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Thursday, September 1 1 , 1 DCO
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Dy THOMAS JlSSIMAr4 -
tv I O MATTER how you look at it, the
x 1 Western look is in. Mechanical
y bulls are springing up all across
the country in bars and even discos;
country music is in the midst of a terrific
upsurge; even Hollywood has gotten into
the act with- Urban Cowboy and
Honeysuckle Rose: , ; '
If anything is distinctly American these .
days, it is the cowboy hat, and now not
only the hat but also the rest of the
Western wardrobe are selling well in the
clothes market. The look has spread to
Paris, where it has become chic to stroll
the Champs d'Elysee in a buckskin coat
And even here in Chapel Hill, where
most store owners answer the question
"Do you have any Western wear?" with
"No, but we have a sale on scallop and
frog belts," the look-seems to be catching
on. A new store, Dunn-Rovin, Western
Wear, has opened up in Carr Mill, with all
the essentials for any urban or not-so-urban
"All the styles change," said Wesley
Long, owner of Dunn-Rovin Western
Wear. "Western hasn't been in yet, and if s
time for it."
"First there was mini-skirts and now if s
switched to jeans and those are Western
clothes and part of the whole Western
look," Long said. "Everyone wears jeans
these days and with just a shirt or a hat too
then you got the look."
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You don't even have to ride horses to
wear Western clothes. "Nowadays all the
.horses are being killed and sent overseas,
and we sell more to people who don't ride
than people who do," Long said.
Unlike the preppie look, which can cost
hundreds of dollars and takes years to
learn how to wear just right (some people
never do master the pink-and-green
collage), the Western look can be.
managed without the complete outfit of
boots, hat, belts and shirts. Just one of the
components can give your wardrobe a
much-needed lift. '
Probably the biggest seller in the
Western look is the hat. Long takes his
business to bluegrass festivals in the state
and he said hats and hat bands are the
most prolific sales items. Two types of
hats are available at Dunn-Rovin Western
Wear, straw hats which run between $18
and $22, and felt ones which are more
expensive at $15-$60. Feather hat bands
vary from $6 to $30 and Long has even
made up some special blue and white
ones for Chapel Hill.
The big name boots like Tony Lama,
Acme and Durango are all well-stocked at
Dunn-Rovin and they range from
$50-$150. For $139.95, one can even buy
the same style of boot, the black and
white Tony Lamas, that John Travolta
wore in Urban Cowboy. "Boots sell real
well and a lot of businessmen in the cities
wear them to work," Long said.
And Western shirts with livelier colors
and different cut in the back from their
Lacoste or Oxford counterparts are so
versatile that they can even be worn with
khakis and penny loafers. Well, almost.
Dunn-Rovin has a wide variety of all the
Western shirts, priced between $12 and
For those who want to get very serious
about the Western look, a black leather
vest is available for $85 and a rattlesnake
.belt buckle can easily be fitted on to any
of the belts in the shop. And a mule-saddle
mirror is as good a Western acquisition as
the classic steer horns. ; , .
As Sissy in Urban Cowboy made very
evident, the Western look should not be
limited to men alone. Long said he sells
much of his gear to women, and he has a
.stock of special boots with higher, fancier
heels for the ladies. He even sells a purse
that looks like a miniature saddle as his
son Don. said, "We got all the gadgets
The best way to look at Western wear is
as an addition to your wardrobe. There's
no need to be a fashion mogul and buy the
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. . . From Dunn-Rovin Western Wesr
complete set lock, stock and barrel. But
even two months from now when fall
fashions are entirely different, a pair of
boots or a cowboy hat will still be good
And you might be real glad you got to
the end of this story when you're standing
in Troll's one night wearing your Stetson
and someone comes up to you, like Sissy
and John Travolta in Urban Cowboy, and
asks "You a real cowboy?" Hell, it sure
beats "What's your major?"
Thomas lessiman is associate editor for
The Dally Tar 1! set
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