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First Post & Introduction

Coel Hen

Active Member
Dec 4, 2006
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Greetings to all,

After a fair bit of time reading the forum from the borders of a western state where boots and jeans are the primary attire of the local population, the time has come for me to participate among a group of sartorial experts.

Having grown up in the west, the beginnings of fashion were limited to the cowboy boots of the day, Justin and Dan Post. Still, in my closet, is the pair of boots I wore when raising a herd of nearly thirty cattle, then merely 16 years old, having watched some 36 years pass since then. Alas, the value of shoes!

While sitting atop a horse on cattle drives of short duration at that time and younger, those days have long past, and with them the vestige of the cowboy hat atop my head at a mere three months of age, perched on my father's lap, who wore an LBJ Stetson with his suit, low quarters, white shirt and tie while working at a desk job, switching to outdoor gear while farming on the weekends.

So I guess you will forgive me for owning the Dan Post pair in brown from the corrals of youth, a ten year old pair in dark brown from the same maker, and a four year old pair of Luchese round toe medium brown boots with double white stitching.

While on the subject of shoes, the patent leathers from the military days still remain, though not as glamorous as they should be--functional, nonetheless.

Also in the closet, for the collectors among you, are the many times soled shoes from Duckerand Son in Oxford purchased when a student there in the 70s. The durable dark brown full broque still marches on, though battered and beaten, remarkable for its room in the toe for a 13 D set of feet underneath my 6'6" frame. The catalogue number 688 black Oxford shoes, www.duckerandson.co.uk, also bought then, are equally durable.

The Fosters of London Scottish hunting shoes in a burgundy proved invaluable in a 5 month British expedition through the Andes and the Amazon, made for traction on the hunting grounds, and incapable of being ruined by extraordinary wetness, submerged daily in water completely, remarkably comfortable, and great for walking even on pavement.

On the way are a pair of M.L. Leddy's black cowboy boots, custom made by hand, in the range of $800, being made at their Fort Worth store www.leddys.com, promised in March of 2007--my first such custom venture. Yes, of course, a concession to blending in amongst my surroundings.

Somehow, mysteriously, the frame has filled out over the decades.

Yet I find the blue jeans made by Cinch and Wrangler in the Twenty X styles unique in that they have a high-waisted jean that provides comfortable fit, but also an elusive high rise to fit my build, for the sum of $40 a pair. They are extraordinarily comfortable, and look good, but must be bought in a 38 to 40 length--waist size being classified for security reasons--to be long enough for the fashion of the cowboys in these parts. I might add that they are faded, which is also the way they are worn among those who do so daily.

My custom made cowboy belt fits right well on it, made to order and hand tooled from a local saddlery. I wear a ranger buckle set with it in German silver, with my brand on it in a gold colored brass. I find it less conspicuous than the trophy buckles.

The Luchese shirts work well with this, though I prefer custom made, and eventally will have them made for me. Their prime features are the inconspicuous western yolk and flaps over the two pockets, sans buttons, and therefore quite usable.

A cowboy hat is not my regular attire--once or twice a year--though the Stetson straw--Model 2565 Wagoneer with "Gus crease" is what I now own. A 100% beaver perhaps one day, though in natural color, not dyed, and custom made.

There is another side to the wardrobe, however, which is perhaps of more interest to members of the forum.

Long outgrown from the Oxford days is a dinner jacker and trousers with vest from Hall Brothers--now Ede and Ravenscroft--of Oxford, then under Royal Warrant from the Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII, when he was briefly there as a student. It was wonderful, and classically made, with a single button, notch lapels, a marvelous set of trousers, with a braided design in the silk stripe which I have not seen since, and a black vest with pockets that housed a pocket watch with more style that I no doubt possessed as a youth. Sadly, it no longer fits, and by way of comment was too heavy a material for wear in the states.

On a whim, I also had Mr. Stamp, at Stamp of Oxford, long gone now, make me a Norfold jacket of rather loud green background, with orange checks, which I could not image wearing now even if it did fit. The luxurious silk lining, to this day, is wonderful, and for a man of dash and youthful figure, it would stand out in any crowd.

Replacing it is a Baumler DJ, double breasted, and rather smart looking, an interim concession to necessity pending a properly tailored one. It was bought RTW on sale in London in the late 90s.

Also made at the millenium in London was a wonderful six-button double breasted blazer in blue, made to measure, with Benson and Clegg buttons, from Thresher and Glenny. The double vents work well for me.

A number of shirts were made for me at T & G, with wide spread London collar, as I dressed for dinner at high table when at Oxford those two years, and the french cuffs on them provided a classy touch which endures. They have a pocket, which I seem to require for one purpose or another. White looks smart, as does the burgundy stripe on white with white cuff and collar, the white cuff and collar on blue, and the dark blue pinstripe on white. Very durable Egyptian cotton. They provided a rather nice background for the sub fusc academic dress of the MA cap, hood and gown [with white tie, dark suit, dark socks, shoes "capable of holding a shine"] worn to the Chancellor's Garden Party after Encaenia [formal acadmic procession in Oxford].

The "Class A" Air Force uniform stands from days gone by in polyester splendor, while neither it nor the dress blues with decorations have not come out of the closet since my retirement.

On the horizon loom the need for more custom crafted shoes, a couple of suits, and a few sport coats.

Thanks for an enjoyable forum,



Lying Dog-faced Pony Soldier
Mar 10, 2006
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Welcome aboard.

Artisan Fan

Jul 17, 2006
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Where out West are you located? Sounds like you may be describing some of the towns in Wyoming I have visited. It's terrific out there.


Active Member
Jul 10, 2006
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Welcome....made my heart pine for the by gone days growing up in Texas.

I too still have boots in my closet...seems i pull them out and wear them a few times in the fall each year.

Still own a pair of standard brown Justin Ropers...about 18-20 years old as I left Texas 15 years ago. The pride of my boots is a custom made full quill ostrich from your friends in Ft Worth...ML Leddy.

Back in the day we had a factory in New England and about twice a year we would make a special cutting of western trousers for ML Leddy, Miller Stockman and some store down in Houston whose name escapes me at the moment.

If wrangle 13MWZ jeans would only become fashionable here in the Southeast...it is the BEST jean ever made.

Lucky Strike

Distinguished Member
Mar 13, 2006
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Welcome, Coel.

As a European, I don't think I could really get away very well with wearing cowboy boots, but I do wish I could. It's like non-Scots wearing kilts - I lack the ethnic excuse to sport any of the two. I wish I could, though.

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