Wearing Cowboy Ware

Martha A. Hollida, Southern Livestock Standard

July 8, 2024

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At the crossroads of fashion and function, Sarah McEntire has transformed her lifelong passion for horses into a thriving business venture, launching a unique line of western shirts designed for the working cowboy and the competing equestrian. Driven by a deep understanding of the demands of ranch work and performance horse competition and a keen eye for style, she has created shirts that are not only comfortable and functional but also crafted from fabrics that move with the wearer. Her company, Cowboy Ware is a dream nurtured since childhood and blends her rich equestrian background with her entrepreneurial spirit.

Cowboy Ware, launched in early 2024, combines the classic cowboy button down look with functional athletic type fabrics. In addition, the shirts are flattering, comfortable, durable and specifically designed for movements a rider horseback makes every day, either on the ranch or in the performance arena. The shirts have longer lengths that stay tucked in throughout the day and they have extra stretch across the shoulders and tops of arms to facilitate easier movements whether swinging a rope, reining or riding across a pasture.

Even though she’s not yet 30, McEntire has been dreaming of a clothing line even longer than she realized.

“My dad tells how I would dress my dolls at about age three and then give presentations on why I chose certain outfits and how they could be accessorized,” she recalls, adding, “so I think the dream to have a clothing line has always been there and it took me awhile to land on shirts, but it combines my background, my interests and the influence of Texas on me.”

She grew up on a commercial cattle operation in North Carolina with her mom and stepdad, and was also part of the performance horse world, as her dad is a reining horse trainer. McEntire was an accomplished rider and reiner coming out of high school and was recruited by Texas A&M for their equestrian team. While in Aggieland, she was part of the 2017 National Champion Equestrian Team and was the reining competitor for the team. She graduated with an animal science degree in 2017 and has been working as a journalist in the equine industry, in livestock insurance and continuing to exhibit performance horses in the Fort Worth area, before moving to Southeast Texas in late 2023.

“The western lifestyle and culture have always been a vibrant part of Fort Worth, but the cowboy culture has experienced a real growth and high level of interest in recent years nationwide. I think it was the influence of living in Cowtown that made me choose to design a line for working cowboys and cowgirls whether in the pasture or arena,” she explained.

Her first line of shirts, known as the Cowtown Collection, debuted during the 2024 Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo and featured four different color options and two different fabrics, with each having a name tied to Fort Worth.

“Cowtown seemed fitting for the inaugural offering as its where the west begins and it’s where the Cowboy Ware journey started. I plan to name all my collections and for the foreseeable future they will have a Texas influence,” she added.

The company name also has a story.

“I came across the Biblical term; ware and it is defined as a tool of the trade. I thought that fit my shirts perfectly as I want them to be useful and when people hear the name they think of wear, which is a nice tie in also,” she described.

She is also passionate about producing a product that is 100% American made.

“This is something that was important to me from the beginning. Even though I had researched the initial sewing company thoroughly, I realized the night before I was to complete the order for the first 500 shirts that the company was not 100% American made. So, I regrouped and was able to find a company that met my criteria and allowed me to stay true to my values,” she said.

McEntire has enjoyed success with the first collection and is just weeks away from launching the next line of Cowboy Ware shirts. She has elected to sell them through the company website, social media marketing avenues and she has been taking them to various team ropings, stock horse show competitions, ranch rodeos and the like to sell them one-on-one. 

She has been very encouraged by their acceptance and she says the feedback from customers is important and inspiring for future designs. To learn more or order visit www.cowboyware.com.

Southern Livestock

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