Occasionally, a company develops a product so good, there’s no need to change it, even decades later. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” the old adage goes.
One of those products that isn’t broke is the Cowboy Cut Original Fit men’s jean developed by Wrangler back in 1947. Also known as the 13MWZ, these jeans — essentially unchanged more than 60 years later — remain one of Drysdales’ biggest sellers.
These jeans initially were manufactured by Blue Bell and designed in part by tailor Bernard “Rodeo Ben” Lichtenstein. But the key individual in the jeans’ enduring design was a real-life cowboy, Jim Shoulders.
Shoulders was known as the “Babe Ruth of Rodeo,” and for good reason. The Oklahoman won 16 world championships during the 1940s and ’50s — a feat unmatched until Trevor Brazile (another Wrangler spokesman) surpassed that number only recently.
Here’s a great video of Shoulders competing at the 1959 National Finals Rodeo. Click on the screen shot of the video to view it in another window:
Shoulders provided a lot of input on how Cowboy Cut jeans should be made. His recommendations are still followed, even after his death in 2007.
Decades later, the 13MWZ remains in such high esteem, it is one of the official jeans of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
These are the features of the 13MWZ that still make it popular today:
— Flat brass rivets at the pockets and fabric stress points that won’t scratch the saddle.
— A No. 5 brass zipper fly, one of the heaviest made, for more durability.
— The original Wrangler leather patch above one of the back pockets.
— Five-pocket styling, including a small pocket for watches.
— Heavyweight and durable denim made of 100% cotton.
— Elevated back pockets so your wallet won’t tuck under your hip while in the saddle.
— A higher rise, so shirt tails stay tucked in.
— An extra belt loop.
— Extra-wide belt loops that accommodate wide western belts.
— Double-felt seams.
Even the sale tag used with the 13MWZ has changed little over the decades:
The Cowboy Cut Original Fit jeans also come with Wrangler’s signature “W” stitching on the back pockets:
And the Wrangler brass button above the fly:
Browse Wrangler’s full selection of Cowboy Cut jeans at our website for your chance to wear an American classic.