeve, however.
These next two are of unknown origin. Someone cut the labels out before I got my hands on them. They are not very old as they have a silver tinsel looking thread running thru the fabric. I do not care, however, they are worn to perfection and very comfy and stylish.
I especially like the double pointed detail of the pockets with two snaps.
"Cheap bourbon whiskey and pearl snaps are the two things
That stay the same
That stay the same
so when the world starts spinnin' and
Your head hurts
Your head hurts
there's cheap bourbon whiskey and pearl snap shirts"
this post was linked to Thrifty Thursdays.