Vintage Wrangler 27MW Denim Shirt From The 1970s

Wrangler is since its start one of the main denim brands that started with clothing for the Western cowboy market. At the start, in 1947, they worked with professional rodeo cowboys Jim Shoulders, Bill Linderman, and Freckles Brown. They wear-tested the brand’s classic 13MWZ jeans.

Just a year later, Jim Shoulders, World Champion Cowboy, signs on as an official endorsee of Wrangler. He goes on to win a total of 16 world championships, including five All-Around, seven Bull Riding and four Bareback Riding World Titles.

In the year 1974, Wrangler jeans and shirts become the first, and still only, Western brand to be officially endorsed by the Pro Rodeo Cowboy Association. Nowadays they’re still a very popular brand by ranchers, Cowboys, and farmers.

Classic Cowboy Shirt

One of their core styles within the collection is the 27MW (Menswear) denim shirt. A classic cowboy shirt, that’s still available nowadays. The highlighted shirt here in the article dates back to the 1970s. An original item with a lot of denim stories, which comes from a Cowboy from Texas, U.S.A.

Nice Fades & Extremely Soft

The shirt is almost 50 years old, and shows some nice fades, and feels extremely soft. It features the classic Western-style yokes, pearl push buttons, and double W (Western Wear) stitching on the chest pockets. It’s made with an extra-long tail, which makes it more easy to wear it in your jeans.

Collar Ribs

The collar features collar ribs to keep the shape of it intact. If you look closely you can see them coming thru, and the fades of these ribs.

Sanforized & Extra Long Tails

On the neck label, you can see that the shirt is made of a pre-shrunk denim fabric, with extra long tails. The shirt is made in U.S.A.

Custom Suede Patches

On the elbow are two custom suede patches added by the previous owner(s) for extra strength. There’s also a repair spot on the sleeve, and the cuffs features three pearl buttons each.

Natural Sun Fades

One of the best parts of this shirt is the natural sun fading. Probably this shirt was worn by someone who was riding a lot on his horse. He would wear his shirt in his pair of jeans, so the part which was inside of his jeans is darker than the top. The sun gave this shirt a super cool look. The hem of the shirt is finished with an overlock stitching.

The Back Of The Shirt

On the back of the shirt, you will see the sun fading too, and there’s a hole in the shirt that shows the weft (ecru filling) of the fabric.

DNA Of The American Brand

All in all, this Wrangler denim shirt shows the ranch, and Cowboy life, the DNA of the American brand, how it all started back in the days. Western wear that is made to last, and now part of my private denim archive. Its an unique piece of the American denim roots.


Written by Wouter Munnichs
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine, I'm working as a freelance denim specialist for the industry. Titled as 'Denim Influencer 2020' by Rivet 50. Celebrated my 10th anniversary with Long John in 2021.