Behind the Designs with
Blue Ranchwear Sr. Apparel Designer

The rancher is an American icon. The pieces they wear mark a life filled with the integrity, perseverance, tenacity, and the
“Yes, Sir, Yes, Ma’am” mentality of the West. Spanning across the generations, from the first homesteaders in the 1800s to the working cowboys of today, ranch wear is a vessel of storytelling. What its seen. What its overcome. What its triumphed. Ranch wear exemplifies the heart of the cowboy and a lifestyle that is anything but ordinary.

Blue Ranchwear is a classic men’s ranch line. The assortment includes well-constructed, basic functional pieces built with the rancher’s lifestyle in mind. To offer enhanced support to the working rancher, the pieces are equipped with purposeful design elements typically seen more in workwear and athletic wear. This line defines durability with made-to-last pieces, looking to provide quality ranch wear that is both functional and sturdy.

To get an inside perspective into the design process, we connected with Blue Ranchwear’s Sr. Apparel Designer, James.

Who is Blue Ranchwear looking to support?

This brand speaks to that classic western consumer, someone who is actually working a ranch, while also elevating details that would appeal to the men looking to explore western apparel trends.

What is Blue Ranchwear’s end goal?

The products are looking to give the western consumer quality and aesthetic that is approachable, distinctly western, and is both functional and durable.

What is your design process?

Primarily vintage research, pulling older workwear and western patterns and details.

What makes Blue Ranchwear unique?

Being distinctly western but adding the workwear point of view.

What makes Blue Ranchwear unique?

Being distinctly western but adding the workwear point of view.

What inspires you personally about this brand?

The authenticity of the brand, such as the hand of the fabrics and the clean patterns. This line sits well with the rigid feel of boutique denim brands.

What utility features are you most proud of and how does the customer benefit from these features?

I love the update in the hand pockets in the outerwear, from traditional trucker welt pockets to the kangaroo pockets. This is something you see in more workwear or athletic apparel, but it is a great shape to access with gloves or to use as additional storage.

Can you expand on this more?

For the trucker jackets, we gave the consumer a slightly different pocket configuration by using the kangaroo pockets. You see these pockets in more workwear products because of its larger pocket opening. Big enough to put your hands in while wearing gloves. The extra buttonhole on the placket of the jackets is an old tailoring detail primarily used for men’s pocket watches. I put that detail on these jackets for a hands-free place to hold your glasses or other clip-on devices.

How do you hope this brand resonates with customers?

I feel Blue Ranchwear has a broad appeal looking at the current menswear trends in the market. Distinctly targeting that conservative western rancher but is easily appealing to someone who buys their apparel at boutique selvedge denim brands.

To dig into the details a bit, what fabric is used for Blue Ranchwear shirts?

We designed the shirts to grow with the consumer. For a range of Blue Ranchwear shirts, including our solid twill shirts, we used 5.5 oz. to 6 oz. cotton elastane fabrics and added a light enzyme garment wash with softener to give the shirts a little softness while still maintaining the rugged, rigid feel of a work shirt. For the denim shirts, we used a 6 oz. 100% cotton ring spun denim for strength and softness. We also have a rinse, a heavier enzyme stone wash depending on the wash.

What fabric was used for the outerwear?

For the denim trucker jacket, we used a 12 oz. ring spun, 98% cotton, 2% elastane denim. We wanted to give the wearer a rugged fabric with the stretch fabric for added mobility to work. The canvas trucker jacket is an 11 oz. duck canvas, 100% cotton fabric with a rinse to keep its workwear sensibility while feeling light enough to be an everyday second layer yet rugged enough to maintain its durability.

What performance features does the product have and how do they benefit the customer?

We tried to use cotton elastane fabrications across the board to have fabrications that are familiar to the rancher, to give him some ease while he is working, and to showcase that the product is durable and will hold up with years of work. Starting off primarily with rinses, these styles will soften with the wearer and ultimately feel comfortably lived in.