Bow ties and poofy dresses abounded at Talbott Street’s “All That Glitters Gala” Oscar party benefiting the Damien Center last Sunday night, Feb. 29. The club advertised, “Gaudy, formal or celebrity attire.” Flipping the bill for all three of those dress code options was one gentleman club-goer donning a look-alike Bjork 2001 Academy Awards swan dress. I was sincerely disappointed that no one donned an Ann Miller show girl get-up in memoriam. But, alas, who among us is worthy of filling those tapping shoes? -Joshua Shoaf, an authentic urban cowboy, looks hot at Talbott Street’s “All That Glitters Gala” benefiting the Damien Center. Paired with a snug white T-shirt and jeans, his hat and boots gave him a sexy, rugged, stylish and trendy look.- Two cowboy hats floated through the crowd and not in tribute to Urban Cowboy or Dukes of Hazzard for that matter. These cowboys were true blue and hardly the creation of any costumer or wardrobe department. Yes, Western wear is seeping back into trends here and there — with men, primarily. And as long as folks take their Western apparel cues from Joshua Shoaf, a psychiatry student at Indiana University in Bloomington who attended the TS party, the fashion police can rest easy. Joshua actually doesn’t follow fashion. “I’m just a farm boy,” the Cloverdale native politely (and twanglessly) said.
And, upon close inspection, anyone could tell because his Western look was too quality and authentic to have been bought at the mall. Banana Republic is not the place to buy Western, kids, mainstream trend or not. You can go straight to the tack and saddlery source for this stuff. A smart Western look isn’t a flashy Garth Brooks color block shirt, either. That’s exaggerated and show business costuming.
Joshua had no idea that Western apparel was making a little comeback. “No, not at all,” he said. Joshua wore an elegant (yes, they can be elegant) brown wool felt cowboy hat (beautiful fabric) that was sized correctly, shaped his face well and was purchased at a tack shop. Locally, the quintessential Western outfitter is Henselmeier’s Saddlery, 100 U.S. 31 South, Greenwood, 881-8225.
Gentlemen, an ill-fitting hat can ruin an outfit. Do not shy away from asking a salesperson to fit you properly, cowboy hat or fedora. Look for Stetson, Minnetonka or Eddy Brothers brands and pay attention to the brim width. Steer clear of the cartoony 10-gallons, please.
Quality Western accessory elements added to your regular wardrobe can give you the cowboy punch. Whether it be a big honkin’ fashion belt buckle, the perfect plaid snap shirt, cowboy hat or cowboy boots, Henselmeier’s has the genuine stuff to make you look like a macho off-duty rodeo star. If you put all of that cowboy stuff on at once, you are going to look, well, silly. Keep moderation in mind.
“They’re practical,” Joshua said of his Double H embroidered soft brown leather cowboy boots. Never ever skimp when buying the boots. On average they retail for $140. Joshua found his pair at Boot City (www.bootcity.net, 812-299-8379), the largest Western shop in the state, located just outside of Terre Haute. Not all cowboy boots are created equal. Tony Lama’s, Frye and Justin are old standards having stood the test of time.