Live Action Getup: Facing West

Live Action Getup
Facing West

As the temperature starts to dip, our fall style is taking cues from the colors of California – with a nod to the state's ranching roots.

fall style denim shirt boots

Words & Photos by Andrew Snavely

Drop into LA for the weekend and all you'll see is concrete sprawl in every direction. But spend a little bit more time here and a strange thing happens. You don't have to step very far outside the city limits to be smacked with reality: All the glitz does a great job of hiding the fact that you're still surrounded by farmland and desert.

As the very edge of the new frontier, California has deep roots – and  a continuing rich heritage if you look – of the old west.

This clean, laid-back Getup channels an outdoorsy western vibe without going full Doc Holliday.

Beanie: Goodthreads, $16
Denim Shirt: Goodthreads, $25 (similar)
Tan T-Shirt: NextLevel, $6
Gray Stretch Traveler Jeans: Banana Republic, $98
Moc Toe Boots: Thorogood, $185

men fall style
men black watch cap light denim shirt tan t shirt

A slim fitting collared denim shirt is the clearest reference point; the snap-flap chest pockets and pearlized buttons add a little retro charm without making you look like you’re about to swing your partner do-si-do.

The western shirt was worn for function in the 1800s but was made popular in everyday wear in the 1950s and 60s by leading men and musicians, and it's been a rugged casual staple ever since. Hell, you'd be hard-pressed to find a photo of legendary designer Ralph Lauren in anything other than a denim shirt since the 1980s.

The level of cowboy details you opt for is up to you, ranging from the pearlized white buttons, chest pockets, and distinct shoulder yoke, all the way to a stripped down version cut in the style of your favorite dress shirt.

los angeles denim shirt watch cap

denim shirt men

In order to make a somewhat stylized piece of clothing look less like a costume—and more like, well, clothing—I like to pair it with more classic, neutral items.

Sidestep the “Canadian tuxedo” effect with gray pants in a 5 pocket twill that’s a little more pulled together than jeans, but not in the office-wear territory of chinos. A cream-colored T-shirt is less expected than the usual plain white tee; if you upgrade to a slub cotton knit, the texture and curved hem create additional dimension and interest. The contrast between the lighter-hued top pieces and darker bottoms enlivens what’s otherwise a pretty simple outfit.

Stretch Twill Pants

Tan T-Shirt

tan tshirt


Amazon, $6

Tan Tshirt


Buck Mason, $32

USA-made, slub cotton with a curved hem

moc toe boots denim shirt

USA-made Moc Toe Boots

With the distinct white wedge sole and moc toe seam on the top, these boots have been favorites for men on and off the job for 60 years.

black watch cap

Watch Cap

Not to be overlooked here are the accessories, which help give an urban edge to the relaxed, rugged feel. The classic watch cap is probably something you have (or should have) in the cold weather section of your closet.

This one’s 100% cotton, so not at all itchy. Upgrade to cashmere for $30 more.

cotton beanie

Cotton Watch Cap

Amazon, $17

cashmere watch cap

Cashmere Watch Cap

Fishers Finery, $43

Field Watch

Finishing the look is a minimalist field watch – a simple black face on canvas strap.

field watch

Shop the full look:

Beanie: Goodthreads, $16 / Denim Shirt: Goodthreads, $25 (similar) / Tan T-Shirt: Next Level, $6 / Gray Stretch Traveler Jeans: Banana Republic, $98 / Moc Toe Boots: Thorogood, $185

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Andrew Snavely

Andrew founded Primer in 2008 and brings 15+ years of men's style expertise. Known for his practical, relatable approach to style and self-development, he has been a recognized speaker at conferences and has styled work for top brands. Off-duty, he loves photography & editing, and enjoys road trips with his dog, Leela. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, educated in DC, and living in LA for nearly 20 years, Andrew's diverse experiences shape the relatable and real-world advice that has helped millions through Primer. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.