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The Best Denim Shirts That Are Not Just for Cowboys


the essentials denim shirt
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Welcome to The Essentials, our weekly series highlighting a must-have classic, key to building a timeless, pulled-together closet.

If you have watched any western movies or zombie tv shows, you've probably seen a grubby denim shirt or two. However, we're here to make the case for a denim shirt as a wardrobe essential, not because you will be on horseback anytime soon, but because it's a classic style that you can pair with your favorite jeans for a full denim hook-up or with a variety of outfits. You might even be able to work it into a classic feminist icon halloween costume! Similar to jeans, you have to try on a lot of different styles until you find your perfect shape but don't give up! A denim shirt can be so versatile because in addition to wearing it as a top, you can also use it as a beach coverup or worn open over a tank as a light denim jacket. You'll be surprised how often you reach for It. No cowboy hat required.

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The Western Style
Denim Western Shirt
gap gap.com

If you like the western look, snap front buttons and pointed shoulder details are the signature of a western style denim shirt.

The Chambray
Classic Ex BF Button Down Shirt
Madewell shopbop.com

This denim shirt is chambray rather than a heavier stiff denim so it's soft, light and won't bulk up if you want to tuck it in. 

The twist
Stripe Chambray Shirt
Caslon nordstrom.com

We love the subtle blue-on-blue vertical stripes on this denim shirt. 

The Weekend Workhorse
Barry Denim Shirt
FRANK & EILEEN nordstrom.com

Embracing the casual days of spring and summer, we love this worn-in frayed hem weekend shirt. 

The versatile pick
Jules Slim Western Shirt
Citizens of Humanity shopbop.com

A light washed denim shirt makes for a great beach cover-up.  

The layered look
Gracie Shirt
Levi's shopbop.com

Another great shirt that can also double as a light summer jacket. This style is meant to be worn oversized. 

The feminine touch
Short Sleeve Chambray Shirt
COURT & ROWE nordstrom.com

With short sleeves, this sweet feminine summer style gives no western vibes at all. 

The retro find
John Retro Denim Shirt
Lafayette 148 New York saksfifthavenue.com

Brown buttons and contrast stitching make this denim shirt a slightly vintage inspired addition to your denim wardrobe. 

The dressed-down pick
Denim Top in Emmie Wash
Madewell madewell.com

So casual and comfortable, this denim popover top has an intentionally roomy, relaxed shape. 

The heavy-hitter
Shrunken Denim Shirt
Levi levi.com

This denim shirt is made from sturdy heavier weight denim so if will stand the test of time. 

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